Is this the Angle to the Clinton-Lewinsky Saga That Feminists Turned A Blind Eye to?

I started reading this book at bedtime, and after the first chapter, I couldn’t put it down. I had to stay up and finish it, just to find out if the Clinton-Lewinsky theme that I perceived in the first chapter, played out through the rest of the book. And for me, it did!

This is ‘The Penelopiad,’ one of Atwood’s lesser read books, and in it she retells the story of Homer’s famous epic, ‘The Odyssey.’ It’s a thin book, a fast read, and even if you are not familiar with Homer’s version it’s OK, because Atwood sticks to the original storyline. The story is about Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, and his wife Penelope. When Penelope’s beautiful cousin Helen of Troy is abducted, Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan war and returns home to Penelope after 20 years, and many adventures. And while he plays the field, making as many love conquests as war victories, Penelope remains loyal to him despite overtures from male suitors, who actually are more interested in the wealth and power she had hold over, than in her. Odysseus is unhappy about these suitors when he returns, and he kills them, as well as Penelope’s twelve maids-in-waiting by hanging them.

However, where Homer’s version is through the eyes of a male narrator and explored within a patriarchal context, Atwood’s version (not surprisingly), is through the eyes of a female narrator (Penelope’s eyes after she’s dead), and explored within a feminist context. And this is what makes it really interesting. This is the same story, yet the questions asked and the conclusions reached by a female narrator give this epic a whole different twist.

What for me was most fascinating was the Clinton-Lewinsky twist. It is true, that the lure of mythologies is that they provide a philosophical framework in which we can eternally recognize patterns of human behavior, responses and relationships. Yet, as I read on to the end, I did wonder, if Atwood was inspired by the Clinton-Lewinsky account in her reading of The Odysseus. Below I share some of these specific excerpts from the book. You decide! (more…)

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#Feminism Wouldn’t Do Its Job If It Didn’t Piss Off a Few People!

Below I share an excerpt from an article I just came across, “Why Feminism Needs to be Angry” by Will Robert — a man!  Loved it!  Also see my article “Why Kali Won’t Rage: A Critique of Indian Feminism

Beth Sutton’s interruption of Monday’s debate to denounce  George Galloway as a ‘rape apologist’ may not have been the popular choice but it did succeed, in a small way, in bringing these issues to the forefront.  The outspoken anger that Ms. Sutton displayed on Monday, (which the article claims to devalue the feminist movement) has long been a necessary facet of pushing forward woman’s rights. Voting rights, divorce rights etc. were won through aggressive public campaigning and often without the support of public opinion. 

Presenting a sanitised version of feminism so that it is palatable for the majority does not push woman’s rights forward in any meaningful way. People assume feminist rhetoric against the patriarchy must be anti-man when it is actually fighting against the dominance of men. Accusing modern feminism of fighting for the superiority of women is therefore a weak and misguided criticism…Yet the issue at stake is if men feel threatened by feminism and, as a man, I do not. So I agree with Jonas that “feminism is for everyone” yet it shouldn’t have to bend, compromise or change in order to include everyone. Feminism wouldn’t be doing its job properly if it didn’t irritate a large number of people. So what if it pisses a few people off?

Why does @WomenUndrSiege Hide the Dirty Secrets of India’s Female Gendercide?

 

For the last 10 years, I have been researching, writing and working through my online campaign, The 50 Million Missing, to raise awareness about India’s ongoing female genocide.  More than 50 million women have been eliminated from India, subjected to every form of violence, at every stage of life.  (See this video)

I realize that many people don’t know! That’s why we have this campaign.  And when they find out many are very supportive.

But I find, the biggest resistance in the west are are women’s and human rights groups, people who have some awareness about what’s going on, and who turn and look away even when I provide them with the information.

And I’m writing this blog to tell you about one such incidence with a blog called “Women Under Siege” and to ask why this is so? (more…)

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