I’m overthinking it all today

First this article about MRAs being furious about the feminist agenda of the new Mad Max movie. TW for proposed abuse of girls and wives at the end (the post gives warning too, and there’s plenty to read before that part). The tl;dr version: the presence of bad-assed women turns the whole movie into feminist propaganda.

If only.

This particular brouhaha, however, reminds me of another article I read some time ago about the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Cold War. It’s a bit meandering (and has an agenda of its own), but I’m intrigued by the knee-jerk tendency to equate a writer’s visible philosophies, beliefs, or worldview with propaganda. The writer was supposed to become as invisible as possible, and I’m wondering to what extent do we still hold this ideal? Does the contempt for genre fiction — especially spec fic, which really is a literature of ideas — grow from this same root stock?

Thirdly, and then I must get back to work: a frustrated writer friend was complaining yesterday about a review of one of her books, where the reviewer essentially called her irresponsible for depicting two characters having unsafe sex. Apparently you shouldn’t write about sex in a book for teens unless you’re depicting best practices. Otherwise what kind of message are you sending? So… it’s bad to have an agenda if you’re making art for adults, but it’s irresponsible not to have an agenda when writing for teens? Am I understanding everything correctly?

If I just leave this here without further comment, can you still discern my agenda?


3 Comments on “I’m overthinking it all today”

  1. Quenby Morrow says:

    Seriously, if this guy feels so threatened it’s kind of hilarious. For sure, he just not expose himself. Who knows what might happen?

    Sometimes you’ve got to judge yourself by your critics and adversaries. I would never have considered going to this movie before (maximum death isn’t my thing), but now I’m interested. Though maybe on the small screen so I can get snacks during the gory parts.

    It would be nice if we had more stories about solving problems without violence. Gads! But one baby step at a time.

  2. betswilcox says:

    good point. apparently it’s bad to have an agenda about the big stuff that people should think about, like feminism, but bad not to have an agenda about politically correct stuff like safe sex. i guess stories should all toe the line.

  3. ellie says:

    Hmm, yes.
    Not that safe sex isn’t a good idea, but not everything has to be propaganda.


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