RARA-AVIS: Re: The Man of Our Day

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 06 Aug 2003

Mario wrote:

>The real, insoluble problem for the man of our day is that
>women no longer take him seriously. What can he do with

Maybe this particular Man of Our Day is actually the Man of Last Week? I hate to break it to him, but we don't all share his problem
-- some of us get along swell with women.

>Wash the dishes, help around the house, "be
>sensitive", share decisions? He will still not be taken
>seriously -- and he will still prefer a world where women
>do not influence, etc.

Perhaps if more guys took women seriously, it would be reciprocated. You think all women want is someone to "wash the dishes, help around the house"? Who's not taking who seriously?

I'm not denying gender issues (and the treatment of them) in detective and crime fiction have evolved through the years, and I think that evolution is a worthy topic of discussion. But sweeping, agenda-driven all-or-nothing assumptions -- be they from the left or the right -- add nothing. This feminist academic says women weren't taken seriously in detective novels in the past, you say men aren't taken seriously now.

You two should date -- you really do have a lot in common. And all that finger-pointing's just may lead to some serious hand-holding.

Chris was right on target with his comment that:

>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"?

Or even such other straight P.I.s of our days. Who's a current private eye who isn't taken seriously by the women characters in his novels?


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