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Infinite Summer • View topic - Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?

Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Sat May 30, 2020 11:08 am

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The Inficratic Oath: first, post no spoilers. Limit your I.J. discussion to only those events that take place on or before the page 981 (100%).



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 Post subject: Re: Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:17 pm 
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Posts: 47
Thank you for the excellent Sontag quote repat. It's for me an interesting use of the word "bigots". I had to look it up to find out that it's not what I thought it meant and that my perspective on the word--and some others use of it--is incorrect.


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 Post subject: Re: Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:48 am 
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Oh! Good thread. I've been thinking about this a lot recently. I was reading a blog a few weeks that mentioned Pixar's inability to tell women's stories (think from all the way back: Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars, Wall-e, UP, Etc: the main characters and main voices are male and the females, when they are present, are sort of sidelined). And then the same thought occured to me just last week while reading IJ.

Maybe it is just DFW's maleness. And that is fine. He, being human like the rest of us, needs permission to be genius where he is genius and weak where he is weak.

I guess I don't have any snap judgments or in depth commentary on the matter except for this: I hope that more and more women find their voices and are as bold and outspoken about their experiences and stories and femaleness so that we can be blown away by their genius as well.

I mean, its not that their aren't women writing. There are. There are some pretty phenomenal and incredible women writers. But thanks to the long and great historical reality of patriarchy and misogyny its just true that there aren't as many. And that makes me sad. SO I guess that is what I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:49 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:32 pm 
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Problematic for me (a bit more now that I've caught up and see another instance of it) is the use of the word "diddle". Avril is meeting with young pre-teen girls to do "diddle-checks", and in pp. 510-511 the word is used a few times. The first time was harder to take: the stripper's severely disabled-hideous even?--sister scene where Wallace uses "incestuously diddled" for child rape, "[the father] would diddle his way to extremity" for have intercourse and orgasm, and talks about the child's "post-diddle face" (pp. 371-373). It seems to undercut the seriousness of child rape and the earlier scene in particular is almost like (that dreaded word which someone already indicated that when applied to the book as a whole, it pisses them off) a spoof of particularly sick case of severe sexual abuse--in which the grotesque is foregrounded. When you read the description of the scene you end up feeling that the victim is more grotesque, more of a monster, than the perpetrator. I have trouble with this. The stripper, the teller of the story, might have used the term "diddled' to distance herself from the events, and I thought that might be the case at first, however abandoned that idea because the voice sounds so much like the narrator in other parts of the book, not least because he keeps using that term in various ways, and because the Avril keeping-yourself-safe-if-you're-girl-child section also used the term.

If it comes out that the P.G.O.A.T. also had sexual abuse in her history, I think Wallace will take a less spoof-y tone. If that should be the case, I will wonder about why the switch. Nothing must make a child more lonely than having been made aware of, or the victim of sexual abuse.
It's interesting that he doesn't quite make the tie-in to lonliness with the stripper's story through the compassionate take one would have in discussing such a history if it happened this way in someone's real life.

What do other people think?


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 Post subject: Re: Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Location: Brooklyn


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 Post subject: Re: Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:42 am 
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My reading antennae did pick up one thing in the latter endnotes. This one imagined view through the wall into the female locker room (which I don’t think we, as readers, ever actually view from within), compares to the many many scenes we have inside the male locker room. Hmmm.

“Sometimes when it’s empty in here [the males’ locker room] you can catch snatches of voices and intriguing feminine-hygienic noises from the females’ locker room on the other side of the locker’s wall.”

a) No feminist jury in the world would ever convict an author of imbalanced perspective simply for failing to describe the inside of the female locker room.
b) I think the choice of the noun “snatches” in this quote purposeful, and lacking taste.

mm


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 Post subject: Re: Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:13 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:58 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:13 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Mostly Male Perspectives: Why?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:39 pm 
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