Notice only men go into it. Why? Simple: women don't have to.
They know there's nothing there and can live with that knowledge,
but men must find out for sure.
Camille Paglia, HoL, p.357
There was a longer discussion about a feminist approach of of Leaves in the thread that is called "Is there *REALLY* anything to "figure out" about this book?", and fearful said towards the end of one of his replies:
And, again […] a feminist reading of of Leaves is still to be undertaken. The depiction of women in the book is both under-examined and inherently problematic, it seems to me.
- The author is a feminist, hence it is useful to apply a feminist reading.
- If an author explicitly develops female themes a feminist reading is appropriate.
- If the main focus is on women themes a feminist reading is appropriate.
- A feminist reading is useful if the topic of the work deals with discrimination of women.
- The female protagonists play "interesting" roles, hence they deserve to be examined more properly.
- Feminist reading is only useful if it contributes to what the basics of a text is about.
- It is the writer's responsibility to create tough and strong female characters.
Originally posted by John B.
Just to be clear, this is not intended to make a base flattery of feminism or women in HoL. Critical and polemic thoughts are very welcome, as well as about feminism as satire. Because the Paglia-Interview is a satire (each of the interviews are ironic, or not?). But what makes me yawn are smug superficial standard opinions. It would be fun to hear something more inventive than that.
Is Magda a feminist? Well every somewhat intelligent woman is a feminist, if not explicitly then in action, no? I do not have too much knowledge of feminist theorists. When fearful wrote the thing above I somehow had the feeling that this was addressed especially at me because I am the only woman here who has created two or three verbose essays about her ideas. Where are the other ones? As far as I can see there are some very clever ladies on the red side. But perhaps "they know there's nothing there and can live with that knowledge, but men must find out for sure." I did not pick up fearful's thought because, to be frank: someone brings up feminism and a woman is there to serve that topic - feminism is the kitchen of today. There were in fact other things that interested me more. And why now? Just for fun. Or to start something new. Or because there are some open questions about the women in HoL and I expect "feminism" to be a good answering tool. Because I have some concrete questions, but those have to wait until next time. Feel free to comment on anything you like in the meantime.