It all arose from a few critiques I received (mostly from a couple readers) of a chapter in my novel THE MALE AMENDMENT.
In my novel the main character, Mia, discovers a parallel world (no aliens here) where a matriarchal dystopia reigns. The women of this world are like amazons, tall and athletic; trained to fight at a young age and to value all things feminine. But feminine has a different meaning to them than it does to us. It has this sort of law of the jungle twist to it. It’s about beauty and power and that a woman is Mother Nature; the giver and taker of life. The men are somewhat anemic, as small framed men are desirable (and there are some brutal lengths that both men and women are willing to go to achieve this) and more controllable. Unmarried men are sold as slaves to do hard manual labour for the rest of their lives.
If hundreds or thousands of years of evolution had instead valued strong, and yes, bigger childbearing women, how different would modern day woman look and be? If smaller framed men were desired, how different would the modern day man be? What would this do to a society?
I was curious.
In the offending chapter in my novel, Mia goes to a bordello where boys and men tend to the, ahem, “needs” of women. There are young children in the bordello and that had a couple of readers up in arms. Their comments were that they just didn’t feel, in their hearts, that women would be capable of doing such things. Women were nurturers and that things like pedophilia were bound, almost exclusively, to male genetics.
My first reaction was….to laugh.
“Bah hahahahahahahahahahhaaaaaaaaaa! That’s a good one!"
When I realized they were serious….I was pissed off.
“You’re blaming genetics? What the f&$%!”
My story has been labeled as feminist (by women), even though I don’t think it is, and here are the complaints when the story bashes a hole in the female ego:
The women in the story are vain. Some think vanity stems from women trying to please men. I don't think it is. I think most men would say they prefer women to have a more natural look. (disagree with me if you like, but I know quite a few guys who've told me this) And besides, I've attended basically an all-girl school, and women still get all dressed and painted up when no men are around.
I think women are capable of every terrible and wonderful thing a man is capable of. Many would say that women are more peaceful than men and a world run by women would be that, a peaceful utopia. And maybe it would be. But have you ever worked or lived in a female environment for long?
Women can end up ready to kill each other before they’ve even met. Seriously! I’m not saying all women are like this, but lots are. Women also get this “more peaceful rap” because most of us have never been expected to get physical. You go to a women’s prison, or to a bad part or town where women are "in touch" with their rougher more physical side, and peaceful is the last thing they are.
Some have told me the gender reversal in my novel should not be as simple as just a flipping of roles. I say, it isn’t. I did not just flip roles! I thought about it, believe me. I’m not saying my opinions are definitive but they are not skewed to one gender or the other.
I’m not a feminist, I consider myself an equalist. I’ll argue male rights any day of the week. I think men and women are a lot more alike than we are different and the reason we may be so different is that we’ve been conditioned and trained to be that way.
For those of you who’ve said to me, “Equalist? Things will never be equal. Men can’t have babies.”
My answer is= *Eye roll*, and *slow clap*
But seriously now, I would love to hear some feedback about this. What are your thoughts? I hope my psychologist and psychiatrist friends chime in. Tell me if you think I’m wrong. I do so love a good debate!!
Would women, in a historical place of power, create utopia or anarchy? How would it differ from our own society? Are the faults of man genetic? That would mean the faults of women are genetic as well, right?
Send me a comment!