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Subtle chauvinism :
listenSo I have two characters who are husband and wife in my Urban Fantasy story, Akura and Lien. Akura loves his wife to an occasionally obsessive degree to the point that he sometimes gives off a chauvinist vibe. How could I show that subtly?
Ahr riverWell, obsession doesn't necessarily lead to chauvinism... but if you insist, probably acting worried whenever he is unaware of where she is, maybe insisting she carries pepper spray, or something.
What's the setting like? Subtle could be doing things that he things are "taking care of her", but I think insisting that she carry pepper spray is really just making sure she's safe and not all that chauvinistic, particularly if she doesn't know self defense. Making sure she can defend herself is not chauvinistic. Dismissing her opinion in favor of a male's without even thinking about constantly, however, is. It doesn't have to be a conscious "she's a woman, this other is a man" thing, nothing that he even thinks about, just something that he does automatically. But being worried when he doesn't know where she is, isn't in itself chauvinistic. It's something that people do for the people they love. (Although it can have the bounds of common sense. If she's only been gone an hour he would be fine. However, if he is a bit obsessive, the time until he starts worrying is probably shorter than someone who isn't obsessive.)
edited 25th Mar '11 4:37:53 PM by AceofSpades
Well, treating her like she's very fragile. Offering to carry bags for her, open jars, insist that she not do anything even the least bit strenuous.
Be not afraid...
Mate Griffon To MareAh, this. I'm struggling with it in two of my stories. One is a romance* between Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, and another is a fantasy which takes place partially in a No Woman's Land, and the protagonist's love interest is a knight there. In the first case, I'm not so much writing sex chauvinism as I am race chauvinism. Besides the obviousfor those less knowledgable of history , I have Jefferson describe Hemings in the beginning as seeming "simple" to him, and later on, have him being surprised when she shows literacy/intelligence/maturity, although the fact that she's much younger than he is and generally quiet has a bit to do with that as well. In the second case, I'm writing sex chauvinism, which is, I think, a little more relevant to your case. It's justified by the knight's living in a No Woman's Land, and he does believe that women are generally inferior to men, but he's also The Fettered who believes in treating everyone honorably (though not equally), and acts with his world's version of chivalry. I think you want to think about your character's background. Why are they chauvinistic? Were they taught it by their parents? Grown up in a No Woman's Land? Is it a backlash against gender chauvinism the other way around that he's experienced? A product of peer pressure? A cover for insecurities? Or simply a philosophical worldview that he mistakenly believes in? Then, you want to define just what his views are. Is he consciously aware of his chauvinism, or does he view himself as believing in equality, and is only subconsciously sexist? Does he actually believe women are inferior, or just think they fit better/worse than men do into certain roles, or does he view women as mysterious creatures?
"All pain is a punishment, and every punishment is inflicted for love as much as for justice." — Joseph De Maistre.
What's the setting like?It's a Fantasy Counterpart Culture with magic, empires, and warriors, yet is also closely linked to Earth, ergo, people can travel back and forth between the two, but Earth is oblivious to the other world's existence.
Well, treating her like she's very fragile. Offering to carry bags for her, open jars, insist that she not do anything even the least bit strenuous.Ohohoho. He already does that to a degree, even though she's way more capable than he is. She's a proficient spellcaster in a world where people can fling around lots of magic, but Akura cannot use magic very well at all. I also have Lien down as a foreign diplomat who sometimes has to visit lands that may react to her with hostility, and, of course, Akura does not like her doing that.
I think you want to think about your character's background. Why are they chauvinistic? Were they taught it by their parents? Grown up in a No Womans Land? Is it a backlash against gender chauvinism the other way around that he's experienced? A product of peer pressure? A cover for insecurities? Or simply a philosophical worldview that he mistakenly believes in?Akura was around during the Heian period (yes, I know that was a thousand years ago. He's long-lived, but weak.) of Classical Japanese history. As we've found so far with them, the ideal Japanese wife is demure, polite, and fragile in a way that demands that the husband be there to protect her. Times have changed, of course.
Then, you want to define just what his views are. Is he consciously aware of his chauvinism, or does he view himself as believing in equality, and is only subconsciously sexist?Overall, his goal is to make sure that she is safe and happy with him at all times. I guess he doesn't actually realize that he's sexist. I have also thought about making him constantly speak for her, which probably unintentionally has the effect of undermining her. Yet, despite all this, they do love each other.
edited 25th Mar '11 8:00:53 PM by CrystalGlacia
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