Gender politics in reading groups

Posted by Guy Pringle, 8th July 2010

This week I had the happy circumstance of discussing The Glass Room with both the groups I belong to here in Winchester. The book was my suggestion because I had enjoyed it as a personal read and thought there was potential for a group read.


At this point I should declare that I am the sole man in both groups and feel very privileged to still be welcomed 5 years after joining. Having said that, I do serve a purpose as ‘the honorary man’ (or ‘male member’ as some would have it) to explain the masculine viewpoint in many of the books we read.


Of course, this is quite a mantle to assume when men are obviously such different animals in their own right without the narrative needs that drive an author to push them into complex situations I would run a mile to avoid.


This week presented another variation on the cry ‘because he’s a bloke’ when discussing why Viktor willingly consorts with a prostitute even though his marriage, at that stage at least, was still new and exciting. The thought crossed my mind that although we had often had similar cries, I can’t recall an occasion when the other woman in the equation came in for much criticism. Now perhaps I’m being thin-skinned but I would have loved to venture down that avenue of discussion. Unfortunately, it was not to be because, being a bloke, I had to rush off to see the second half of a very important football match.


Marjorie Neilson said...

Hi Folks - Having had a senior moment, I wondered if I had missed a book off the list posted re World Book Night givers list. The book at number 2 on the list is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. A book I have not yet read and perhaps I should.

Posted on Sat 09 Jul 2011 @ 07:53

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