(urth) Wolfe: Misogynist? and accessibility

Jeff Wilson jwilson at io.com
Wed Oct 18 22:02:46 PDT 2006

Jack Redelfs wrote:
> I just don't see how we can neatly say that a
> chivalrous author will refuse to put his female
> characters in harms way. That's like saying only
> an anti-semite would write novels about Auschwitz,
> isn't it?

If an author complusively wrote novels about Jews being tortured and 
killed, I'd at least suspect him of anti-semitism.

> One more thing: this may be a strawman, but perhaps it has been said by 
> someone, somewhere that Wolfe is incapable of writing a sympathetic 
> female character. How about Io? She seems to be totally respectable and 
> good. She's honest, wise, loyal, kind and brave. She does unsuccessfully 
> try to seduce Latro, at one point, but only after travelling with him 
> for the better part of a year and falling in love with him. One does not 
> get the impression that she is unreasonable or wanton.

The Latro books are great counterexamples for the suggestion that Wolfe 
is a misogynist himself and can't write women otherwise; Latro is 
physically very capable, but is socially vulnerable and depends on the 
kindness and guidance of friends, many of whom are strong, sympathetic 
women. There are no unqualified female villains; those who participate 
in vice are at least partners in their exploitation rather than pawns 
kept by a male pimp.

Jeff Wilson - jwilson at io.com
< http://www.io.com/~jwilson >

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