10.07.2004

Four of eighteen members of the Nobel committee are women--this is about standard in the lit world, as we are determining in our massive statistics endeavor.

The NYT article on new Nobel Prize recipient, Austrian poet Elfriede Jelinek, claims:
Her recent works are variations on one of her basic themes: the seemingly inability of women to fully find themselves, and live out their lives in a world where they are glossed over by and as stereotypes.
What does that mean? Are educated people this bad at talking about sexism? "Glossed over by and as stereotypes"? I don't know Jelinek's work but come on. "Seemingly inability of"?

This inept language totally gets my goat. The big story, socially, right now in the West is that it has only been thirty years since women entered the workforce as the equals of men. We are all feminists now: even our idiot president would agree that women deserve the same social, economic, and political rights as men. The impact of the women's movement in the past thirty years, sociologists are now determining, has created greater change than the entire industrial revolution did.

This, in addition to environmental devastation and globalization, is the big story playing out as we somehow manage to get over that inability to "live out our lives." Yet the public discourse on it, even in one of our so-called liberal media outlets, is pathetic.

It's that thing where something hits so close to the bone, so close to people's insecurities in their daily lives, that to talk about it is simply too threatening.

That thing where when I bring up the gender imbalance in the literary world people with a stake in it look at me like they just found out I snuck into the Yale party from my Southern Connecticut State dorm.

Okay, I have to go now, it's time to fully find myself. I'll see what I can do to avoid those nasty stereotypes barrelling down the Park Slope byways, trying their darnedest to gloss me over, gloss me into the ground, by and as.

xo
--Elizabeth
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