RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Women Rewriting

From: Words from the Monastery (
Date: 27 May 2000

There's no "all" in anything that I've experienced, but there is a general commonality ... marketers and advertisers use it and the Neilsons reflect it as well. Well, in literary circles they're still debating if women can write even write literature in the sense of such works as Moby Dick, War and Peace, etc., and they have quantified the differences in the perspective of male and female readers. Does everyone agree on this? No. Since when is there ever a majority agreement on matters that are purely subjective? Can women write works of literary merit? Of course. Is the perspective different from that of their male counterparts? Of course and it's never more obvious than in literature.

I find it to be nonsense not to be able to see the difference between men and women its so obvious to me when I read ... maybe its nothing more than intuitive, I don't know. Is it quantifiable? The only way to scientifically test this is to get a 100 men and a 100 women (that's an arbitrary number
... whatever a fairly conclusive sample would amount to) and have them all write independently to a well-defined and outlined story line.

Last year there were some very thought provoking articles in, The Atlantic, Harper's, etc., that covered this topic from a less subjective view.

Part of the problem is that it's politically correct for women to state their female uniqueness while it isn't politically correct for a man to do the same about women. Another part of the problem is the misconception that difference or a lack of an ability is somehow a determinant of inferiority instead of uniqueness or simply difference. Equality doesn't demand that we're all cookie cutter identical beings where our sex has no influence upon our views ... you can strap-on the largest rubber phallic device made and you'll still never know what it feels like to have a penis any more than I would know what feels like not have one by squeezing it between my legs and hiding it away where it can't be seen ... cut it off and I still know.

volente Deo,

Anthony Dauer Alexandria, Virginia

"The dead are heavy, after all."
 -Will Christopher Baer, "Penny Dreadful"

Hard-Boiled Noir Discussion

> From: Jess Nevins
> Sent: Saturday, May 27, 2000 8:51 AM
> But to say that there's such a thing as a "female voice" or a
> "female perspective" shall I put this?
> If you say that there's a "female voice," then you say that all
> women are going to write and speak and feel in that way. You
> say that there is something essential and innate about a woman,
> and that it doesn't matter what culture she's from, or upbringing,
> or religion, that she's going to write and speak and feel in the
> same way.
> This is nonsense, as far as I'm concerned. It flies in the face
> of centuries of literary efforts, philosophical writings,
> and artistic creation. How do Sue Grafton and Sojourner
> Truth both have the "female voice"? How do Virginia Woolf
> and Andrea Dworkin both share the "female perspective"?
> If there's such a thing as a "female voice," then it has to be
> shared by everyone, or it's not really the "female voice," is
> it?
> I'm still waiting for you to tell me just what the "female voice"
> and "female perspective" is, by the way.

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