The Dispossessed

Discussion in 'Ursula K Le Guin' started by The Master™, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. The Master™

    The Master™ Science fiction fantasy

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    I'm currently reading this book... So far, got to page 30 (yeah, okay I'm a slow reader)...

    Did someone once say that Ursula Le Guin is/was a bit of an ardant Feminist???

    The only reason I ask, is that in those first 30 pages, there is a discussion between two men about women and worth - from two opposing sides...

    Do all her books have feminist over-tones??? Concentrating upon that as the theme, but setting it in a sci-fi context???
     
  2. Esioul

    Esioul The weird one

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    I read some short stories by her, and they did seem a little bit feminist... but I'ma feminist so it didn't upset me ;)

    I haven't read the Dispossessed but I've heard of it, so I ought to. (Always seem to be saying that about books).
     
  3. The Master™

    The Master™ Science fiction fantasy

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    I'm not upset by the feminism... In fact I agree with a number the statements made in the book (so far)... Long way to go before the end...

    I was just curious as to whether people thought she is a genuine Sci-Fi writer, or a feminist trying to put her views across using Sci-Fi as her medium...
     
  4. Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Knivesout no more

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    Ohe there is definitely more to her than feminism unlike, say, Sheri S Tepper. In The Disposessed I'd say that feminism is just one of the various ideas she is dealing with. She's also contrasting different kinds of political set-up and so on. Certainly, she is most interested in society rather than in tech-spec, and is in fact the daughter of a noted anthropologist.
     
  5. The Master™

    The Master™ Science fiction fantasy

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    Sherri Tepper is a feminist writer??? So, I'll be having fun reading "GRASS"???
     
  6. Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Knivesout no more

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    I suspect so, although I haven't read that particluar book. The thing is, she repeats the theme of tearing down an opressive patriarchal system often enough to get tedious, even though I am quite in sympathy with the sentiment.
     
  7. flash

    flash Member

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    ever thought that a oppressive patriarchal society is tedious? Think she writes like shes got something to say and does it well, always thought of her more as a ecological writer... grass is by far her greatest book.
     
  8. Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Knivesout no more

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    Of course, any sort of opressive system is tedious - it's just that Tepper's consistent levelling against a single target gets as tedious as, say, a white supremacist's constant racial attacks or like that. And I'm not certain she posits a viable alternative - although there are several, in reality.
     
  9. ravenus

    ravenus Heretic

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    Sorry if this is a derailer but I saw a bit off American Pie yesterday...a bit since it was too crappy and boring for more than that...but one of the lines I liked in that is when this guy is telling his friends about what this "College Chick" (who is supposed to be doing a course in post-modernist feminism) told him about getting girls to be receptive to his charms "All you have to do is ask 'em a few questions and listen to what they have to say" :D
     
  10. The Master™

    The Master™ Science fiction fantasy

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    Isn't that a common courtesy??? Whenever someone talks to you as an equal, LISTEN...

    All society really needs is for the sexes to stop thinking that one is superior to the other, treat each other with commen respect (and not sex objects) and listen to what each has to say...

    The Christian faith seems to have a downer on women - The cause of original sin, the "virgin" mother, the prostitute, etc... No mention of God talking to a woman, no women profits, no women disciples...

    No wonder women needed to have the suffroget (sp?) movement and the feminist movement... Get treated like second or third class citizens can have a negative effect on people... ;)

    Just my opinion... :D [​IMG]
     
  11. ravenus

    ravenus Heretic

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    Prophets you mean
    suffragette, which means a woman asking for suffrage, which is the right to vote (Latin origin)

    Agree entirely with the point you make. There should be all-round respect by both sexes.
     
  12. The Master™

    The Master™ Science fiction fantasy

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    Okay, my spelling is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY off this morning... Must be the Summer Solstice or something... ;) Oh, and not much sleep!!! :D

    Respect is a good start... :D Now all we have to do is take all the man-haters and women-haters from both sides and dump them together on a large prison island to fight it out... ;)
     
  13. warlock

    warlock Member

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    Strange how this thread concentrated on the feminist aspects of The Dispossessed, since the book is mainly an examination of an egalitarian, anarchist society and how it contrasts with a capitalist, Statist one.

    Not many anarchist societies have been written about in SF. Offhand, I can only think of Salt by Adam Roberts, and Triton by Samuel Delaney that show functioning anarchist worlds (as opposed to post-apocalyptic disorder). It's an interesting philosophy, whether human societies actually need governments, or whether we could organise, live and defend ourselves without States and laws
     
  14. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    I really enjoyed this book and it was a valliant attempt to explore how an anarchist society might work as well as the problems it might face such as intellectual stagnation and the innevitable emergence of heirachical power structures in society.

    Personally, I lean more along anarcho-capitalist lines so I didn't agree with a lot of her ideas but it didn't stop me from appreciating this great piece of work.
     
  15. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

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    It's a wonderful book, the Left Hand of Darkness is a great book as well
     
  16. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

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    I belive she's a Humanist, perhaps with Femenist Leanings, but not say like Margaret Atwood etc
     
  17. CBellenis

    CBellenis Well-Known Member

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    Not sure how anyone female can manage not to be a feminist - ditto men really, in the same way as any rational human being can condemn the slave trade...ho hum!

    But Anarchism is the thing with the Dispossed, if we were all secure enough to allow true equality. She explores the concept in fiction better than I've ever read before or since.
    Much of her other work is 'what if sexuality were otherwise? How would we be?' and her answers are intriguing.
     
  18. Quokka

    Quokka wandering

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    Just finished The Dispossessed recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. It did leave me wondering though, Le Guin's anarchism is placed in physical and cultural isolation, could it have survived if it was as an independant state on Urras as opposed to a seperate moon/planet?
     
  19. Thadlerian

    Thadlerian Riftsound resident

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    That's easy. A woman sufficently socialized in a patriarchal society, rarely given the opportunity to develop critical thought, will fight against feminist ideals that threaten the world-order she has grown up with and learned to call her own. When oppression of you is a fact of your existence, it will not seem a result of other people's power abuse, but "the way things are".
     
  20. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. And, however horrific the norm is, for you it is the norm. Anything that promises change to what you are familiar with tends to be threatening... even if it is to improve the quality of your life a thousandfold.....
     
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