Saturday, July 09, 2005

[The Limit] Trying to Understand Trace

Reading The Whole Woman by Germaine Greer today. Researching into Trace's personality. First question, from reading this and watching In the Cut a couple of nights ago, is "Why doesn't Trace feel more fear?"

"Female fearfulness may be, like the timorousness of rabbits or dear, adaptive. [snip] The truth is rather that female fearfulness is a cultural construct, instituted and maintained by both men and women in interest of the dominant, male group."

Here's something that validates an aspect of the script. "Daughters will develop more self-confidence if their fathers are encouraging and appreciative of their efforts." And the quote goes on, "but fathers seldom get such matters much tension and, if they do, usually demand objective verification of the daughters merit for giving encouragement."

There's quite a bit of information about being a woman in the police force here:
"Equality is cruel to women because it requires them to duplicate behaviours that they find profoundly alien and disturbing."

"As soon as a woman enters a male preserve [such as the police], she finds herself in an alien and repellent world which changes her fundamentally even as she is struggling to exert the smallest influence on it."

"Women who are inducted into masculinist hierarchies are exported tissue, in constant danger of provoking an inflammatory response and summary rejection."

"... the attempted integration of women in the police force was met by more or less covert insult, harassment and humiliation."

"'Either you try to be one of the boys, or you're on your own and you become a target.'"
QUESTION: what is the ratio of women to men in the New Zealand police force? At all levels?

And a couple of other bits I found interesting:

"The conversations between males; when women make a contribution the men ignore it and respond to the last utterance by a male." I've noticed this many times and really dislike it.

"A few men hate all women all of the time, some men hate some women all of the time, and all men hate some women some of the time." I know I've hated some people who happened to be women but I don't think I've hated anyone because they were a woman.


Jenni said...

this reminded me of something interested I read in my "Why Gender Matters" book yesterday about rape.

There's a myth that some women want to be raped, and will enjoy it.

No women enjoy rape.

...But some women think that *other* women want to be raped, or would enjoy it. That's how prevalent that myth is.

I'm not sure how exhaustive the research that proved that is, but it was interesting all the same.

The fear thing is very real though, it's always astounded me that Lee never worries about walking alone and night and I do whatever I can to avoid that situation.

hix said...

Have you seen In the Cut? It feels like a photo-essay by Jane Campion to get men to understand what that fear is like. Excellent movie - but yeah, by even 10 minutes in, I was asking, "Is this really what it's like to be a woman?" and thinking yeah, that fear probably is a big element.

... but is the book suggesting that "the myth that some women want to be raped, and will enjoy it" is (in part) being propagated by some women?

I guess I don't get the 'why' behind why they'd do that.

Jenni said...

I actually found In the Cut very boring, so only watched the first half. But then I already have 'the fear' right? :)

As for the book, yes it is saying that the myth is so very prevalent that even though some women know it isn't true for *them* it's probably true for some other women.

Maybe it's a kind of extension of the slut thing, if a woman is seen to be sleeping with lots of different men she's a slut, so she might enjoy other stuff too?

mundens said...

While it may be true that there aren't any women who would enjoy rape (though given the broad range of kink out there and the strange things people _do_ like, I'd be very hesitant to say that there are _no_ such women), there are certainly quite a lot of women who have rape _fantasies_, and a large number of women who enjoy being dominated into sex, often by people they don't know or in situations where they have little to no control over what will happen.

None of this makes rape any less of a crime, I'm merely pointing out that rape in _fiction_ may be enjoyable to some women, because it feeds their fantasy.

The number of women's romance novels that involve a forceful man taking the woman, against her stated wishes, though not neccessarily against her desires, is reportedly quite high, and I can't believe that they were all written by men wantng to re-enforce the sterotype!

mundens said...

Further to my previous commment, you might find this article (purportedly written by a woman, though as this is the internet I can't verify that!) offers a little insight.