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[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
Have you ever read or watched something with a section that made you go 'What? WHAT???? I can't believe they are saying/doing/advocating that!' And then you trundle off to look at what people said in their reviews but can't find a single person mentioning it at all. And you wonder why they wouldn't mention because surely it can't just be you alone who had this reaction.

Something someone said recently about P.D. James made me remember that this was my experience reading Original Sin. I like P.D, James and An Unsuitable Job for a Woman is one of my favourite detective novels, but this book, well, it was just bizarre. There's a part of the story that revolves around a disgraced Anglican priest who was disgraced for interfering with young boys. It's not rape, but there seems to have certainly been touching and inappropriate behaviour. However, the story and the characters within it see it as a shocking and dreadful thing that he should have lost his parish because some lower class boys were encouraged to beef up their stories by well-meaning and obtrusive people when everyone knows those sort of boys would say anything and nothing too terrible happened. No, honestly, that was pretty much the gist of it, especially the bit about the lower class boys. I read that bit several times because I thought I must have been misreading it. But when I went to look not a single reviewer even mentioned that bit; the closest I came was a comment in The Guardian about James' tory (small t) politics and view of England.

Date: 2008-08-23 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meyerlemon.livejournal.com
Yes, see: Bee Movie, which had amazingly anti-feminist politics and rewrote bee society to be all about the boy bees, JEWISH BOY BEES (?!?!?!?) and nobody but me IN THE WORLD seemed to be bothered by it.

Isn't it funny how we all have our own gripes? You are ALWAYS upset by perceived terrible class issues, I am ALWAYS upset by perceived anti-feminist issues. ahahahahaha!

Date: 2008-08-23 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I remember you mentioning that bit during your watching! Didn't it say that bee ladies just sat at home baking while bee boys did all the real work?

In the case of P.D. James it wasn't even so much the class as the fact that she seemed to be arguing that clerical child abuse wasn't so bad at all and certainly no reason to end a man's career. AND NOBODY MENTIONED THIS AS PROBLEMATIC IN A SINGLE REVIEW.

Date: 2008-08-23 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lycomingst.livejournal.com
I gave up reading James after I read one of her books (and I can't remember the name) where all the lefts were father-hating murderers and the all the rights were decent chaps just trying to do the right thing. It was so blatant.

Date: 2008-08-23 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I must have missed that one... The books were always conservative but in a sort of Agatha Christie way that I could deal with and which usually worked in her universe. But this one...well, it's hard to really deal with someone who clearly thinks that in the good old days people wouldn't have complained about a vicar being too familiar with underage boys. It's a pity, too, as I think she's one of the better detective writers and does take care with her books rather than just churn them out.

Date: 2008-08-23 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lycomingst.livejournal.com
I know. It IS a shame. I still have my copy of Uunsuitable Job for a Woman, what a treat that was when it first came out.

Date: 2008-08-23 11:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sajia.livejournal.com
Was that the one with the skeevy philanderer aborting fetuses because they were female? I was slightly sympathetic because I've seen that happen in the subcontinent and at least she pointed out that all these upper-class white couples were doing it too.
I have a new test to see how sexist is anything a white boy does; see how it looks like if it was a Muslim man (or black man, or Latino, or Asian - take your pick) was doing it. I bet all the feminist defenders of the sex industry would have second thoughts if it was Saudi sheiks or Chinese billionaires profiting from sex work.

Date: 2008-08-24 01:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raincitygirl.livejournal.com
I got about two or three chapters in and found myself hurling the book against a wall for *precisely* t he reason you mentioned. I gave it back to the person who lent it to me before I could do it even more damage, and I haven't picked up a PD James since. Not a conscious boycott, it was just that the bits of Original Sin that I did read left a very bad taste in my mouth.

I bet she would've felt differently if it were girls. She's only got daughters, so nothing like that would happen to one of her kids. You'd think she might have a grandson or something, though.

Date: 2008-08-24 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I didn't manage to finish it - I kept reading on thinking that she had to double back and contradict that part, but no...

The truly amazing thing to me was (as I said) that Not. One. Single. Reviewer. Mentioned. This. Bit. How do you miss that? How do you not mention it, especially given all the past and current scandals?

Date: 2008-08-24 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meret.livejournal.com
I experience things like that all the time concerning the way women are treated in stories, movies etc. :(

Date: 2008-08-24 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
This is true, though with things like Rotten Tomatoes at least you have a chance of hitting a review that alerts you to some part of it.

Date: 2008-08-24 05:41 am (UTC)
ext_18106: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lyssie.livejournal.com
Any given episode of Atlantis...

Date: 2008-08-24 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Atlantis exists in its own special category of WTFery. I still have managed to resist this season but someone is trying to get me to watch the McKay loses his brain episode.

Date: 2008-08-24 05:51 pm (UTC)
ext_18106: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lyssie.livejournal.com
STAY STRONG. STAY STRONG.

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