Re: RARA-AVIS: Assumptions, Anyone?

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 06 Aug 2003

<<Oh, brother! (And I do use that "gendered" noun with conscious intent.) Don't you think we should add quotation

marks and a great big (SIC) to that phrase "the man of our day"?>>

Well, I couldn't find the male equivalent of "womyn".. Is it "myn"? It would be OK in Southern but I'm not going to be a regionalist. How about "the Guy"?

<<Who exactly are you talking about, anyway? And isn't the air becoming thick with unwarrented assumptions?>>

Assumptions, yes, but not unwarranted. There have been several studies, including one by a prominent feminist, on the predicament of our Guy. The story, which is as documented as sociological studies usually are (lots of ifs and buts) goes more or less like this: for a long time, the guy had the field to himself (political power, boss in the house, privilege at the workplace and in the professions, to name a few).

Women slowly stake a piece of the field to themselves. The guy tries to adapt to this new situation, which he doesn't really like, but what is he going to do, quit female company? The theory was that some sort of "convergence" would emerge.

Well, it turns out that many women don't like totally housetrained guys. When the guy does his chores, she accepts what he does but does not respect *him* more for it. The adaptation gambit hasn't done the trick. Convergence hasn't happened. Trouble between the sexes has not abated one bit; in fact, some indicators show that it's worse. Robert Reich has even invented the acronym DINS, for
"dual income, no sex", which tells you something.

This is more or less a summary of what some watchers have been writing. It seems that primeval wins over pasteurized. Primeval is unacceptable; pasteurized is a little corporation with a male and a female president sharing power and (studies say) not having much fun. If you're interested, I can document.

<<Even if the conversation is limited to P.I.'s and their novelistic sphere ... do you really believe that a primal problem for Michael Nava's Henry Rios or Joseph Hansen's Dave Brandstetter is that "women no longer take him seriously"?>>

Nava, I have never read. Is he good? Brandstetter doesn't have much to do with women, so I can't tell how seriously they take him. The classic PIs that Jay brought up preferred women, and that's what I addressed. Very many modern PIs are women written by women, which should correct the (fictional) balance somewhat.

<<Pardon me while I roll my eyes just a tad ...>>

No, you pardon me. That's what happens when we abandon the ivory towers of the classic PI novel. Marlowe would have avoided all this trouble by suddenly entering a room with a gun in his hand.



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