mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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i procrastinated on neopets too long & wrecked my chances of brunch with katja.

i was telling jenny, sort of off-hand, that there is a pretty general streak of misogyny running through fantasy & science fiction, but thought about it & tried to correct myself shortly after it came out of my mouth. it isn't really necessarily as perjorative as misogyny. what it is is that, since a lot of the genre is intrested in a more substenance based life-style, that authors try to refine sex-roles to a more lowest common denominator. older writers, like howard, take the less complex & intresting route, going with damsel in distress or seductress archetypes, which, right, most modern readers would tend to scoff at (& mostly i'd agree with them). but calling it misogyny across the board is desperately mistaken. i mean, for my part, i pretty much label myself a essentialist in terms of feminist roles. as an anthropologist, i'm sort of unavoidably inclined that way. girls & boys are fundamentally diffrent, & in survival situations, their stratagies & methodologies are drastically different.

(note here that i tend to assert the male-female binary; that is because i'm talking about general trends. homosexual under-currents are outside the scope of this discussion, but not out of my opinions. as to transpeople, who have been on my mind increasingly since my friend came out as trans, i don't really have all that firm an opinion on. the "subverting of gender" thing doesn't really throw such a punch at my ideas, because i'm not really one of those who believe in impermeable gender identies. i mean, the male/female continuum clearly is a gamut, but there is also such a clear clumping at the poles that for the purposes of broad strokes, i don't mind generalizing. maybe it is the utilitarian in me. so anyhow!)

partly this came up out of reading the fantastic shadow of the torturer, by gene wolfe. his girls are a little bit of a throw-back towards misogyny. or at least, so far. maybe not thecla, but dorcas & agia are pretty fucking clearly products of the author's issues with women. we'll have to see how it goes eventually. i don't mind polarizing of gender roles, since i think that the depolariziation of those roles are really only possible in a resource saturated environment. probably not the most politically correct opinion to have, but i think the basic facts of sex & reproduction kind of take precendence. anyhow, i'm kind of just wandering afield now, since i didn't really have a point. partly i really like nicola griffith so much on account of her understanding of gender roles. she uses them so fucking deftly, & so unapologetically, that it always leaves me baring my teeth in a grin. good for her!
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