The Bard Never Would Have Let Me Use A Sledgehammer

http://nietzschefish.blogspot.com/2008/05/bard-never-would-have-let-me-use-sledge.html [Note, image NSFW] The above link just goes to a not-safe-to-work, albeit artistic image, with the following caption:

Shakespeare only really wrote with two views on women – the conniving sexualized and the innocent virgins.  The guys I work with in construction see me as either a sexual object or an incompetent child, so they aren’t much different than Shakespeare.  Except the Bard never would have let me use a sledge hammer.

Discuss.

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4 thoughts on “The Bard Never Would Have Let Me Use A Sledgehammer

  1. No, absolutely not, and really quite indefensible. Exhibits for the rebuttal:

    Portia
    Rosalind
    Viola
    Helena (All’s Well that Ends Well version)
    Margaret of Anjou
    Lady Macbeth
    Mistresses Ford and Page
    Elinor of Aquitaine
    Tamora

    Neither “sexual objects” nor “incompetent children,” any of them. There is a great deal we would take issue with today with Shakespeare’s presentation and treatment of women, to be sure–and “Shrew” looms large in that presentation in my mind–but Shakespeare also wrote about strong and capable women many times–some “good,” some “bad,” some pretty hard to categorize (Queen Margaret, one of the most remarkable characters in Shakespeare). A number of these characters are the “cross-dressers,” the phenomenon of which must be central to any discussion of gender roles in Shakespeare, as it is highly suggestive that the “limitations” of womanhood are as much a social construct as dresses versus doublets. The argument you quote is the grossest kind of over-simplification of a quite complext topic. It bugs me to see this kind of argument–Shakespeare is picked up like a football and run towards whatever goal the writer is seeking.

  2. It bugs me to see this kind of argument–Shakespeare is picked up like a football and run towards whatever goal the writer is seeking.
    I completely agree.
    I’m glad to see some real discussion over a Nietzsche Koi post.
    Nonetheless, I still find it somewhat difficult to imagine Tamora working construction with a sledgehammer.

  3. Just re-watched Two Gentlemen – where there is a long list (Launce’s) of the qualities needed in a good wife … rather a lot of hard physical labour (from milking cows – which, unless you’ve ever tried it, don’t mock – to beer making – again, something of an extreme sport). Modern presumptions and not knowing the plays I’m afraid.
    (And if Greer (bbke) is right, he had his wife working on a building site – as foreman.)

  4. “I still find it somewhat difficult to imagine Tamora working construction with a sledgehammer.”

    Of course not. She has _people_ for that sort of thing.
    (insert smiley)

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