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Gender in Fiction With V.J. Waks
'His Take, Her Take' Book Review Ground Rules
© 2013 V. J. Waks and James LaFond
I have been working for some time with novelist and screenplay author V. J. Waks on a series of ‘His Take, Her Take’ book reviews. We have both, as novelists, wrestled with gender roles in fiction. I expect we will manage one every other month. Our readerships are both mixed, so it seemed a likely use of our perspectives to attempt a joint effort. Victoria has actually lectured at some Left Coast university about this subject. For my part, one of my editors informed me that two of my novelettes were ‘blatantly misogynistic’. I am also the author of The Microeconomics of Wife Beating. This ought to be a blast.
This effort represents an opportunity for Victoria and I to reach each other’s readers, as well as discuss works of literature as writers, from our own gender perspectives. The gender issue in fiction is huge just now, as the weight in science-fiction and fantasy has swung from an almost total male readership in the 1970s to a majority female readership today. Even greater is the disparity of shelf space between romance and mystery and adventure genres, which used to have close parity a few decades back.
Below are the ground rules, and their purpose. I have informed Victoria that my readers are fairly evenly split between combat arts knuckle-draggers and nerds, with a few hybrids thrown in there, to make the site look like a viable experiment. Both of these readership segments tend to have problems relating with women, particularly smart women [Yes Dante, they exist.] Basically you nerds [Yes, you Melvin] rarely get within fifty feet of a woman as cute as Victoria. Conversely, you meatheads send babes with her brain mass running for social cover.
Note that Victoria objected to these ground rules, and that I violated all three of them by insisting on them.
Rule One
Victoria always chooses the book.
The value of permitting the lady her choice seems to have escaped most of you guys. Melvin, your attempts to outsmart your lady into agreeing with you will ultimately result in her meeting up with Dante at a salsa bar and forever forgetting your name. And Dante, when she has finally grown bored with your twenty inch arms—uniquely decorated with barbed wire tattooing though they may be—you will feel that much better sitting on the curb after she has the cops remove you from her apartment, knowing that she was not hiding behind the drawn Desert Storm Commemorative Camo-netting drapes that you had sagely suggested.
Rule Two
Victoria chooses the title from amongst those I suggest.
Once again I am leading my fellow nerds and knuckle-heads by example. Take it from one who knows. Give up on choosing the movie you are taking her to see. I know that the idea of sitting through The Notebook when Machete Kills is playing next door is mind boggling. But it will get you guys used to putting up with your mother-in-law, and that inevitable weekend visitation thing.
Rule Three
Victoria gets the last word.
It is truly astounding how many of my fellow men do not understand the universality of this dictum. Even Genghis Khan let his old lady have the last word—then he killed every one that was in his way. This is essentially a point that will benefit you the most Melvin. I mean Dante is just going to stare at her ass for the second half of the conversation anyhow. But you, you quibbling geek, need to realize that the woman always gets the last word! If you nerds could just learn this one thing, than your ability to actually have a conversation with a smart babe may put you on an equal footing with that anachronistic testosterone vector with the tattooed arms.
Our Schedule as it stands in late 2013 is:
October: Dracula by Bram Stoker, titled ‘Kisses For Us All’
November: Queen of the Black Coast by Robert E. Howard, titled With Somber Fire
December: She by H. Ryder Haggard, titled ‘The Babe on The Page’, that was all Victoria ladies!
2014: Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs, untitled
2014: Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice, untitled
Do you have a title you would like to suggest?
That should take us through to Spring of 2014
Victoria has two sites on our network page. Click on RabbitHoleTheNovel for news on her latest release.
Look Ra, No Slaves!
‘Kisses For Us All’
winter of a fighting life
z-pill forever
time & cosmos
menthol rampage
songs of aryas
by the wine dark sea
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