Gene Wolfe and sexism (5)

1 Name: Bookworm : 2008-12-26 05:12 ID:E8JQ+QJa

Lets talk about Gene Wolfe guys (If you don't know who this is, get the fuck out)

Many, both fans and established mainstream authors alike consider him among the best, if not the best, writers of this day. Not the best sci-fi or fantasy or genre or speculative fiction writer. The best writer, period.

Regardless of whether you think this is deserved or not (and i'm sure some of you must find him overrated in spite of his general lack of mainstream success; I myself do not), the issue at hand is whether not he is sexist as seems to have been the accusation made in the past several years.

So, there you have it. -Is- Gene Wolfe sexist, as a writer? And even he is, does it matter? Does it make his work any less good or bad than you already see it?

I myself do not think he is a sexist. I think that, no less than any other writer of any stripe, he is not free from flaws, and one is that he does not have a particular talent for writing women (The few books he has written showcasing a female POV stand in evidence of this, I feel). To compensate, I believe he tends to keep female characters as a secondary or inconsequential to the story as can be so that attention is not attracted, though this clearly doesn't always work. In the end this gives a sense of dismissal to critiquing, feminist reader one might suppose.

I can see how this might impact many female readers and even some males, but for myself this is a non-issue since I don't much pay notice to how relevant or important characters of varying gender, race, etc are to a story. It would bother me if they were portrayed offensively I suppose, but I don't think any of them truly are. The characters may have a somewhat patriarchal sentiment toward women, but it's often makes sense that they would be when one considers the circumstances and environs in which they exist.

Anyways, long fucking post, didn't expect it to be. I am interested to see what others think, though.

2 Name: xx : 2008-12-26 21:22 ID:Heaven

He is that rough wolf in Wolf's rain right? Yeah, he's exist he wears a earring,noes

3 Name: Bookworm : 2008-12-28 03:31 ID:Heaven


>>Many, both fans and established mainstream authors alike consider him among the best, if not the best, writers of this day.


4 Name: Bookworm : 2008-12-29 05:28 ID:dQNZCBKw

Though my exposure is pretty much limited to the Book of the New Sun, I never picked up a misogynistic vibe from him; it's possible I was too overwhelmed by the sense of wonder and beautiful writing to notice. It's been said before, but blunt repetition will never be enough to hammer this home: Gene Wolfe is a beautiful writer. He could write the most misogynistic, racist, hateful tract imaginable and while I would abhor him/it for that, it would still be beautifully written and couldn't possibly tarnish his previous work.

It's probably worth mentioning that William S. Burroughs is also one of my favorite authors, who is a pretty good example for the, "It Don't Matter" crowd.

5 Name: Renee : 2009-06-29 14:06 ID:Rl6UZfoN

It isn't just that women don't take on a large role in his work. Haven't you noticed that a large number of them seem to be whores or tramps, that spend an unusual amount of time naked, seducing, trying to seduce, and so on? When they do come into the story, they need aid (whether they get it or not is another matter), or they are a sexual focus (some minor exceptions include the Mayteras, I think). Talking to other readers, it seems obvious that the male readers don't even notice this as a trend, which is just sad. I think his writing is not just sexist, but staunchly so. Yes, he writes well. But you can make an ugly car with high quality parts and master craftsmenship, but it's still an ugly car.

This thread has been closed. You cannot post in this thread any longer.