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Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguire - World of May

Jun. 11th, 2013

02:45 pm - Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguire

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I’ve just started reading Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguire, a husband/wife writer combo. And I have to say, I very nearly rage quit the novel about 2% of the way in (probably around page two- how does one navigate this in an e-book world?). See, we’re being introduced to the characters, two main characters one male and one female. We’re on the male POV and he’s describing his female partner. She has (paraphrased) short, straight, dark hair with a part that could be made by a slide ruler and she wears only a little pink gloss as protection from the elements. This is an excellent description. From this you get that this character is no-nonsense and meticulous. GREAT. And then the next line says something like, she found (face) paint to be a waste of time. And that’s the moment I very nearly rage quit. For a couple of reasons.

The first reason this bothered me is that it’s contradictory. This is OBVIOUSLY a woman who takes care in her appearance. You can’t have a short bob with such perfect lines unless you DO take the time to care for your appearance. So don’t say that this is a character who is cares little for their appearance, as is implied by the idea that she finds makeup a waste of time.

The second is linked to the first. This whole idea that a woman finds makeup a waste of time implies that women who do take the time to use make up are frivolous and silly. It also enforces this idea that really beautiful women don’t need makeup, they’re beautiful without it. And it pits women against each other, the ones who use makeup and the ones who don’t. Thanks but I’ll pass.

And the third reason this bothered me is that it makes this character a woman first and a person second. She is now defined by how she is different from other women and not by her own personality traits. Any time a woman is described by how she is different from other woman she is thrown in sharp relief against a backdrop of other women and not as an individual person but as one among many.

Basically this line, this one line, pinged SO HARD on my sexism meter that I had a hard time getting past it to keep on with the book. I have no doubt that it’s going to color my final opinion of the book as well. Unfortunately I did buy the book, and it’s sitting on my kindle and I have a strong dislike of not finishing books I’ve paid money for, so I’ll finish it. Sadly I’m not looking forward to it and it feels like walking through a minefield.