You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Female Man’ tag.

In thinking about the section Female Man by Joanna Russ that I found to be the funniest, I really enjoyed the section where we are introduced to the “WHAT TO DO IN EVERY SITUATION” book.  The references on pages 45-48 of these “books” that work as social rules are quite hilarious, however in the sense that language creates reality; Russ presents the reality in a very real sense.

“Do not get glum when you are no longer understood, little book.  Do not curse your fate.  Do not reach up from readers’ laps and punch the readers’ noses.

Rejoice, little book! For on that day, we will be free.” (Russ 214)

You have to ask here, free from what?  In keeping with the theme that language creates reality, I think Joanna Russ is trying to recreate it.  Even in the very beginning when Janet compares the little blue and pink books saying that “They do fit together so well” she is told to “Throw them both away.”  By throwing away the little books that are telling them what to do, say, and act, you then have the ability to create your own way of living.  In writing The Female Man, Russ borders on breaking the fourth wall with her last statement.  Her book The Female Man is one of multiple possibilities that isn’t necessarily classified.  At the beginning of VI, opens with a statement about tying ones shoes and that you either do it or you don’t…but then you can do it slowly, quickly, etc.  Her book is the liberated one of endless possibilities, of new language.

I also was thinking that perhaps when she was referring to the pink and blue books fitting together, she could be referring to the male and female.  Being that pink and blue tend to be the traditional colors for each sex, it would make sense to say that they “fit together” especially in a sexual sense.  By Russ having her character say to get rid of both, she could be referring to getting rid of two genders/sexes separated by how they are supposed to act.  The world that she creates with the novel and the women in it support this.