(Andrew Upton’s article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, 7/24.)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a male writer, when creating female characters, will tend to idealise, stereotype and/or objectify them. Consequently, the canon, a dubious construct at the outset, is composed almost entirely of (dead white) male perspectives, effectively devoid of a feminine world view.
It is a locker room, a private club, a mess hall. The worth of a woman in the narrative is valued against the degree, satisfactory or otherwise, to which she conforms to and confirms the male world order. So it is that the stories we tell each other shape and define our identities and the way we interact with the world.
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