Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Woman's World: what it takes to be a woman
During my reading of Graham Rawle's Woman's World, one very specific idea kept coming to mind: is this really how he views women? While the character of Norma is more outgoing than her male counter-part Roy, both of them are easily interchangeable. Rawle over-simplifies the life of a woman to simply revolve around cleaning and looking fabulous. He seems to suggest that with the right amount of makeup and a pretty dress, any man can become a woman and have it be completely convincing. Now, this may just be a disillusion of Norma's, but the method of Rawle's construction of the novel itself seems to suggest otherwise. To fully convey the "woman's world," Rawle collected woman-specific magazines and compiled a novel based on pop-culture and advertising of the time. His view of women only covers surface-level characteristics. Yes, women tend to take care of the home and wear makeup, but by completely ignoring any deeper levels, the story comes off as semi-chauvinistic. Early in the story, as Norma is narrating, she says, "It's normally so unlike a man to know about such things" (23). While she is commenting on knowledge about shoes, she might have well been commenting on a man's knowledge of the multi-faceted world of a woman. Graham Rawle's superficiality wanes on borderline offensiveness.