Saturday, January 21, 2006


This weekend I am reading Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know About the Emerging Science of Sex Differences, by Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D. As a parent of a boy and a girl, and as a third-grade teacher, this is fascinating stuff. I also wonder if this idea extends into adulthood. Boys and girls learn differently, and need different approaches from teachers and schools. Men and women continue to learn differently, and need different things from LIFE? This is making me rethink the "Women's Poetry" issue. Men and women ARE different. What's wrong with having differences is their writing as well?

More on this after I actually read the book. In the mean time, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Here is the exchange on "Women's Poetry" in the current issue of Poetry.


Blogger reniebob said...

I just read the exchange in Poetry, and I'm thinking, who cares? Leave it to poets to get all worked up over terminology. :) Each of us has an important voice regardless and because of gender. There's room for all of us in this world.

2:13 PM, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Michelle e o said...

I would not go as far as Elizabeth Bishop and not be published in all female anthologies, then again -- if I was invited into an all male anthology, I wouldn't turn it down either. I'm kind of on the line here. On one hand I don't want to be labeled, on the other hand I don't want to disregard that I am- in fact- a woman.

11:19 PM, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Michael Parker said...

Sounds like a fascinating book, Julia. I took Women's Literature course at university to be able to understand the women's point of view, issues, etc. It was a wonderful course, one of the best of my university career. Absolutely valuable.

1:44 AM, January 22, 2006  
Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

Irene - I think terminology all depends on delivery, is women's poetry a matter-of-fact useful category, or is it a making of other, or even lesser. Like, oh, that's just women's poetry?

And like you say, Michelle, we're back to the yes/no answer. Maybe it's a balance? Women's anthologies should include men's work and perspectives, and vice versa. P.S. Tell me your pen name sometime, please oh please! :)

And Michael - glad we haven't scared all men away with our discussion! I don't remember my women's lit course being as valuable - maybe I wasn't ready to appreciate it. Wish I could take a class now.

1:12 PM, January 22, 2006  
Blogger A.G. Lewis said...

Gender. Very important. Very contraversial. Very avoided.

I have read two books recently:
"Wild At Heart" by John Eldrige
"Captivating" by John & Stasi Eldridge

I have gained insightful wisdom from both. What they say, and what i'm saying to you, is driven largely by a man (me) who's heart believes in a wild, loving, wrathful, beautiful God. But don't shy away because of it.

Men were created as the incarnate form of God's "wild side". Ever notice that he created the world, all its beauty, mystery, and danger, and declared it "good"? That's because he likes a good adventure, and that's programmed into men. Men are driven largely by a question they carry around; "Do i have what it takes?" That's where a lot of that "boyish" desire for adventure, speed, and daring rescues comes from.

Women were created as the incarnate form of God's beauty. When He created the world, each stage became more complex, and better than the previous. What came last? Eve. She was the pinacle of creation, the finishing touch, the last stroke that made it a masterpiece. Without her, it isn't complete. Women are driven largely by their heart's question, "Am i lovely?" They wish to be delighted in. That's where the desire for the perfect dress, the matching shoes, and that straggly hair to fall into place comes from.

Of course there's far more to each side, but i have limited space and wouldn't consider myself a specialist in the gender area. But there are a few reactions from a fellow bloger.

Stop by my place (blog) some time.

8:28 PM, January 22, 2006  
Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

I think we are going to have to agree to disagree here. We have very different views on gender and God. My god is not wrathful, and she doesn't care one bit about the "perfect dress, the matching shoes."

10:57 PM, January 22, 2006  
Blogger Anna Greene said...

Somehow Amelia Earhart, Jane Goodall and Sally Ride didn't get that message from God ...

9:31 AM, January 23, 2006  
Blogger Michelle e o said...

I'm just staying quiet and throwing beets.

12:47 PM, January 23, 2006  

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