377 – Chapter 12 – End of Herland


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4 Responses

  1. Jennifer says:

    Hi, I’ve been catching up quickly from way behind, and this is a more general blatherage, not sure which episode to put it on so I’ll just leave these few random comments-and-links here…

    Thank you for choosing this book, Heather, I hadn’t read it before. I kept being amazed at how modern it sounded to me in many places, but never more so than the section describing the culture of Herland in detail. Free-Range Children, Unschooling, Esperanto, Permaculture, all so very much in the zeitgeist of today (at least here on Whidbey Island, a semi-rural suburb of Seattle with a moat)

    Last fall at a local theater, I played an Esperanto teacher (art imitating life? since that’s my B.A.) in the play “The Language Archive” by Julia Cho, and this spring (at a different local theater) I’m directing and acting in a one-act play called “The Universal Language” by Sarah Ruhl, about a con-man that invents a fake Esperanto-like language, and a sweet woman with a stutter who falls in love with his universal language, and with him…

    Some of the mentions of more ‘socialist’ childrearing reminded of me of the course I took in college “Russian Society Today” (which included a good bit of cultural history, as one can’t understand Russian society without understanding Soviet society.) One particular bit really stuck with me. Evidently, in nursery-school, first thing in the morning, they would make a line of all the little potty-chairs and sit all the kids down in them. Nobody could get up until every single kid had moved their bowels. Can you imagine? “No Masha, sit down, we all have to wait until Ivan goes number two…” And that’s how you raise a socialist… every single function of the individual completely subordinated to the needs of the many. It was a accepted fact that the parents were the least qualified people to raise their child. And from the perspective of a socialist society, perfectly correct. Parents would tend to raise an individual.

    Also… saw this article https://writingfromfactorx.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/if-you-can-see-the-invisible-elephant-please-describe-it/ that made me think about how difficult it would have been for the woman of Herland to understand Terry’s expectations, despite their ancient history (herstory?)
    It’s great to see an article that gives a simple way to understand something that’s beyond most people’s experience (http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ is another great example of that)

    And then there was this article–https://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/many-ways-to-be-between/ which made me think about accepted norms, and how helpful it might be to think of many various things on a spectrum, as Emma Watson pointed out regarding gendered behaviour in her marvelous speech.