Kate Elliott -- Challenging Gender Roles

Discussion in 'Kate Elliott' started by Teresa Edgerton, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Since there has been a lot of discussion about gender roles in SFF lately, I thought this blog posting by Kate Elliott might be of interest http://www.imakeupworlds.com/index.php/2014/06/jaran-when-what-if-deals-with-gender-and-culture/

    Jaran is a book she wrote many years ago, but in the way she handles gender roles is relevant to the current debate -- but this isn't an article accusing anyone of anything or defending anyone. It's just about the way she worked out her ideas, and what was behind those ideas.

    Nevertheless, I think it is thought provoking.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2015
  2. Hex

    Hex Write, monkey, write

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    That is very interesting. I like the way she considers the more typical representation of women in power -- those who are somehow exceptional and either born to power or who can beat men at their own skills -- and how that doesn't actually do anything to make women, and feminine skills, respected and equal.

    It's an interesting mental exercise, too, to consider how society would be different and how many hangovers we have from our own expectations, even when we think we've escaped them.

    I haven't read Jaran yet, but I will now!
     
  3. Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    Back in school I learned that studies have been done on the effectiveness of committees according to the gender. Committees of five persons were studied where the composition of the groups varied from five men to five women and all possible mixtures in between. The conclusion was that the most effecient decision making came from the groups of five women... closely followed by five men. Efficiency (time spent, group unity, trust, and mission) dropped off markedly when both genders were present in a group.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat.
     
  4. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    Slightly off-topic - I remember in a similar discussion an historical figure was linked to - a woman fencer who traveled across Europe dueling gentlemen. Any reminders of who it might have been, please?
     
  5. Robert Mackay

    Robert Mackay Not all those who wander... Oh, actually, I am.

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  6. Michael Colton

    Michael Colton Well-Known Member

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    Certainly an interesting article. It has often perturbed me that most 'what if' questions or scenarios are simply technological or related to war.
     
  7. JagLover

    JagLover Well-Known Member

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    Interesting article.

    It is true that people tend to look at sexual equality in fantasy literature in terms of whether women can fight and other typical male roles. She is quite correct that true equality would be equal value for male and female roles that would need to be necessarily different in a pre-industrial society.
     
  8. Boaz

    Boaz Thaphireth!

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    I always found it interesting that in ancient Sparta only two types of people could have state funerals... with the highest priests, officials, public mourning, and formal ceremony... men who died in battle and women who died in childbirth. They were the two people directly giving their lives to benefit the state.
     
  9. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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  10. TheDustyZebra

    TheDustyZebra Dogged Staff Member

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    Is that link (Teresa's original) broken, or is it just me, or just temporary?
     
  11. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    I've updated the link in Teresa's original post - looks like Kate changed her site about.
     
    TheDustyZebra likes this.
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