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Jade, Igorina, Magda, Alice, etc., etc. - the council of generals - we even hear about Maledicta, briefly, before returning to Mal. But Jackrum never offers, and Polly never asks, and the narrative doesn't care. Jolly Jack Jackrum is jolly Jack Jackrum, period, and that's the truth of the matter. In a book full of "unmaskings", that choice stands out sharply to me.
(Also, separate argument but a lot of the Greek and Roman philosophers were real shitbags. Just saying. Have you seen Pliny the Elder's rant on menstruation? That guy had issues. XD; )
Ba gur bar unaq, V ernyyl qb nccerpvngr Znex'f qvssrerag crefcrpgvir ba guvf obbx. Vg'f tbbq gb unir lbhe vqrnf nobhg n orybirq obbx punyyratrq, naq znal bs uvf cbvagf ner irel inyvq naq unqa'g bppheerq gb zr.
Ba gur bgure unaq, vf vg greevoyr bs zr gb or qvfnccbvagrq? V'ir orra ybbxvat sbejneq gb guvf Qvfpjbeyq obbx zber guna nal bgure, orpnhfr V gubhtug Znex jbhyq nqber vg. Vafgrnq, n ohapu bs gebcrf V unqa'g rira abgvprq, juvpu ner irel ivfvoyr naq hapbzsbegnoyr sbe Znex orpnhfr bs uvf crefbany uvfgbel jvgu gur zvyvgnel, ner birefunqbjvat rirelguvat V ybir nobhg vg gb gur cbvag jurer vg frrzf yvxr ur pna'g rawbl be rira abgvpr gur tbbq ovgf va erghea.
V bcra rirel puncgre erivrj nagvpvcngvat gur ortvaavat bs qryvtug naq rkpvgrzrag, naq xrrc svaqvat qvfthfg naq jbefg-cbffvoyr vagrecergngvbaf bs rirelguvat vafgrnq. Vg whfg xrrcf ohvyqvat hc ba vgfrys. Vg'f...xvaqn qvfpbhentvat.
V xabj vg vfa'g zl cynpr gb gel gb vasyhrapr Znex'f ernpgvba gb n punenpgre, ohg V'z trggvat jbeevrq gung ur'f bireybbxvat fb znal cbvagf bs punenpgre qrirybczrag naq ohvyqvat Wnpxehz hc vagb fhpu n zbafgre gung ur'yy raq hc ungvat uvz pbzcyrgryl...naq gung jbhyq or fhpu n funzr.
I think it's a generational thing? She's trying to show a pleasant, solicitous interest in their lives and goals. Her own age cohort (the Boomers) tend to identify strongly with their professions, and find a lot of meaning in them. Keeping up with what's going on in your friends' work lives is a way of signaling interest in them as people, for her.
But for most of my millennial peers, that question is instantly and intensely painful. An honest answer would be deeply embarrassing. "Oh, you know, still struggling to work two different thankless shifts at a couple of generic big box stores that treat me like an interchangeable cog without human needs, so I can pay for food and don't get evicted, while paying off my student debt for the degree in a field I still haven't managed to find a relevant job in, despite my best efforts." Many of my friends are struggling; many of them hate their jobs and feel no sense of identification with them, and I would worry about them if that wasn't the case, since their employers freely exploit them. We don't talk about our jobs when we hang out, because we don't want to hurt each other. We express interest in each other's lives by discussing things that do actually reflect our interests, like hobbies, politics, and activities/fandoms we mutually enjoy.
And yet again and again I've seen my normally perceptive and empathetic mother stumble into this mistake without even realizing that her well-meant getting-to-know-you questions feel more like accusations of failure to launch. It's like a yawning generational gap and I'm not sure how to explain it in a way that will sink home.
"I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal. I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that is now. (...) The poor men seems to be all in confusion, and don't know what to do. Why children, if you have woman's rights, give it to her and you will feel better. You will have your own rights, and they won't be so much trouble."
Never hurts to be reminded that "feminine" delicacy and coddling have always been the preserve of a very particular subcategory of woman. Some of us have struggled to break free from their smothering confines; others have never been anywhere near their protective embrace. : I
Even as recently as this year, there was a genuine attempt to shoo female nurses out of a sumo ring when they rushed into it to provide life-saving care to a man suffering a brain hemorrhage. Saving his life seemed less important to the sumo official, in that moment of knee-jerk reaction, than preventing their femaleness from defiling the ring.
There's nothing like a veneer of tradition for lending weight to an attitude that's honestly no more sensible than a cardboard NO GIRLS ALLOWED sign on a children's fort. : I