I’ve become much more comfortable with not feeling obliged to finish a book I start nor read every word simply because of the sheer amount of works published everywhere – Books, Internet, Emails, Journals, Lecture Notes, Lecture Pre-reading, Microwave meal Instructions and so on…
One of the books I mostly skipped quite recently was Mark Pryce’s, “Finding a Voice: Men, Women and the Community of the Church“. Though the title and premise was intriguing, the content, not so much except for a few bits here and there including a quote from Virginia Woolf below:
It would be a thousand pities if women wrote like men, or lived like men, or looked like men, for if two sexes are quite inadequate, considering the vastness and variety of the world, how should we manage with only one?*
This issue seems to be more pronounced in writing with a typical modern feminist bent, although the ‘Dr who’ example above seems to kill two ideological birds in one fell swoop. I consider this such a lazy attempt at solving the “Bechdel Test” problem.
I would write a much longer post on this but it seems someone more worthy has beaten me to it here. The quote below from Alastair Roberts’ article sums up the issue with the so called “Strong Female Character” and other such representations in films.
What is perhaps most noteworthy about most of them is how much their supposed ‘strength’ and independence and their narrative importance often depends upon their capacity to match up to men in combat, requires the foil of male incompetence, villainy, and weakness, or involves the exhibition of traits and behaviors that are far more pronounced in men…This relative weakness—primarily physical, but also societal—is especially pronounced in the area of physical strength and in fittingness for and orientation towards combat.
The suspension of disbelief required of audiences watching many female action heroines is considerable.
*Mark Pryce, “Finding a Voice: Men, Women and the Community of the Church“, quoting from Virginia Woolf’s essay introducing “A Room Of One’s Own” . 9.