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Thread: Double Standard for the Women in Literature

  1. #1

    Double Standard for the Women in Literature

    Do you think that most female characters in literature are always related to adultery? I've stumbled upon this article: Women in Literature by Simone Klugman and upon reading it, I've realized that although the action/pursuit was deemed wrong during the setting, it is very reflective of how inherently strong and passionate women are in terms of seeking their true joy and happiness.

    Do you agree? Thoughts please...

  2. #2
    Registered User Clopin's Avatar
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    Most? Uh... no.
    So with the courage of a clown, or a cur, or a kite jerkin tight at it's tether

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    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    Definitely not. It probably depends on the era.

    Maybe some are perceived to be that way as we women sometimes get jealous for no reason, but I wouldn't say most women characters are that kind of character. If only because the subject is/was taboo.
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

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    I find that a very odd question - bizarre. What on earth could prompt it? Reading a couple of Late nineteenth century European novels perhaps? Is it the Anna K syndrome I wonder?

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    I just found it confusing. Are most of them always related to adultery? So some could still be only often related? Or always related some of the time, but sometimes related all of the time? It was too much like a math problem. Just let me read.

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    Registered User Clopin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ennison View Post
    I find that a very odd question - bizarre. What on earth could prompt it? Reading a couple of Late nineteenth century European novels perhaps? Is it the Anna K syndrome I wonder?

    There's more male adultery in Anna Karenina anyway.
    So with the courage of a clown, or a cur, or a kite jerkin tight at it's tether

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    Registered User wordeater's Avatar
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    When a woman is the title character it's often about adultery: Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Thérèse Raquin, Lady Chatterley...

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    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    In some of the recent stories or movies I've read or seen the females have done more than have sex with someone else. Here are some examples:

    1) The Hundred-Foot Journey. This is a movie about an Indian restaurant startup across from a Michelin one-star restaurant in France. One female is the owner of the French restaurant who tries to damage her competitor but later becomes friends with the Indian owner. (No adultery). One female was the envious friend of the the Indian son's cooking ability. (No adultery) Other females were sisters of the Indian son. (No adultery).

    2) Breaking Bad. Skylar does commit adultery about midway through the series. (Adultery) Skylar's sister Marie does not commit adultery. (No adultery) They are both pains to be around in their own way, but so are the male characters. Jesse's two female lovers don't commit adultery. (No adultery) They do die tragically. Perhaps dying is as bad from a male perspective as being adulterous.

    3) Arabian Nights (chapter 1). In one of the stories a merchant takes a woman he meets on the street home as his wife at her request. Back home his two brothers try to kill him by throwing him and his new wife into the ocean to drown to get his fortune. It turns out his wife is some sort of genie with superpowers. She saves her husband and then tries to convince him to let her kill his brothers. He refuses. She stops asking him for permission and turns them into dogs for ten years. I guess you can't blame her. They did try to kill her as well. (No adultery)
    Last edited by YesNo; 02-21-2015 at 12:13 PM.

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I'm racking my brains to think of any adulterous women in Shakespeare.

    Some of the most important, and I suspect most of the second rate, novels in England in the C19 were written by women. Jane Austen has only a little sympathy for Maria Bertram and no interest in her whatever after her fall.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Bohemian Marbles's Avatar
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    I guess this impression comes from the famous classics of the 19th century, and society's attitudes towards adultery. Whereas male adultery was a casual matter of winks and japes, female adultery was an earth-shattering instance that destroyed families and upset towns and cities. But recently? At least I don't see any special fixation with adulterous women characters; the field is pretty even. But I could be wrong - comes to my mind John Updike's bevy of adulterous women characters. Perhaps male writers love to create adulterous women. Old modes of representation have perhaps in some way continued into contemporary fiction.
    But you, cloudless girl, question of smoke, corn tassel
    You were what the wind was making with illuminated leaves.
    ah, I can say nothing! You were made of everything.

    _Pablo Neruda

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    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I think the following is the blog post by Simone Klugman that the OP refers to: http://simoneklugman.com/women-literature/

    The general question seems to be: Are women treated differently than men with regards to adultery?

  12. #12
    Registered User Clopin's Avatar
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    "When we think of women in literature it is usually in connection with adultery."

    No... it's usually not. With that first wildly untrue assertion I can pretty much tell this is going to be a crappy blog post.
    So with the courage of a clown, or a cur, or a kite jerkin tight at it's tether

  13. #13
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I agree. It doesn't make sense.

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    it's always about men. but not adultery. just women talking or thinking or etc about men.

  15. #15
    Registered User Clopin's Avatar
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    No, it isn't. Read more.
    So with the courage of a clown, or a cur, or a kite jerkin tight at it's tether

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