Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Women Rewriting

From: Jess Nevins (
Date: 28 May 2000

Mario Taboada wrote:

> Jess, in an enjoyable rant:
> <<And some academics draw from this an essentially female point of view and
> voice. They usually define it as being more concerned with relationships
> than with action or plot,...>>
> Less action, maybe. But less plot? This is manifestly false in the mystery
> field.

In case I wasn't clear--I don't believe in an "essentially female point of view," nor do I give much credence to that wing of feminism that does believe in it.

I agree with you that such things are manifestly false. But that is the core of the argument.

> <<emotions than logic,>>
> This dichotomy (which really doesn't exist for humans) should, if anything, be
> turned around: in my experience, it's women who are more analytical and men who
> rely more on "intuition", "gut feeling" and "spontaneous reactions". I feel so
> sure enough of this to make a public fool of myself by generalizing it...

The traditional stereotype of women, though, is that they are over-emotional, and that it's men who think straight. Victorian literature, especially the cheaper stuff (dime novels, penny dreadfuls, and the like), are rife with this notion.
"No, no, dear, your silly female emotionalism will only muddle your pretty little head. Let us big, logical, clear-thinking men deal with the kidnaping of your eighteen children. You run off to the kitchen and fix us supper, that's a good girl."

The essentialists of feminism turn this stereotype on its head, and assert that emotions are to be preferred over logic. I don't believe this, but that is where they are coming from.

> <<social structures and dynamics (such as family set-ups) than with the
> individual.>>
> This makes no sense. I would say that social structures, etc. have been given
> about the same weight by male and female writers.

Again, you're preaching to the choir.


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