Tuesday, April 05, 2005

damned if you do...

OK, let me get this straight. Women writers are "disappointingly domestic, the opposite of risk-taking - as if too many women writers have been injected with a special drug that keeps them dulled, good, saying the right thing, aping the right shape, and melancholy at doing it, depressed as hell." (From Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Women writers: dull, depressed and domestic)

But let a woman writer take some risks, risks especially with the very notion of domesticity and motherhood, and all hell breaks loose.


I admit, I found some of Waldman's self-revelations to be--disturbing would be too strong, but maybe unseemly? (I'm from New England--we don't do self-revelation.) But in the main, I'm grateful to her for violating these taboos. Careful readers will note she does not hate her children, threaten suicide, or otherwise commit the atrocities of which she's being accused. Yes, she does mine her children's (and her husband's, and her own) lives for material. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that, but she's hardly the first writer to exploit the people she knows best for her work. Mostly, I just think we have an amazing double standard--an unexamined one--when it comes to what we want women writers to write about.

There are lots more links on this one, but I'm too lazy to find them all right now. I did like this one, though.

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