How to Suppress Women's Writing Epub ↠ Suppress

How to Suppress Women's Writing ➻ [Reading] ➽ How to Suppress Women's Writing By Joanna Russ ➰ – Thomashillier.co.uk By the author of The Female Man a provocative survey of the forces that work against women who dare to writeShe didn't write it She wrote it but she shouldn't have She wrote it but look what she wrote By the author of Suppress Women's PDF/EPUB Ã The Female Man a provocative survey of the forces that work against women who dare to writeShe didn't write it She wrote it but she shouldn't have She wrote it but look what she wrote about She wrote it but she isn't really an artist and How to eBook ↠ it isn't really art She wrote it but she had help She wrote it but she's an anomaly She wrote it BUT How to Suppress Women's Writing is a meticulously researched and humorously written guidebook to the many ways women and other minorities have been barred from producing written art In to Suppress Women's eBook ✓ chapters entitled Prohibitions Bad Faith Denial of Agency Pollution of Agency The Double Standard of Content False Categorization Isolation Anomalousness Lack of Models Responses and Aesthetics Joanna Russ names defines and illustrates those barriers to art making we may have felt but which tend to remain unnamed and thus insolvable.


10 thoughts on “How to Suppress Women's Writing

  1. Lois Bujold Lois Bujold says:

    This classic book was written 40 years ago; it hasn't aged much Still pertinent And wonderfully jargon free and lucid like western mountain light I'd been meaning to read this book for years but was too busy writing to get around to it Happily I lived in such cultural isolation that I didn't get the memo about what women shouldn't write myself but I've certainly seen it handed out since then variously lately in assorted fascinating erasures The book seems to have started but not finished with concerns about women writers being shut out of the academic literary canon and asks less Why? than the less obvious and as it turns out revealing uestion How? The lit canon has doubtless moved on since then Maybe? Although if they're still presenting The Catcher in the Rye as literature pertinent to high schoolers maybe not that 1951 novel set in the late 40s about the time I was being born was utterly alien to me even back in the mid 60sThere is of course a whole world of books written by and for women with little to no uarter given to what male critics want romance which Russ manages to not mention here I think this is in part prudence but certainly in part the fact that the Romance genre has exploded since 1975 with much of its modern development taking place after this extended essay was written And a second and even interesting creative explosion since the internet and e books routed around all the regular publishing gatekeepers Fanfic likewise a largely female preserve enabled by the internet is likewise an arena where the wildest literary experiments are currently proliferatingThere does not seem to be an e edition of the Russ currently available someone at U of Texas Press should fix that forthwith but a paper edition can still be had here do recall reading one or two of Russ's early SF novels back in the 70s but I'm not sure I got them at the time Might be time for a rematch As an interesting historical note I have been told that Russ's first purchasing SF editor was Jim Baen so we have that in commonTa L


  2. Ginger K Ginger K says:

    After years of running across references to How to Suppress Women's Writing I have finally read it The timing on my acuiring and reading the book and my involvement in certain online arguments that I've stumbled upon lately about how sexism really still exists no really is probably not coincidentalANYWAY About the book First off it's a lit crit book with everything that that implies For those of us without the heavy duty lit background this means the reading will be slow Interesting yes Easy no The referencesallusionsname checks come fast and furious but if like me you've never read say Margaret Cavendish? The freuent citations of her work that assume a certain level of familiarity will be frustratingKeep going It's worth it It's worth figuring out what gets left out or deemed unworthy and how and asking why Because A mode of understanding life which willfully ignores so much can do so only at the peril of thoroughly distorting the rest A mode of understanding literature which can ignore the private lives of half the human race is not incomplete; it is distorted through and through Feminist criticism of the early 1970s began by pointing out the simplist of these distortions that is that the female characters of even our greatest realistic classics by male writers are often not individualized portraits of possible women but creations of fear and desireEach chapter picks apart a toolbelief that keeps women's writing invisible and excluded from the Canon Misattribution Impropriety of subject matter Unimportance of subject matter False categorization or judging pieces against the standards of a genre they don't belong to Exceptionalism Isolation from feminine influences Denial of agency And while the title clearly sets these obstacles up as something deliberate the text itself does a fantastic job of showing how these beliefs permeate culture how the ideas embed themselves in the minds of essentially well intentioned criticsauthorsreaders men and women alikeShe periodically points out how these same tools of suppression are used to deny a literary history to other marginalized groups she may have set out to expose the tools of sexism but they are also the tools of racism and colonialism and heterosexism and classism andIn fact in the afterward of my edition Russ acknowledged that she'd fallen into the same traps set along racial lines and added an idiosyncratic collection of uotes from literary works by members of minority groups that had been similarly ignored and excluded by the gatekeepers of Literature including herself as critic


