1. Jordan Reddington

    Jordan Reddington New Member

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    Is my novel sexist?

    Discussion in 'Novels' started by Jordan Reddington, Feb 5, 2019.

    So, the way my manuscript is structured at the moment means that the first half of the novel is set in a society where sexism is rampant (not only sexism but homophobia and various other forms of bigotry, sexism being the focus) and the main character, as a product of this society, contributes to this sexism inadvertently, having learnt from his male relatives that this is normal behaviour. Whilst this is clarified later in the book, and he learns that this sexist attitude is not an attitude that is acceptable, does having a protagonist that contributes to sexism colour the novel as one that could retroactively promote sexism?
     
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  2. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'd say no it's not sexist, if he learns later in the book that this isn't a good attitude to have. It's okay to write ABOUT sexism. Just be careful not to look like you're promoting it, if that's not what you are trying to do.

    One way you could work this is while he's sexist and saying things that are sexist and doing things that are sexist, you could show the 'victims' of his sexism reacting in a less than positive way. That would make it clear what your own attitudes are. Sexist people usually don't notice or care about what effect their behaviour has on others. So if you can show that you DO notice and care, that should take care of any lingering doubts in the reader's mind.

    Basically, don't let him get away with being sexist, if you can. His relationships with women won't be very fulfilling till he learns how to treat women as equals, and with respect.
     
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  3. Jordan Reddington

    Jordan Reddington New Member

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    That was my plan just wanted to make sure that it would make sense to do it that way, if I show that he's a sexist person and that this has repercussions on the women around him, and this then leads to him changing his stance on how he treats women, do you think that would be the best way to tackle the subject matter? I'm trying not to portray a message I actually want to write about to protest :meh:
     
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  4. ThunderAngel

    ThunderAngel Senior Member

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    If there is growth in the character where he transitions to a better way of thinking, I don't see why it should be considered a sexist novel. Many awesome characters have character flaws; some of them overcome them. :)
     
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  5. Jordan Reddington

    Jordan Reddington New Member

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    Yeah, I suppose the best method is to just tackle it like you would any other character flaw. I think the best thing to do is to clearly show the repercussions of this flaw.
     
  6. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. I think if you can show the effect his behaviour has on the women, then it will be obvious that you're not a sexist author. You don't have to go over the top or get melodramatic, but just make it clear that they are not happy being treated the way he's treating them. They could be hurt, or annoyed or subdued or even depressed?

    It will depend, of course, on the culture. If the culture supports him, then their reaction won't be very overt. But they will be reacting. They may not even realise there is another way to be treated, but you can still work in the idea that they are being kept back by the attitude of the men in that society.
     
  7. Jordan Reddington

    Jordan Reddington New Member

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    Alright sounds good, thank you very much!!
     
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  8. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    The high profile thing you want to avoid is what happened with racists and “American History X.”

    The movie was suppose to be anti-racist but alt-righters latched onto it anyway because it accidentally gave stronger arguments to the nazis.

    If you and me and we all agree sexism is wrong, and you write to the choir, there is a risk you won’t put up our best argument against sexism.

    https://www.cjnews.com/culture/entertainment/the-alt-right-relationship-with-american-history-x
     
  9. Jordan Reddington

    Jordan Reddington New Member

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    Ah I see thank you, the way my novel is structured is that the protagonist spends the first half of the novel in an extremely alt-right society, and the latter half in a very alt-left society and thus becomes a product of both societies and their political structures. If I tackle this correctly to show that neither society is favourable then hopefully it shouldn’t be a problem, I just wanted to get a general opinion on if writing a society like this would automatically somewhat legitimise these points of view?
     
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  10. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    lol If it gets known, I can't wait to see your Twitter-feed. Who's your target audience, the intellectual darkweb Jordan Peterson / Stephen Pinker / Joe Rogan / Sam Harris crowd?
     
  11. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    It depends on how well you write. No subject is taboo. One thing art does better than politics is delve into disturbing topics and allows the individual to draw their own conclusions about how you’ve presented your ideas/thoughts.

    Whatever our intent is focus on that. As for everyone else ... they don’t have to read your book if the topic sounds uncomfortable.
     
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