Some feminist thought from Roseanne


roseanneYesterday, I mentioned Roseanne in a post on my blog, Weird Perspectives, citing her as evidence that the gender revolution has produced real change. Last night, I just so happened to catch the series finale of “Roseanne” on TVLand, and I found my stance supported.

For those of us who have forgotten or never seen the episode, Roseanne’s parting words bear repeating:

Roseanne: “My mom came from a generation where women were supposed to be submissive about everything. I never bought into that, and I wish mom hadn’t either. I wish she had made different choices… I wanted her to have some sense of herself as a woman…”

Roseanne’s Mom: “You may think I’m crazy, but it is the women’s movement that has destroyed the family unit.”

Roseanne: “Oh yea, and she’s nuts!”

Roseanne: “Dan and I always felt that it was our responsibility as parents to improve the lives of our children by 50 percent over our own. And we did! We didn’t hit our children as we were hit. We didn’t demand their unquestioning silence. And we didn’t teach our daughters to sacrifice more than our sons. As a modern wife, I walked a tightrope between tradition and progress, and usually I failed by one outsider’s standards or another’s, but I figured out that neither winning nor losing count for women like they do for men. We women are the one’s who transform everything we touch, and nothing on earth is higher than that.”

Words certainly worthy of reflection, but in no need of further commentary from myself. Roseanne is a role model for us all.

Does gender affect our writing?


writing-2Virginia Woolf told us that women must have a room of their own and an income in order to write fiction. The latest discussion in the blogosphere about women and writing seems to prove her right.

On Salon.com, Amy Benfer’s post, “Let’s Tweet a gender war,” discusses the difficulty women face in trying to write from home, where they can be easily distracted by everyday household duties.

Amy wrote her post at her kitchen table, surrounded by the detritus from a recent trip and a stack of review copies of current books. I write this from my sofa, where I listen for the clothes washer to stop so I can unload and reload.

Later today, I will head upstairs to my own “Room of One’s Own” to begin researching a writing project on Bloomsbury pacifists for Cecil Woolf Publishers.

But I am one of the lucky ones. I have a quiet space of my own in which to work. My husband is at work all day. And my children are grown and gone. So I can work without interruption during the summer months when I am not teaching — if I can ignore the lures of the sun overhead, my favorite thrift shop down the road, and interesting Internet posts like Amy’s.

Writer Susan Orlean gave voice to the dilemna women face — in brief — through Twitter. Read on, then post your thoughts about your own experiences as a woman — or man — writing. Just click on the comments link below.