Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Fay Weldon and Ripley

I always thought Fay Weldon was a flake. She was one of those feminists who was like 'Women suffer by nature' and 'Men are loveable rogues and what can you do?' i.e. a bloody stupid feminist. I have been moved by one or two stories, but they were always about women railing against their inevitable fate.

So the news that she has become a Christian and thinks that women should 'stop complaining, be nicer to men and forget about orgasms ' does not exactly have my socks flying off in shock. That article is irritating, with Weldon giggling and attempting to flirt with Stuart Jeffries. In the last few paragraphs she says some stupid things about rape which are unworthy of her.

Anyway, thinking about why I never liked Fay Weldon made me think there's this whole raft of ideas that seem quite bonkers to me. It include a certain kind of sociobiology, Christianity, and Freudianism. The idea is that women's interests are at odds with life and fertility. That women must be forced to act against their own self-interest for the good of human life itself. It's the idea that female body-stuff is sick and yucky - breast feeding, being penetrated, menstruating, giving birth. No 'rational' or wholesome person would voluntarily submit to such stuff, so women must either be irrational, or masochistic, or they must be forced to submit.

Some analyses of the 'Alien' films take this view. The Alien is raw life, and Ripley is a woman railing vainly against the penetrating and body-violating demands of fertility. I think male horror at the things the female body undergoes does inform Alien, in fact, but the moral is not that women are against fertility and life, or must submit to them. If I thought that was the moral, I wouldn't love the films.
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