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Old Dec 20 2011, 05:00 PM   #4
Journeywoman Healer
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here and There
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, Ship Series
Now Reading: Girl Genius (read it!)
Default Re: When has Anne McCaffrey become answerable to Feminists?

Wow, lots of teeldeer running loose...

Suffice to say, simply regarding Jaxom and the hold girl, a consensual dom/sub relationship involves consent. She has no choice--he's the Lord Holder, he wants sex, he takes it now. That's not dom/sub, that droit du seignur (pardon any bad French spelling.) Note that Jaxom completely forgets her later and she's basically never heard from again.

The only consensual sadomasochistic relationship we see is portrayed as inherently sick and wrong (Kylara/Meron.)

I don't actually see anyone holding that against Anne, as first, there REALLY aren't a huge number of BDSM activists running around (as it's something most people don't practice in public or worry about asserting as some kind of 'orientation' or right) and because most people dislike Kylara, therefore they don't notice that bit.

Brekke offends because the scene with F'nor pretty much violates the modern concept of 'no means no.' Anne wrote romance novels back when that's what one put in romance novels. One can hardly hold that against her.

But Anne's books AREN'T especially progressive by current standards. Lessa saves the day, but ultimately ends up secondary to F'lar and (inexplicably) Jaxom's story. Menolly can be a harper, but coveniently "doesn't want" to be Masterharper and can take care of the kids while writing her twiddles. Brekke gets a massive 'get of jail free' card where she doesn't have to assert herself sexually. Mirrim gets the CLASSIC "aw, some guy will screw her into submission." Almost in precisely those words. The only really "liberated" female characters we see are in Moreta (and the title character falls victim to the foregone conclusion, but we still have Desdra, Nerilka, and Oklina.)

But how many major female characters did we just list there? The critics are right, gender roles are not necessarily progressive by current standards in Pern in particular. But I think they might be more concerned about are there CURRENT writers writing stories in that vein and thinking they are?
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