melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote 2017-04-01 04:07 pm (UTC)

Okay, sorry, I am going to have to write this out even if it ends up being unhelpful or I will be chewing on it all day:

It strikes me that while Joanna's *general* problem is the patriarchy, and I am with her on that, her *specific* problem (as you mentioned) is that everybody always told her she was a genius and a star, and that now that she has grown up everybody is not treating her as a genius and a star, and she thinks she deserves to be treated as a genius and a star.

And while those are certainly not two separate problems - it is certainly easier to be treated as a genius and a star if you are not also fighting the patriarchy for it - they are not the *same* problem.

There are many, many women who never expected that they would be treated like Shakespeare, and were taught that even if they are gifted, the most they should aspire to was an apartment in the city and a job they didn't hate and a cat and some good female friends, that it's fine to write poetry but you have to have a job that will support you too and being Shakespeare isn't that great anyway.

And those people aren't, actually, wrong because not everybody, even the gifted ones, can be Shakespeare, because there can only be so many Shakespeares, and most people wouldn't enjoy being Shakespeare anyway. And most of those people are not going to be excited when you tell them that the main problem facing feminism is that award-winning NYC writers get unfair reviews, which Joanna in fact does a couple times.

(There are also many men who were taught they could never be Shakespeare even if they had the potential because they needed to take the factory job to support their family. they aren't wrong either, not if they want a family more than they want a tiny chance to be a star.

And many more men who were brought up thinking they were Shakespeare and ended up with an apartment and a cat instead, and in my experience they tend to deal with it by blaming the Jeannines in their lives for their "failure" in a way not unlike the way Joanna does. I have known. far too many men like that. and far too many women screwed over by buying into it the way joanna does, while dating them. for me to give it any sympathy at all. especially since the solution there is not for Joanna to be lauded as a genius, or for us to solve patriarchy - you'll note that Janet is actually just as fucked up about "genius" as Joanna is, the text is just more low-key about it - it's for us to stop fucking up our gifted kids of all genders in all the myriad ways we do and to stop teaching them that patriarchalist/imperialist/capitalist concept of success as the only way to be a real person)

(I may have strong feelings about this)

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