September 16, 2012

man cannot speak for her...but does anyway.

I have to admit: the articles that have actually stuck with me the most were the articles arguing the "feminist" rhetoric and their place in history. Like Natalie mentioned, it's interesting to see how these can still be applicable today with the upcoming election. Campbell argues the purpose of speech and rhetoric in Man Cannot Speak For Her, the one that I actually have been thinking about lately. She mentions that women cannot easily participate in public debate because arguing anything other than what seems to be "for the good of others" makes a woman seem selfish and unappreciative of anything she has.

If you think about the way that women have been treated in the upcoming election and the numerous conventions and debates recently, it's interesting to see the possible ways this could be taken. But it's more than just that - women have, until recently, been forced to take a second place seat, the be homemakers and housewives and mothers and nothing else.

Heilbrun makes an interesting remark at the start of her essay that essentially says that we are not ready to hear that a women is what destroyed a man but that a man is what destroyed a woman (he uses F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald). For centuries, woman's literature has taken a beating and has rarely been kept and valued as it should be. We have little record of women's literature until the recent centuries when authors like Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters came about.

But even then, we're held to a double standard. We're not allowed to write angry novels or anything that stands to take control or power of ourselves but if we write things that are happy, especially falsely so, we're lying and not being fair to our readers.

But doesn't this double standard still kind of exist? It doesn't matter who the characters are but if the author is a woman, we're less inclined to take it seriously, aren't we? Think of most "chick lit." It's happy and portraying a scenario that is never going to happen and worst of all? Most of them are by women. We're writing books like Fifty Shades of Grey because that's all that we can do. But then you have authors like Steig Larsson who write gritty, intense, female-centric novels like his The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series and we take it so much more seriously because it was written by a male.

But is that because of the author? Or is it the audience's fault?


michelle reyes said...

I honestly would have to say it is the audience's fault. They as an audience feed into what is relatable to them and what "society" deems normal. once we as audience decide we want to take this women authors more seriously they will. I am also not trying to make it seem as it is a quick fix as you stated earlier women have taken a back seat and they have been there for a while. Men have had the lead for over 300 hundred or more years and this is a problem that cannot be resolved over night. Hopefully within upcoming years it is a problem that WILL be resolved

Kathrynn Ward said...

Why did women not rebel quicker? I am upset at the fact that they put up with being put into this box for so long. I cannot say that I would be a good candidate to live during this time. Men would hate me. Why did they not demand their rights more? I would be on the streets with signs and all my friends (hopefully) as well. This is ridiculous. I can not even handle the thought that times were like this at some point. Can you???

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