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Ms. Trollope Rather Misses Her Own Point

Why should I pay for yours?

Joanna Trollope tells us that we’re really still a very patriarchal society:

Joanna Trollope on families, fiction and feminism: ‘Society still expects women to do all the caring’

Hmm, well, it depends actually. Who is it doing that expecting? Society? Or just the people themselves?

That is, should we reify those individual decisions of 66 million people abut who does what into some overwhelming force that determines? Or instead accept, well, there are different views in that 66 million and whatever happens – whatever society is – is going to be emergent from the interactions of those views?

The thing being, she then tells us that men and women are different, have different interests, act out in different ways:

Trollope is the queen of contemporary women’s fiction and seems to be wired to the anxieties of a devoted, predominantly female, readership. The complexities of life and love cascade through novels that have confronted lust, adoption, divorce, infidelity and the changing nature of the modern family.

These books for the wimmins, they deal with different things than the books for the men, written by different people, appeal to entirely different readerships:

She discusses her colourful upbringing, why men don’t read her novels – and why we need to stop judging

Folks are different, see?

“But I’ve just read Jonathan Coe’s Middle England and, although it was of course extremely good, I think it had a very male perspective.”

One of the axes upon which people differ being by gender.

Or as we might put it, the entirety of Trollope’s working life is dependent upon these gender differences. But the gender differences in caring are imposed by society are they? Instead of being just another aspect of these differences?

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Bernie G.
Bernie G.
1 year ago

“Trollope’s characters are not those common people who clustered around the “Costa del Crime”, but a rarefied breed who opted for integration into local life, albeit as landowners. “You could have acres and acres of land if you were inclined to have horses,” she says, disarmingly.” … “You don’t turn to a Trollope novel for literary style or cultural nuance.”

1 year ago

Society expects women into be nicer than men then.

That’s somehow men being down on women?

John B
John B
1 year ago

No, society does not expect women to do all the caring, woman are amiable and caring by nature, men generally less so, and so absent any collective expectation, the caring professions are dominated by women. 90% of nurses are women, not because society expects them to be, but because they like doing it.

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
1 year ago
Reply to  John B

I witnessed second hand how much the local school (and with the help of local businesses) did to encourage girls to go into the world of IT and almost none of them bit. It pays really well, but girls just aren’t interested in programming.

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
1 year ago

““But I’ve just read Jonathan Coe’s Middle England and, although it was of course extremely good, I think it had a very male perspective.””

Coe’s a milquetoast anti-Thatcher, pro-Guardian, thinks everyone who voted for Brexit was a racist. Just because he’s got the masculine gonads doesn’t make him “very male”. Very male books (subjects: shagging birds, car chases, fights,espionage) tend to be written by people who tend to take more of a right-wing political stance: lower taxes, less nannying, more personal responsibiility.

11 months ago
Reply to  Bloke on M4

With regard to murder, I have noticed that women prefer it retail, whereas men prefer it wholesale.

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