Re: RARA-AVIS: My Alleged Gender Bigotry

Date: 26 Aug 2001

This seems a very bizarre argument to have on a "hard boiled" list. I can see both sides meself: yes indeed the hardboiled hero is traditionally male, he is not worthy of any praise. I don't understand why Marlowe is continually referred to as a hero? He is a hideous character: amoral, motivated entirely by financial return and self serving; fair enough. I spose that the nature of the genre makes this to a certain extent innevitable, however, the idea that he is in any way laudable is quite frankly bollocks.

I don't think that it's more than a reflection of society that women are cheated like shite on a bike in such literature. But I do find it a little worrying that this is accepted by so many! Is Chandler a moral philosopher???? Nope. He is a writer of entertaining detective stories.

Noire/hardboiled is attractive to me because I accept that to a certain extent "this is how it is," that people should add more to this is, like, well frickin weird; I have never met a PI, criminal or copper (not beyond small scale drug dealing anyway).

I consider James Ellroys personal politics; hateful, intelectually dishonest
(if we gonna chuck intellects around) and hippocritical, and also to a certain extent at odds to the material he writes.

But, hey ho. I read detective and PI and cop fiction, I enjoy the hardboiled end of that market the best - I think it is the most realistic (I don't know.) I find James Ellroy, Edward Bunker and Derek Raymond amongst the most fiercely moral writers I have come across, by the way I hate Mickey Spillane
- surely even the most objectionable biggot on the block must not be beyond parody himself? Shame he is self parodying really.

Personally I think this particular strand has become pointlessly misogynist and am constantly reminded of the phrase:
"Some one who takes the idea of anti-racism to ludicrous extreme of actually being anti-racist,"

Well there you go, I actually hope that this will provke some debate. Hard Boiled is generally hugely and nastily anti-female, this is a FACT. It's not a problem and I believe that it's a reflection of society.

Merry Christmas Colin

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