Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Digest V3 #843

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 24 Aug 2001

Carrie: There's no need to avoid polemic subjects. However, since we are dealing with fiction, there is a danger of confusing someone's writing, or someone's literary analysis with their person.

Just as an example, I know at least three people who think that Faulkner was a racist. This is based on his use of the word "nigger". There are even people who think *Mark Twain* was a racist. Likewise, there are people who refuse to read Hemingway because somebody said that old Ernest was against women. I call that stupid. If someone said "I won't read fiction written by women", I would consider him foolish and obtuse.

Now, I absolutely believe that there is a human nature, and within it a male and a female nature, and that you can give girls trucks and boys dolls but their natures will not be altered. I've never given my boys toy weapons, but they make their own, that's what their nature wants. My wife gave them some dolls and they've always used them as targets.

The legacy of the sex wars is bad in that it marked a regression to very primitive (and long-discarded in scientific circles) beliefs in behaviorism. They would claim that men and women have potentially interchangeable natures, and that both can go anywhere they want in any endeavor, given the right environment and opportunity. I think this thinking is deeply flawed and very harmful
(because superficially attractive).

In summary, men are men and women are women, not at all similar psychologically, and yes, some genres appeal mainly to men and others mainly to women. What Jim pointed out is close to a truism, I think. That he would take some flak for it was also to be expected.

Lastly, my two favorite female mystery writers, Teri White and Billie Sue Mosiman, do not write like men. They write extremely well and their stories interest me. That's all I care about. Grafton, Paretsky and Muller don't interest me quite so much.

Best regards,



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