Friday, June 17, 2011

women and men and books

I begin by accepting the recent figures etc about male/female divide in
literature, and my theory is supported by them.

It seems to me that the gender divide in novels themselves is only a symptom of
the prevailing power structure in western society.

A broad project of literature is to examine where things go
wrong in human affairs.

Human beings are generally inclined to blame somebody
(or fate - of which more later) for the their troubles.

And broadly speaking, I think men tend to blame women and women blame

Western society is still, after all this time, predicated on the idea that men are in
charge of that society.

So at base men are keeping the gates.

When women write the story, the men are to blame for the trouble.
When men write the story it is the women who are to blame.

And men still have the power to see to it that their version of
events is the dominant one. Hence the predominance of male
reviewers and books by men getting reviewed over books by women.

Even when a man is writing, and a man is to blame for the trouble
in the story, the man - it seems to me - still comes out as perversely admirable.
(Humbert Humbert, say.)

The other element is fate. Even when fate is to blame, men and women
still have to respond to that, and so there is no avoiding the male or female
response of some kind.

So what I am saying, in very simple terms, is that when the woman writes the novel the man is the baddie, and vice versa.

I am saying that men are still in power, and so they are still able to push
their version of events which is that Eve was responsible for the fall, and
the woman's version is still being sidelined.

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