Some Musings on Margaret Atwood
by, 08-16-2012 at 10:15 PM (549 Views)
First off I want to start out by saying that I do genuinely like Margaret Atwood, I consider her to be among my favorite authors, I do not deny that she is a very skilled writer, and creates some very interesting stories. I posses several of her books, read a number of them and looking forward to continuing to do so.
But with that being said, I do find myself shall we say in disagreement, or at odds with her at times, and certainly I have enjoyed some of her works more then others.
I know she is a feminist writer, and thus her books always have certain feminist themes, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that, but there is more then one way to approach the topic of feminism and Margaret Atwood's branch of feminism is at times at variance with my own ideas and inclinations.
For starts one thing of which I notice consistently in a lot of her books is the fact that she portrays women in a state of victimhood. The majority of her female characters tend to be suffering from various insecurities, struggling with their body image, have trouble standing up for themselves, and tend to just bow their heads in submission to the injustices they are subjected to.
In essence a majority of her female characters come across as being weak, which makes it both hard for me to relate to them as well as makes me rather frustrated with him. I find I often do not in fact like the main characters (if all together any of the characters) in her books. Often my feelings will be very mixed. In which there might be aspects of them I do like but then at other times they make me want to pull out my hair, and I find it difficult to be truly sympathetic towards them.
I also notice that frequently in her books men are the cause of all wrong and suffering done to women. The men within her stories are consistently portrayed as chauvinistic womanizers, who demean women, emotionally abuse them and are responsible for all the or most of the women's insecurities. And while yeah some men are jerks being that I generally do relate better to men then I do with other women I don't really get on board with the "man-hating" branch of feminism. Not that I am saying Margaret Atwood is necessarily a man-hater, but men do often appear in villainous roles in her works. They are almost always the suppresses of the women characters and while that is historically accurate and certainly still is to some degree, and in various different parts of the world, it is still kind of irksome having her beat this drum over and over in much of her works.
Also there seems to be an oft double standard in her works in which it seems she tries to justify the infidelities of women while condemning the adultery of men. It seems to me in her works when a man cheats on a woman it is plain and simple because he is a pig. But if a woman cheats on a man, there is always some complex tragic reasons for it in which it seems were are supposed to be understanding and sympathetic towards her for it.
And one more little side note, with the exception of Cat's Eye, which was the first book I have read by her, and what got me hooked on reading her, and I thought was truly a fabulous book, I find generally I do tend to have a preference for her works that are more sci-fiesh in nature then those of which are more strictly realistic.