  3. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    To act in a way that is both sexist and racist to maintain one's class privilege it is only necessary to act in the customary ordinary usual even polite manner I haven't allowed Goodreads users to follow me for a while now After years of letting the silent hundreds accumulate behind me out of some misguided belief that likes for my reviews was what I was all about I figured out that generating free content for an unresponsive audience drains like nothing else Even now when I am far less interested in getting others to read what I read and far in making them suirm all I get through the friend reuests is an interest in my reviews without having engaged with any of them a comment on my group's potential for advertising without joining the group some bullshit confabulation that attests than anything to the common feeling of entitlement to content on the Internet that comes without a paywall I've got it all laid out in my 'About Me' people If it's apolitical Entertainment that you're looking for where I trundle along on my side of the bond and you don't do shit on the other bye Motives for the dismissal differ habit laziness reliance on history or criticism that is already corrupt ignorance the most excusable of all surely the desire not to disturb the comfort based on that ignorance much less excusable the dim or not so dim perception that one's self esteem or sex based interests are at stake the desire to stay within an all male all white club that is whatever its drawbacks familiar and comfortable sometimes the clear perception that letting outsiders into the club economically or otherwise will disturb the structure of uid pro uo that keeps the club going Either you know what I'm talking about with this review or you don't Either you're going to make an effort to figure out what I'm talking about with this review or you won't It's really uite simple This book isn't a good place to start and it most certainly is not the best place to find resolution but in terms of midway points after you've read the Delany and the Villette and the Rich and the pre 1600 women's writing and the pre 1200 non European women's writing and the Baldwin and the Hurston and have hardcore committed to expanding your handhold in the likes of this cause you will forever know that you know nothing it's decent Bits and pieces that the sort of mewlers and pukers that boycott the latest Star Wars movie for black people and send death threats to those building monuments in memory of women slaughtered for being feminists fear above all else are here thirty three years previous The canon's a lie but it's a hell of a lot easier to deal with those who demand you be their mother in every argument if you've got a nice sized tome with hundreds of citations and no shits given to stuff in various orifices It becomes clear that a woman must be extraordinary to outlive her generation—and a man need not Two major issues I have with this is the juxtaposition of the minutae of Middle Class White English with everyone else who's not a White Male and as expected flagrant use of the sanity card For the first if you're going to characterize your centrism do it before the second to last section of your rhetorical breakdown and the first time you pull in a person of color to support your theory without supporting them The end section with your self satisfied description of how much reading you did as a poor widdle white girl about the struggle of Women of Color is real cute but in contrast to the professional sections of a new type of criticism it comes off as a hack job Second the sanity card jesus fuck You feel the need to imply that all people who reinforce the white supremacist patriarchy belong in straitjackets? Fine Stop fucking around with Plath You need to use schizophrenia as your own personal metaphor of power? Fine Look up some details about how the condition literally eats at your brain so you can really get a feel for the people you're boxing in as a trope for your own ignorant purposes You want to appeal to fellow feminists by throwing mentally disabled people like me under the bus? Fine All your followers are eugenicists cause mental disabilities include the concept of idiocy as well as crazy Now how far do you think your social justice is going to get? The idea that any art is achieved intuitively is a dehumanization of the brains effort and the traditions of the artist and a classification of said artist as subhuman Good uote piss poor execution Nice cross referencing of all those British and American and Canadian types Russ would be pleased to know about Munro's winning of the Nobel for Lit bad attempt at being inclusive Excellent commentary on the academic side of things that'll come in handy when I set forth on my own in those calcified halls of criticism bordering on grotesue clumping of everything wrong with the world in the box of delusional and stupid I recommend this to people who have already formed a stronghold of anti imperialistanti tokenismanti ableist fronts that won't be swept away by all the uotes and name drops Using this as a beginning isn't worth how much will have to be unpacked later on


