***The Female Man group read--spoiler thread

Snak75 Books Challenge for 2011

Bliv bruger af LibraryThing, hvis du vil skrive et indlæg

***The Female Man group read--spoiler thread

Dette emne er markeret som "i hvile"—det seneste indlæg er mere end 90 dage gammel. Du kan vække emnet til live ved at poste et indlæg.

maj 3, 2011, 8:43 am

This thread is to discuss The Female Man by Joanna Russ.

maj 3, 2011, 8:58 am

On the Group Read list in the wiki...

maj 6, 2011, 2:43 pm

Glad to see the thread. I haven't started the book yet, but this is certainly an appropriate time to do so.

maj 18, 2011, 10:05 am

I've just finished this and am looking forward to sharing other people's reactions. I agreed with the LT reviewer who said she found she had to keep reading so as not to lose the impression the author was building up. It gave me a lot to think about.

maj 18, 2011, 1:04 pm

I'm about midway--should be done in a day or two.

maj 20, 2011, 4:35 am

Joanna Russ died a few weeks ago on 29 April 2011, aged 74 I've just found her obituary in last Friday's Guardian:


maj 20, 2011, 4:53 am

I read here on LT that she had died, but hadn't seen the obit. Thanks for posting it. What a fascinating and amazing person she was.

maj 21, 2011, 11:53 pm

I just finished the book--going to think about it overnight and comment in the morning.

maj 24, 2011, 2:36 pm

It seems Joanna Russ and Marge Piercy think alike in terms of utopias. There are many similarities between Whileaway and Luciente's time: People mother a very limited number of children, 1 or 2; childhood involves intense involvement of the mother with abrupt withdrawal of that involvement; children at the age of 12 are allowed an enormous amount of freedom and self direction; a great deal of traveling is allowed if the person so desires; devotion to and work for the community is required; there's a rather casual attitude toward capital punishment because the culture refuses to incarcerate anti-social people; casual sex is normal; having a wide variety of sexual partners is normal; everyone works very hard; mood altering drugs are normal; older people are valued; art is valued; the communities are rural and agriculturally self supporting; there is limited use of very advanced technology; physical labor is normal; lifelong education is normal; an emotional attachment to one person is normal but completely investing oneself in that person is not, at least not for long, government is local and intrusive.

Both societies are safe and supportive of the individual and the individuals are committed to the societies. Either society would be a fine place to live, I think.

maj 24, 2011, 10:45 pm

Nice to see this thread. Love this book. I reread it recently.

The beauty of Whileaway is its imperfection. Its women argue and are irritable. They fight duels for no good reason, and they mercilessly hunt down the insane and criminal. Its children, who are separated from their loved ones early, plot how to blow up their new homes in protest. In short, its inhabitants act like the flawed people we all are, but their world is still a far better place than any of us have ever experienced. It seems almost achievable-- bracket the advanced technology and the plague history, of course.

Is someone going to mention just how damn funny this book is? A million little snide asides and throw-away learned references turned upside down. Yes, it's angry too, but Russ never loses her sense of the absurd.

maj 25, 2011, 2:53 am

I think the beauty of Whileaway and Luciente's home is that it does account for human imperfection. Communism, which was the great savior of the past was predicated on the perfectibility of humans. It didn't happen then, it can't happen ever. Any workable system, even a utopia has to take human fallibility into account.

maj 25, 2011, 7:46 am

I liked Whileaway too, and my favourite thing about both it and Luciente's world was the freedom to explore a wide variety of careers and interests, rather than getting locked into one particular path at a relatively early age and it being quite difficult to change, as is the case in our society. I also liked that in Whileaway, old age is the time of life when an individual has the most freedom to do what she likes, and thus it is something to celebrate and look forward to, unlike with us where people deny that they are aging and may go to extremes to keep looking young.

It *is* funny too, especially the fragments of conversation, which while appallingly sexist and infuriating, show both men's and women's assumptions of gender roles to be absurd.

maj 25, 2011, 6:00 pm

I finished Book #55 a few days ago, The Female Man by Joanna Russ (214 pp.). I had a much harder time getting into it than I did Always Coming Home, but I came to appreciate it in the end. Although nominally in the format of science fiction, it seemed to me in the end more of a stream of consciousness, complete with the fragmentation always existing in our personalities in this area, with environments then developed to support each persona. The pain in Part 7--it's like the feminine Howl, without the respect--I remember feeling that fervently, that desperately. Do 20-somethings still experience this today?