Satire In Women's Novels

Words: 1041
Pages: 5

Men live in a perceived reality. That is, men and women hold equal power rather than the fairytale of having the “heroin [waiting] for the hero’s next move” (Snitow 6). Margaret Atwood’s “Women’s Novels” is a direct critique of the notion that there is a power imbalance between men and women, wherein women are subject to the actions of men. Furthermore, this impression is prominently channeled through the use of satire, particularly when examining the political implications of gender roles. The satire within “Women’s Novels” attacks the fantasy of the romance novel and the power that gender roles have within society. This notion is particularly evident in how there is an emphasis on a woman’s need to sexualize herself in hopes of achieving …show more content…
The classification of what constitutes a novel for both genders is stark, for not only are “men’s novels about men” but “women’s novels are about men too” (Atwood 43). In all aspects, the male gender must be at the centre of attention, leaving women to the peripheral edges; thus women are stripped of power once more. Furthermore, the fact that romance novels are formulaic allows for gender roles to have a powerful voice on the readership of the genre. Incidentally, the traditional gender roles heavily utilize women’s sexuality as a means to reinforce the necessity of the social constructs to regulate power. The unabashed imbalance of power between men and women is bluntly contrasted via novels, with men always “killing and so on, or winning and so on” while women can only “get the power by getting the man” (Atwood 44). Consequently, by attacking romance novels and their use of archetypical characters that fit traditional gender roles it is also implied that women have no goal other than winning the man of her dreams. Therefore, men must provide goals for women to accomplish; thus women are merely “a derivation of man” (Keller