Sexism In Novels

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REBUFF TO BUFF ONESELF

Humans are indeed passionate creatures yet we are expected to be the most rational living being on earth. Often passion is seen as feminine and reason as masculine. Does this divison arise during conflict with the other sex? By comparing two male characters from the texts, I will use the similarities I find to show which factors instill this kind of prejudice.

In the first text, _The Tenant of Wildfell Hall,_ we meet young Mr Markham, who most likely lived before the 19th century. We can assume this from how they greet by bowing. In his very first statement, Mr Markham augmented the lady unable to use her common sense: "Just as I thought. . .thought and suffering seem equally to have stamped their impress." (Andersson and Ernst, Streams in Literature, 2007, p. 119)

In the other text, _The __invisible__ Japanese Gentlemen_, we meet an old male narrator, considering the male bias reflections of the girl's career. The couple's conversation is seemingly common in our times as it is a dialogue rather than a monologue. Likewise this narrator's first statement is full of preconception (Andersson and Ernst, Streams in Literature, 2007, p. 126). Before he even could hear the couple he expresses:

". . .her own problem seemed too serious for her to pay real attention to anyone in the world. . ."

It is worth mentioning while the men process their evaluation, they also observe the features of the women as supplementray to their veiws. (Andersson and Ernst, Streams in Literature, 2007, p.126 + p.119)

To illustrate this we begin with Mr Markham where he reffered the lady's beauty as a waste due to her personality:

" the lady's temper is none of the mildest, notwithstanding her sweet, pale face and lofty brow"

Again we can see the same way of thinking in the old narrator:

"her face was pretty and petite. . . though she had a harsh way of speaking"

Paraphrasing it simply would be that beauty is a factor for a sexist attitude, such as found in our male narrators. Furthermore, in contrast to the men, the women are expressing their thoughts, meanwhile the counterpart are challenged to differ, but fail to succeed. At the end of the debate, Mr Markham proclaims:

"Well! you ladies much always have the last say, I suppose" (Andersson and Ernst, Streams in Literature, 2007, p.123)

Also the old narrator in the end declares:

" Her Regency counterpart, I suppose, would have borne a dozen children without the aid of anaesthetics" (Andersson and Ernst, Streams in Literature, 2007, p.128)

Instead of recognizing the women's sincere effort to debate, they dismiss them by adverting to gender based notions. Consequently domination is another factor. In these moments they disregard it as passion and resort to norms beliving they have been unjustily treated. In both stories we detect defence mecanisms. For instance Mr Markham reckons women are uncapable of digesting any rebuttal. (Andersson and Ernst, Streams in Literature, 2007, p.124) Ironically Mr Markham is guilty of double standards considering his last sentiment:

". . .of that I am fully convinced, wheather you are or not."

Similarly the old narrator believes the publisher is exaggerating the girl's abilites because he might be attracted to her. On the other hand, it is he who is superfical and underrates the girl merely on her prettiness. Probably he feels threatend since he is also a writer. Also his age informs us of the values he might be custom to:

" Old age saves us from realization of great many fears" (Andersson and Er...

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Source: Andersson and Ernst, Streams in Literature, 2007

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Inactive member [2013-07-19]   Sexism In Novels
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=59300 [2020-02-26]

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