Author Gendergreenspun.com : LUSENET : americanlit : One Thread
How much of an impact does an author's gender have on the reader? I'm wondering how "Revolt of 'Mother'" would have been received by the public if it'd been written by someone like Mark Twain. Do you think Twain would have had to be so careful in making sure Mother was still attending to the expected wifely duties, despite her rebellion? Or do you think that if the story had been written by a man, it would be viewed as a more humorous tale, more entertaining than informative? I know Twain and Freeman had completely different writing styles, and that he had to pay attention to whose toes he was stepping on, too, but I'm curious to know if the story would have had a completely different message if the gender of the author were changed.
-- Anonymous, March 06, 2000
I think that yes, it would have been more widely recieved had the author been a man. It is very interesting that in that time period so many things were so dependent on gender. I believe that the impact would have been far greater had the author alone been more recieved as an author and as a person rather than the focus being so much on the fact that the author is a woman. I also think that the mother could have been more rebellious and outwardly so had it been written by a man.
-- Anonymous, March 07, 2000
It is within no doubt in my mind that the story would be seen as a humorous one if a man had written the subject matter that Freeman went by dealing with in particular-womens lives. I think that if Twain would have wrote a story like "The Revolt of Mother" he would show a definite symbolic meaning and some humor. Perhaps if he wrote a story such as this it would be an example of Pudd'nhead Wilson. Twain set up an intention to make a point about the injustices of slavery and discrimination, but it was a much more subtle outlook upon it than how Douglass wrote about. The difference would be the lack of complete experiences. People would have paid more attention if Twain wrote the story, but I also think they would not take the main message as seriously, and view the humor more.
-- Anonymous, March 08, 2000
Yes, I think you hit it on the nose. If "The Revolt of Mother" would have been written by a man it would not have been so serious. The man would have been making fun of women. He would have made them look stupid and he would show that the man is the one who has the sense to run a household. I think this perspective would have completely ruined a good story with a good message. Freeman was taking a stand and I admire her for that.
-- Anonymous, March 09, 2000
I agree with this idea as well. If the works by Freeman would have been written by a man, it man have been percieved as a slap in the face towards women in generally. If "A New England Nun" was written by a man, women would have been upset by the way Louisa was portrayed as such an obsessive cleaner. The would have looked at it in a negative way that was insulting women saying all that they do is clean and cook. I think that authors in these times were probably very careful how they spoke of the opposite gender so they did not offend them somehow.
-- Anonymous, March 09, 2000
I think if Freemans stories were writen by a man I think it would have been viewed as a humours story. When a women tells it it is serious because it is a woman's issue and something they dealt with everyday. Its kind of sad that it can't really be taken seriously by both sides.
-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000