So, I had this idea that I was going to write a Feminist Novel.
What GOADED me into the idea of actually BOTHERING to sit down and WRITE one, was one too many comments by Some Choad on a Feminist Thread, sayin’, “If WIMMIN are so GREAT then why aren’t there any Great Wimmin writers or thinkers or artists or generals or FILL IN THE BLANK?” I mean seriously. Seriously, I had KINDA SORTA thought that the problem of Institutionalized Misogyny had been covered. I thought that MOST people, even CHOADS, got it: for most of recorded history, female human beings have been systematically prevented from things like, learning to write, learning to read, all higher education, etc, let alone getting into institutional bias and the convenient “forgetting” of the “exceptional” women of history.
Well it just pissed me off, if all. So I thought as a Fun Lark I would jot down a full length novel about an imaginary scenario where the shoe was on the other foot. Because, we are soaking in it: we don’t even SEE all the misogyny of out OWN culture, we are so indoctrinated. It is one of those mind-bending experiments that still WORKS, to imagine something that has been said or printed about, or that has happened to a woman, happening to a MAN, and seeing how different it is, how differently we perceive it.
I know it is ridiculous to say “as a fun lark” but I really DO think it will be fun. It is FUN to imagine the Female-dominated culture that I am going to create. (It isn’t a FEMINIST culture, because, Feminism isn’t ABOUT subjugating men….my imaginary world WILL be.) I am going to write it in such a way that it will be impossible NOT to see exactly what Institutionalized, normalized sexism does, how it limites and belittles and shames the gender that is “less than”. I am hoping it will become the paperback that college women give their boyfriends to read instead of having to SPLAIN it all to them personally.
HAHA Because GODDESS KNOWS, men aren’t very good at reading academic texts! Like the Feminist Canon! They can’t be bothered!
But I AM LAZY, and have LOTS of good ideas that I never get around to DOING, so I thought I would approach this as a project on my BLOG, right here. I am going to thrash it out in (semi) public. I mean, NO ONE reads this blog, because I never post, because I am lazy. But NOW it is going to become my favorite pastime! Jotting down my novel!
To get started, I am going to write about the structure that I mean to embrace. Believe it or not, I have given SOME thought to all this ever since I dreamt up the idea. My novel will follow, in the fine tradition of best-selling Historical novels, several main characters simultaneously…..all from this imaginary society…..who eventually collide with one another in various ways. I will write rather sympathetically of all of them, even the ones who are WrongDoers et al. Like Middlemarch, it will be an ETHICAL tome, but the ethics will be skewed to reflect the institutional bias of the imaginary society.
For instance, in Middlemarch, one guy works real hard and is honest, and becomes better off than he was before….after a lifetime of serving the Capitalists, he is rewarded by a more secure position as overseer or several estates of the Gentry. I forget his name. ( Is it Mr Garth?) But that is an ethical result for someone who is a Capitalist…..work hard and be Honest and you will be rewarded.
My novel will have similar “rewards” for it’s characters….for instance, a man who learns to be subservient, correctly subservient, is rewarded. He gets to live in a house with a female, instead of in a forced labor camp or whatever my imaginary society has dreamt up to do with the Male Labor Force. You see this is the kind of thing I need to cogitate upon. The STORY will be about CHARACTERS and their LIVES, but the entire, assumed background of the novel will be this imaginary society….like Tolkien, I will have to dream up the whole society before I really get into the STORY.
I mean I ASSUME Tolkien did that! I know Lewis did….spent a lot of time thinking up the imaginary lands before he wrote about adventures there.
I am going to write down some of my Ideas about my Imaginary Society! For one thing it needs a name….I need to think of a NAME. Well, one will occur to me I am sure. but for now, A LIST!
1. Everyone in any position of power is female, with maybe a token or two
2. This seems completely natural to everyone, of course, no one questions it except rebellious little boys…rebellious little boys who want to be thought Human and Worthy, as little girls are thought of.
3. It is thought to be a bit of a shame if your firstborn is a boy
4. People feel sorry for you if you have only boys, like your family is second-rate
5. (Oh man I could do this FOREVER!)
5. Women don’t have to please men. Men have to please women. Men have to alter their bodies to please women. Women would never dream of it….it would be UNDIGNIFIED. Women’s clothes are comfortable and well-made, their shoes are functional and fit well. You get the picture.
6. Men have to wear ridiculous get-ups, and the women (sort of) despise them for it. But insist upon it. Because the natural male body is GROSS!! (Women are not angels in this world, not at all.)
7. Hmm perhaps men are thought to be angelic? No, they are thought to be DANGEROUS!! Women hate and mistrust them! If THEY were in charge of things, it would be a BAD SCENE! It is unthinkable. Men have to be contained and supervised. They were clearly formed by Goddess for MANUAL LABOR!
8. Of course Religion is a Female thing and being Female is required to be Fully Human.
More Later!! I have to go see myself be in a Movie!!