She certainly understands it all, eh?

“I used to love the power I had over men. Walking down the street, my mandolin-shaped ass swaying and swinging to their backward eyes. How strange that I only completely knew this power when it was gone.”

How could any woman of a certain age fail to respond to these opening lines of Erica Jong’s new novel, Fear of Dying, expressing the moment every woman dreads, when her sexuality becomes invisible to all, and perhaps lost to herself as well?

Now all we need is for people to realise that with this power than fertile women have over men there’s not all that much oppression and patriarchy going on.

10 thoughts on “She certainly understands it all, eh?”

  1. And all that oppression and patriarchy has NTDWI. No honour killings, no forced marriages, no refusal to educate half of humanity, no FGM. no breast ironing. There’s a long way to go, Tim.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    I find it hard to believe Erica Jong ever had much power over men. She ought to read more widely:

    I do like the Guardian’s book reviews some times. This one quotes this:

    “With girls, Nature has had in view what is called in a dramatic sense a ‘striking effect’, for she endows them for a few years with a richness of beauty and a fullness of charm at the expense of the rest of their lives; so that they may during these years ensnare the fantasy of a man to such a degree as to make him rush into taking the honourable care of them, in some kind of form, for a lifetime – a step which would not seem sufficiently justified if he only considered the matter.”

    Jong just proves that women in the 1950s lived the best possible of lives – well, as long as they weren’t Black. It has been down hill ever since largely because a group of mainly Jewish women brought up as Communists managed to convince a lot of people that their personal psychological problems were the voice of an entire sex.

    Now let’s see if we can tie in Playboy giving up the centrefold somehow ….

  3. Sheesh. Yes men being hypnotised by sexually attractive woman rules out oppression / patriarchy.

    That might be one of the dumbest things you’ve ever written

  4. Taking Tim’s words literally, this still means that nearly every woman over 40 remains oppressed by the patriarchy. With ever-rising life expectancies, the number of oppressed just keeps growing. Hence (perhaps) the whining.

  5. @AndrewM: don’t you realise that rising female life expectancy is a male plot to allow the oppression of women to go on as long as possible?

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    Ms Jong should have concentrated on something else that might attract men. A pleasing personality perhaps. Maybe some delightful conversation. Maybe a lifetime of fond and warm memories being together.

    You know, little things like that.

    Again we see men and women don’t have much to say to each other. Before the hormones kick in, little boys and girls don’t like playing together. After the hormones wear off, they don’t much either. The thing is to use the period in between properly.

    But did Ms Jong? Let’s ask her daughter shall we?

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