Originally Posted by Bokonon
Wonderful, sleepy, that goes right to the heart of the matter. I didn't hear admiration from either of them, but much more so from Liz. I heard bemused consternation, amounting to damning by faint praise. "Oh look, the rapist actually got a woman to talk to him. I wonder how he did that?"
But I certainly will agree that others may have taken it more benignly. It's the decades long underlying narrative I'm tired of: Every sexual act is a rape. I'll stipulate that post-post-post-feminism (or wherever the hell we are now -- I've lost track) may have moved on from that, but not very far, as evidenced (to me) by this part of the conversation.
Thanks for the superbly subtle comment.
I'd have to re-listen to that part of the conversation to be sure, and I don't care enough to spend the time, but I thought they were expressing genuine admiration for male non-fiction writers' ability to overcome the trepidation that people might reasonably feel when a male stranger travelling alone rings their bell (or calls, or accosts them in public, or whatever) and asks for permission to interview them or follow them around or come into their home or whatever. The tone of that section seemed to be, "people always ask us whether it's hard to be a female journalist, but we actually think we have it relatively easy, since people are less likely to find a female stranger threatening."
The section where I did
sense more scorn toward male writers was when they were talking about how, for instance, Philip Roth or John Updike were probably never expected to worry about changing the sheets for their houseguests, whereas female writers' need for time and space in which to write is treated as much less sacrosanct. They're probably correct about Roth and Updike not having to deal with the mundane running of their households, but I wonder if that's as much a generational thing as a gender thing---I'd bet that male writers under 50, even extremely successful ones, are now expected to do a lot more laundry or dishwashing or grocery shopping or whatever than their older counterparts ever were.