(urth) Wolfe: Misogynist Or Realist?

timothy fletcher ss4vegita_2000 at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 20 11:38:00 PDT 2006

Well, that post was meant to be mostly humorous, hence the "Yellow Wallpaper" comment, but I would say there is some validity to it. Moral context is truly important, but if you constantly write about rape and mistreatment of women over and over again, then there would seem to be some kind of over-infatuation going on. Goodkind really does that more than Martin. I haven't read him since high school, but I remember some kind of violence (usually sexual in nature) against women at least 5 or 6 times in a book, probably varying from book to book. That could just be my own memory. I think the argument with Wolfe is similar. He could and does write about other characters being mistreated or lacking depth, but he nearly consistently does so with women, with only a couple of exceptions. I think that's pretty much what the argument is, and I've seen little regarding moral context, since only a couple of people have pointed to actual examples (most of the ones I think people have
 mentioned are exceptions. That's not a slight against you at all, just an observation of the entire discussion).

Jeff Wilson <jwilson at io.com> wrote: timothy fletcher wrote:
> I think this discussion is being too narrow. There are a lot of fantasy 
> and science fiction authors, especially modern ones, who portray 
> violence against women. Off the top of my head I can think of the most 
> extreme, Goodkind and Martin. I know that Goodkind is barely considered 
> literary, and Martin perhaps less so than Wolfe, but if we are 
> psychoanalyzing authors by their works, those two would have to hate 
> women exceedingly more than Wolfe himself. Tolkien would have to find 
> them uninteresting and ignore them. And what about female authors? 
> Should we look at more female authors and decide whether they hate men? 
> I find "The Yellow Wallpaper" suspect.

It's not quanity of violence against women, it's the moral context. Is 
it presented as a crime? spoils of war? just desserts? pretext to 
arranged marriage? harmless fun?

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