Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bechdel Test Tuesday!

It’s that time of the week again. You know it. I know it…It’s Bechdel Test Tuesday! Did you say it like a game show host as I’ve told you to do in the past? If not, then I’m very disappointed in you. Need a refresher on my meme? Simply follow this easily accessible link (now you have to imagine a Vana White-like character gesturing to the link).

Well, last week the book
Fahrenheit 451 kinda, sorta passed the challenge (go and take a look for yourself to see what I mean). This week I thought since I’ve been sooo hard on the misogynistic author Philip Roth lately (see here and here), I’d give him a chance to redeem himself. So here it is…

The Human Stain by Philip Roth
1. Does it have at least 2 women in it?
Yes. I don’t remember how many but only two have really significant parts in the book.
2. Do they talk to each other?
Nope. I mean, I assume they talk to each other in some capacity in their fictional lives, but Roth doesn’t show that because the book is all about the misogynistic and racist jerk, Coleman Silk. In fact, the two women (one of which is sleeping with him and the other of which is definitely NOT) seem to be positively obsessed with him. Especially the woman that ISN’T sleeping with him. It’s sickening.

So surprise surprise. Roth is out in two. FAIL!

The Bechdel Test will return next week with an all new book! Any ideas for books you’d like me to feature? Shout it out in the comments.

Also tune in tomorrow for my review of Erik Larson’s book Isaac’s Storm (hint: it was great!).


Anonymous said...

I'm so surprised that you actually read him.
I started American Pastoral and then stopped at about 40 pages.

llevinso said...

It was for a group read (actually it was the BTS Shelfari group!). I was literally cheering for Silk to die.

Normally I try to give authors the benefit of the doubt and give them a try myself, even if I've heard they're bad or sexist or whatever I try to keep an open mind. But this guy...well...yuck!

bookspersonally said...

I have read him and liked him (Letting Go, Paternity) and read him and not liked him (also Pastoral)... But always love Bechdel Test Tuesday!

llevinso said...

I remember having a conversation with someone on Shelfari and they said they read (or heard, can't remember) an interview with him and there were definitely some sexist overtones in it and it disgusted them. However they weren't surprised having read a book or two of his.

I'm sure not all of his books have the same misogynistic themes running through them because I don't know what all of his novels are about, but this one definitely did and hearing that specifically about the author himself did not surprise me.