  4. Janet Janet says:

    What an education This book had a huge influence on me as a young writer an introduction to a conversation that continues to this day the ways in which the world has tripped up the creative woman diminished her sidetracked and sidelined her In the process the book rescues many of these neglected artists from oblivion I'm reminded very much of the similar project in women's visual arts that resulted in the founding of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC the rescue of so many women artists who have been diminished suppressed erased Learned a great deal about the world I was entering and the many pitfalls the outrageous ways in which women are silenced It made me angry and it also made me cannier about the ways to withstand some of the slings and arrows prepare to defend my own work and that of my sisters A literary RiotGirrrrl treasure Went in an interesting way with Women of Iron and Velvet about French women writers by Margaret Crosland So glad I read this early on in my writing life


  5. Jason Howl Jason Howl says:

    Wow I learned a lot of things I assumed were true but hadn't seen discussed


  6. Ingenue Ingenue says:

    This should be reuired reading for all humans If reading it doesn't make you angry you're not paying attention


  7. Emma Sea Emma Sea says:

    It's uncanny how 30 years after writing the same shit still gets said about women artists and writers A great classic text


  8. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    Utterly fucking brilliant I hesitate to be melodramatic but it's been a few weeks now I've renewed it from the university library twice and I may not be over stating the case to say that this is one of the books that changes my life It's genuinely altered how I think about criticism I've got a to read list that tripled in the period I was reading it and I've been arguing with professors and blog commenters in a really different way than I used to It just the experience of reading it was overwhelming in the very best way


  9. Mieneke Mieneke says:

    Finally finished Joanna Russ’ classic ’How to suppress women’s writing’ It took me over a year because I kept putting it aside as it made me so mad Russ’ writing is brilliant that wasn’t the problem However it’s rather disheartening to see how much of what Russ wrote about in the late 1970searly 1980s is this true today especially when it comes to what is seen as valid literary or canon You’d think we’d have made some major strides but we only made it a disappointingly short way from Russ’ era There is still much to do


  10. Misha Misha says:

    Joanna Russ' HOW TO SUPPRESS WOMEN'S WRITING was published in 1983 but so so much of its content speaks to today Russ also understood institutionalized racism and sexism and privilege in ways that sound like dialogue happening nowConscious conspiratorial guilt? Hardly Privileged groups like everyone else want to think well of themselves and to believe that they are acting generously and justly Conscious conspiracy would either uickly stop or it would degenerate into the kind of unpleasant armed cold war with which white South Africa must live Genuine ignorance? Certainly that is sometimes the case But talk about sexism or racism must distinguish between the sins of commission of the real active misogynist or bigot and the vague half conscious sins of omission of the decent ordinary even good hearted people which sins the context of institutionalized sexism and racism makes all too easyI hesitate to mention this social dimension of sexism racism and class since it can be so easily used as an escape hatch by those too tired too annoyed too harried or too uncomfortable to want to change But it is true that although people are responsible for their actions they are not responsible for the social context in which they must act or the social resources available to them All of us must perforce accept large chunks of our culture ready made; there is not enough energy and time to do otherwise Even so the results of such nonthought can be appalling At the level of high culture with which this book is concerned active bigotry is probably fairly rare It is also hardly ever necessary italics since the social context is so far from neutral To act in a way that is both sexist and racist to maintain one's class privilege it is only necessary to act in the customary ordinary usual even polite manner 18The techniues for mystifying women's lives and belittling women's writing that I have described work by suppressing context writing is separated from experience women writers are separated from their tradition and each other public is separated from private political from personal all to enforce a supposed set of absolute standards What is frightening about black art or women's art or Chicano art and so on is that it calls into uestion the very idea of objectivity and absolute standardsThis is a good novelGood for what? Good for whom?One side of the nightmare is that a privileged group will not recognize that 'other' art will not be able to judge it that the superiority of taste and training possessed by the privileged critic and the privileged artist will suddenly vanishThe other side of the nightmare is not what is found in the 'other' art will be incomprehensible but that it will be all too familiar That isWomen's lives are the buried truth about men's livesThe lives of people of color are the buried truth about white livesThe buried truth about the rich is who they take their money from and howThe buried truth about 'normal' sexuality is how one kind of sexual expression has been made privileged and what kinds of unearned virtue and terrors about identity this distinction serves 118 19


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