Not a Feminist
Just a few thoughts on something that has been rattling around my head this morning.
Regular readers will have seen a few posts lately on reviews and interviews I’ve been doing for Max Allan Collins and his latest book,Lady, Go Die!
I was pretty excited to have Max link to one of my posts the other day, and this morning I was equally impressed to have Max blog about my Vivid Scribe review of his book, claiming it was one of his favourite reviews. Aw shucks.
The thought that’s been rattling around with me is that he identified the review as being from a “slightly feminist perspective” and this struck me as a bit surprising as I don’t consider myself a “Feminist”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-feminist or anything as such, I’m all for empowerment and gender equality for everything and the like. I’m pro-women and pro-female empowerment as much as I am pro-men and pro-male empowerment, you might say I’m pro-people or pro-empowerment …. and I don’t really support anything that goes against that, for either gender. But this isn’t a discussion about the different types and levels of feminism and the perspectives on gender equality.
What I found interesting about Max’s comment is that, yes, I do address the representation of women in his novel, but I do so out of interest in that he’s working from a manuscript written in the 1940s – a time when women were largely treated and represented a whole lot differently to what we are now. Not only that, but the book is working in a genre that has not had the most enlightened history as far as the representation of female characters goes. As the review notes, Collins and Spillane’s novel does have strong and empowered female characters, but it is still a man’s world, and I did observe some of the language might be considered sexist by some readers. I just find it interesting, and I’m not being negative here, that making these observations about this book has categorised my review as feminist, if only “slightly.” Yes, I have a bit of an interest in gender studies and more than a few opinions about it. Maybe that’s where this review comes from.
There’s nothing wrong with it, I’m not complaining. Just observing. I wonder, if a man reviewed the book would he note the same issues and have his review labelled the same? Am I more of a feminist than I think I am? Is feminism relative to perspective?