I call it the Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman Phenomenon: Despite being bo
I just started listening to a new book on CD, which AK had laying around, called The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell. The cover implied it would be fluffy chick lit, which is a genre that I am technically against but can enjoy quite gleefully. (On a side note, I loved the Sex and the City movie—not as a guilty pleasure but unabashedly, as one of the most realistic, mature and touching movies about relationships I’ve ever seen.)
But Belle Cantrell takes place in the Prohibition-era South, where old rules of propriety are dying slow deaths, and it takes a spunky, anti-racist feminist with an ahead-of-her-time haircut to shake things up! I’m only one disc in, so maybe it takes unpredictable tu
The Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman Phenomenon is annoying because it allows the writer and reader/viewer to feel progressive and political without actually being controversial. I can listen to Belle Cantrell and think, Hey! I’m against lynching too! I am taking a stand!
But taking a stand against lynching in a culture where lynching is widely reviled (which is not to say that it doesn’t happen, just that the perpetrator would easily be declared a bad guy) is actually not even as challenging as being asked to sympathize with a character who’s a product of her time.
What if Belle wanted to protect her farm employee Luther from the would-be lynch mob not because she had a circa-2008 sense of justice but because she didn’t want to lose a good worker? Or because she had some pate
I like to think I would have been a suffragette, but I know that, like 90 percent of the population, I’m lazy and vulnerable. I could have easily waved a fan in front of my face and said, “Of course I believe women should get the vote, but we’re just not ready yet.”