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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: November ::
Re: Shrews Behaving Badly
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1142  Monday, 16 November 1998.

[1]     From:   Barbara R. Hume <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Nov 1998 10:28:02 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1117  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

[2]     From:   Sarah Werner <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Nov 1998 14:33:22 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1136  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

[3]     From:   Jean Peterson <
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        Date:   Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 09:23:03 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   shrew

[4]     From:   Linda Stumbaugh <
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        Date:   Sun, 15 Nov 1998 13:32:28 -0800
        Subj:   Shrew, etc

[5]     From:   Brooke Brod <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Nov 1998 02:18:35 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

[6]     From:   Ed Peschko <epeschko@den-mdev1>
        Date:   Saturday, 28 Nov 1998 04:52:13 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Barbara R. Hume <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Nov 1998 10:28:02 -0700
Subject: 9.1117  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1117  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

>Yep, one of the ways I misspent my girlhood was in reading
>romance novels.  That's not too surprising, it's a popular and
>characteristic pastime for modern females.   In the
>overwhelming majority of these books, the basic requirement of the hero
>is that he is supremely masterful, and possesses a devastating sexual
>attractiveness.  Arrogance and reprehensible behavior (to the point of
>cruelty) are the keynotes in his pursuit of his true love.

You might try reading Mary Jo Putney, in my opinion the best historical
romance writer of the 90s. Try _One Perfect Rose_ or _Shattered
Rainbows_, in which the heroes are strong, but not reprehensible at all.

Even better, try reading a book of essays called _Adventurous Women and
Dangerous Men_, edited by Jayne Anne Krentz, another top writer in the
genre. These essays explain the appeal of romance fiction. They point
out, for instance, that romance readers know that these novels are
fantasy-no one expects their real-life husbands to be devastatingly
attractive. They also point out that the movement of a romance novel is
to "tame" the hero-he usually starts out as a big jerk, socialized by
his male culture to consider himelf inherently superior. But by the end
of the book, the heroine has, through her own virtues and capabilities,
forced him to acknowledge that he loves her and cannot live without her.
He gives up his mistress, his wild ways, and his arrogance in order to
win her. She brings the alpha male to his knees. Talk about female
fantasy!

The male in the story is both hero and villain. The woman must banish
the villain without destroying the hero. It's an interesting task.  The
next time a devastatingly handsome, sexually irresistible, incredibly
wealthy, tall, muscular, intelligent aristocrat finds himself drawn to
me, I will willingly embark upon it.  I must save him from his dark
side. It is my duty.

Barbara Hume

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sarah Werner <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Nov 1998 14:33:22 -0500
Subject: 9.1136  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1136  Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

This thread has clearly become about people other than shrews behaving
badly.  What started off as a potentially productive discussion about
Shakespeare's play has been appropriated by personal diatribes.  While
Jean Peterson, Carol Barton and others both spoke from differing points
of view about the play, occasionally incorporating personal revelation
in the service of their arguments, Jerry Adair's post seems to have
little purpose other than to vent and insult.  Clearly Jean is onto
something in wondering what it is about _Shrew_ that provokes such
deeply personal responses.  But the sort of diatribe, bad behavior and
wholesale maligning recently displayed should have no part in our
discussion on SHAKSPER.  I won't deign to address the slanders against
women and feminism that have recently come up on the list; since they
are not thoughtfully expressed they are hardly deserving of a thoughtful
response.  Perhaps those of you who feel betrayed and disappointed in
today's women can start your own listserv to talk about those feelings.
But leave the rest of us out of it.

Sarah Werner

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jean Peterson <
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Date:           Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 09:23:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        shrew

Of Jerry Adaire's absurd and venomous tirade, the only part I feel
compelled to answer seriously is his implication that I am "the type of
woman" who "scoffs" at an interracial couple.  Anyone who knows  me can
verify that the imputation to me of such racist behavior and thinking is
groundless and false.

Might I suggest that other SHAKSPERians tempted to use this list to air
the details of their love lives and dating preferences find a more
appropriate venue for their fascinating intimate revelations-like maybe
"The Jerry Springer Show"?  I'm sure there's a segment upcoming on "Men
Who Resent Women Who Don't Know Their Place."

Jean Peterson
Bucknell University

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Linda Stumbaugh <
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Date:           Sun, 15 Nov 1998 13:32:28 -0800
Subject:        Shrew, etc.

Dear Mr. Cook and Members of the list -

Could we kindly move on to different thread other than the Shrew?  I
seem to remember reading most of this a year ago.  If not, could we move
beyond the likes of Jerry Adair's most recent posting telling us how
most women are hypocritical and operate under a double standard (yes, I
am a feminist and proud to be so).  His remarks in the last post do
nothing to further Shakespearean studies.

Respectfully,
Linda Stumbaugh

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brooke Brod <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Nov 1998 02:18:35 -0600
Subject: 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

I would certainly appreciate it if Mr. Adair and Ms. Lee would be so
kind as to provide further explanation for the following:

>Women want it all

How do you define "all?"

To Mr. Adair only:

> This notion brings me back to the point I made in my original reply to
> the subject: the passionate, unselfish love between two strong,
> fundamentally good people.  Kate and Petruchio.  Neither of them are
> perfect and both of them do certain things that are reproachable, but
> this isn't important, to do so is human.  What *is* important is the
> type of love that they discover both in themselves and in each other.
> It is the nature and the spirit of that love that embodies the
> aforementioned personality attributes that I advocate: truth, honor and
> the concept of what I call "doing the right thing at every turn in
> life."

Do the ends justify the means?  Does "doing the right thing at every
turn in life," in fact only hold true occasionally?

~ Brooke

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Peschko <epeschko@den-mdev1>
Date:           Saturday, 28 Nov 1998 04:52:13 -0700 (MST)
Subject: 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1136 Re: Shrews Behaving Badly

> > human nature to acquire what is desired at a bargain price, or to get it
> > for free.  It is the art of the deal, and the talent for shrewd dealing
> > is much admired throughout most (all?) of this world's societies.
> > [...] The automatic rejoinder to this is "Why not?"  "We cannot have it both
> > ways" is not a sacred commandment or a law of physics, and even if it
> > was, sacred commandments and laws of physics were only made to be
> > amended or superseded.  Since I was a child I have never seen the point
> > in having your cake if you cant eat it too.
>
> Another oh boy. <shudder><groan>  I must admit that I find these
> comments difficult to take seriously because they are so extreme and
> unreasonable in nature; it makes me wonder if the author really isn't
> some twisted youth in some dimly-lit, back corner of his/her parent's
> house trying to see what kind of trouble they can stir up.  However,
> I'll play and take them on face value: no, Neth what is admired
> "throughout most (all?) of this world's societies" is honor, truth, and
> being a man/woman of your word, at least by those whose judgement is
> worth the breath they use to articulate that judgement in words.

The problem is that the world applauds the principle that you describe,
but seldom applauds the practice. I look around my office today, and the
ones who are most valued, listened to, and generally honored are the
ones who have been shrewd enough to negotiate themselves into positions
of power. Those who hold to 'principles' and are willing to speak up for
them are either gone, or relegated to low positions.  I have to work
2.5 times as hard to get away with 'the rather selfish luxury of
pursuing moral principles'.

And in case you don't think this truism scales up to positions of higher
power, just look at people like JD Rockefeller and Bill Gates. Tons of
respect, power, prestige, and honor. Moral fiber? Are you kidding?

Ed (in a cynical mood)
 

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