Women, words and the modern novel.

I find it interesting to note that the modern novel seems to consist almost solely of two things: a women in need of guidance, protection or love and a man who cannot or will not control his urges ( anger, passion, love and hate). It strikes me as a symbol of this generation that these are the characters we connect with.

I think all authors fall prey to mimicking their own personal desires in their work; I am as much to blame as any. That being said my writing usually consists of women desiring power, acquiring power and falling in love despite the flaws of her lover.

I say this knowing full well, as per my last post on books, that I am just as susceptible to reading this kind of novel. While reading these novels I get a basic kind of joy, but I cannot connect with a character that does not meet the characteristics I most desire. I don’t dream of being a woman whom needs protection from a man that can barely control his desire or rage. I want Mr.Darcy, whom is the better for his understanding of control and Elizabeth who faces her battle alone not knowing that she is in fact being aided.

I’ve now finished Deborah Harkness’ novel A Discovery of Witches. Which started off with the female lead having a semblance of power but seemed to have quickly deteriorated into another story about a women unwilling to use the power she has for fear of it, and only being able to realize herself through the eyes of a man. I find this a disturbing common place in most modern fashionable novels. Read: i am not saying ALL modern novels, but rather the ones that have become “fashionable” to read and carry.

I see this as a mental set back for the modern women. Stemming from a need to escape into a simpler life, in which cares and desires are taken care of by someone else. You found out you’re a witch and can’t control your powers? no problem! That hot vampire over there will fix it. you realize you need more money to feed your kids? no problem! that guy over there is rich and desires your hot milf body. your a misunderstood loner teenager, ostracized by a bad decision? no problem! that guys a misfit too plus he’s hot, a leader,intellectual and rich!

these novel, though great escapism, seem to indicate a bigger problem of women no longer stepping up, or WANTING to step up to face there own problems. A fear of owning up to the decisions you make and the consequences of your actions.  where is the spunky female who does it on her own and has a guy that is more then proud to help her? how come all the stories seem to be about someone taking away responsibility ? is it simply a need for escapist fantasy? has life really become so hard for us women that we dream of men controlling  demanding and deciding our futures for us? i can not for a minute believe that women would be happy if this was the current social state, but seeing women sigh longingly over Edward Cullens and Christian Greys, and even Matthew Clairmonts makes me consider that maybe the Buffy generation is a dying thing. maybe women have become so complacent in there desire for relaxation and freedom that they no longer care if someone else does the deciding for them, as long as they are saved from having to do the deciding.

i can not fully say why this grinds my gears so much, maybe its the shear adoration i see leveled on characters that would have been loathed by women a generation ago. Maybe its just that i would hate for the world to see me as a Bella or Diana ( discovery of witches) or Ana. or maybe and more realistically its because i wonder and worry that maybe eventually this will be the way women wish to be treated again. we fought to have the right to make decisions and live our own lives and i fear that perhaps this new found love for being controlled will be reflected in the next generation.

I hope for the sake of my own future that this is all just unfounded paranoia, that the reality is women just like escapist crap to latch onto and take there minds off the work days. However, with the outstanding success that has become 50 Shades of Grey and the frenzy for like novels that has followed i have to wonder what the impact on the future will really be.

what do you think? impact or no?

-Ginger

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