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The patronising questions we ask women who write

(17 Posts)
thatbags Fri 18-Mar-16 07:28:14

Good article in The Cut by Meagan O'Connell.

obieone Fri 18-Mar-16 07:57:07

Some women nowadays can have had as many sexual partners as some men.
I suppose that thought has not yet entered some psyches.

Grannyknot Fri 18-Mar-16 07:58:00

IMO many of the new generation female writers need to get over themselves. I skim-read Caitlin Moran going on (again) about her periods the other day. Who cares? It's all a bit "look at me".

This woman should learn from people like you, bags and go, like, shrug.

mollie Fri 18-Mar-16 08:07:00

Thanks for the link, thatbags. It's a pity that there are still these double standards despite so-called 'equality'.

thatbags Fri 18-Mar-16 08:07:25

gknot, wink

obi, I missed the bit in the article saying the number of sexual partners a male or female writer has is relevant. Can you quote it so I can find it, please?

thatbags Fri 18-Mar-16 08:09:07

gknot, with your permission, I'm taking that "Go, like, shrug" as my life's motto grin

obieone Fri 18-Mar-16 08:24:15

The paragraph about sex and sex work.

annsixty Fri 18-Mar-16 08:25:20

I think someone who has one 2 year old has many miles to travel before she is qualified to write essays on Motherhood.
Diversion, sorry.

ffinnochio Fri 18-Mar-16 08:28:32

Interesting. Mr.ffinn has just asked "why the thousand yard stare" when I was mulling it over, so decided to join in with the 'go, like, shrug'. smile

Alea Fri 18-Mar-16 08:43:52

The overwhelming impression for me is that of the self-consciousness of the relatively "new" mum and writer.
Did Margaret Forster, Iris Murdoch, Virginia Woolf, George Eliot or even Jilly Cooper articulate such angst?
I don't think so, they just got on with it.
Too much navel gazing IMO hmm

thatbags Fri 18-Mar-16 09:12:19

Ah! thanks, obi. I had read that paragraph but it hadn't led me to think about the comparative numbers of sexual partners in men and women. Hey ho and all that.

Elegran Fri 18-Mar-16 09:46:24

"The overwhelming impression for me is that of the self-consciousness of the relatively "new" mum and writer."

I went to an art exhibition a couple of weeks ago of the The British Art Show 8 "a national touring exhibition that provides a vital overview of some of the most exciting contemporary art produced in the UK. . . . .it introduces a broad public to a new generation of artists."

The overwhelming impression for me was that of the self-consciousness of the relatively "new" artist. All the exhibits were about the artist, whatever the (mostly incomprehensible jargon) blurb claimed they were about. The concept of an artist/writer using their skills and experience to communicate "life" with the viewer seems to have given way to the artist/writer gazing inward and deep into their navel until they go round full circle and plunge down into it again for another circuit.

The "subject" of all this introspection (for instance, motherhood does have a child/children in its definition) is just a trigger for the me-fest.

thatbags Fri 18-Mar-16 09:59:26

They are patronising questions though, similar to the ones that prospective employers are now not allowed to ask at women at job interviews about childcare arrangements.

I bet older, already successful female writers found such questions just as patronising.

Re art and navel-gazing: on a visit to the public part of Glasgow School of Art, my friend and I noticed how the young artists pushed their art. I commented that they were at least (we weren't impressed by some of the art) being taught how to publicise their art. My friend's retort was: "They are taught how to sell".

thatbags Fri 18-Mar-16 09:59:47

cross out one 'at'

Elegran Fri 18-Mar-16 10:12:31

Agree that they are patronising questions - I wonder whether Scott Fitzgerald was ever asked what his mother thought of his work and life? Or any other male writers.

Grannyknot Fri 18-Mar-16 11:43:40

bags LOL. You have my permission. Even my blessing grin

Eloethan Fri 18-Mar-16 13:27:03

I can quite understand her being annoyed by questions like "what is your son going to think?", "what does your mother say?, "where is your son in the book?". She is quite right - male authors are not subjected to these sorts of questions that seem to me to imply that she is somehow at fault.

I thought it was a very good article and because it raises an issue that affects all women (i.e. that they are expected, as women, to conform in ways that are not expected of men), I don't think it indicates self-centredness.