Monday, June 6, 2011

Genius or ironing? The female dilemma...


The trouble is that most women are much more interested in getting the darn ironing under control, or shopping for something cute to slip into when hubby gets home from the office. Guys are just a whole lot more likely to be geniuses.

Ouch!

Who noticed this comment from Joanna Murray-Smith in the weekend paper's M Magazine in response to the question of why there are not more Australian female playwrights working for major companies?

Joanna is probably the most prolific and courageous writer I know. One minute she'll casually mention that some subject or dilemma has peaked her curiosity and the next... wham bam how the f**k does she do it? -- there'll be a new Joanna Murray-Smith production on that very theme opening at the West End or some such place ...

We all know she's one of Australia's chief theatrical exports, and that the reliability of her output means among her brilliant successes are some brilliant failures (or at least lesser successes) -- just as it should be.

In fact, she is a bit of a genius... though I know she wouldn't really give herself that tag.

I can't help feeling, though, that she very consciously threw this one out there. It's quite a statement, and Joanna certainly doesn't seem to mind stirring the pot occasionally.

Who is it directed at? Whether it was partially tongue-in-cheek (or entirely sarcastic, as Simmone suggests), I certainly still felt the bomb exploding under me!

8 comments:

The Beetle Shack said...

yes, i feel it too.

simmone said...

I assumed she was being sarcastic!

Rachel Power said...

Yes, clearly she's commenting on the fact that women are often not taken seriously in cultural/critical arenas. But do you think she was being entirely sarcastic or there was also a message for women in there?

Red Hen (dette) said...

When I first read the quote I thought "WHAT???!!" I was offended then I thought that it had to be sarcastic or even provocative. That is the whole premiss of your book isn't it- how women are torn between their families and therefore the nurturing- including ironing (although I advocate that body heat will remove most crinkles after about half an hour) she's just made it to include all women not those who are mothers particularly. It is almost like a challenge to get your priorities straight or perhaps be a bit more selfish in terms of giving yourself the time to create. The internal debate continues!

josephinetalepeddler said...

I remember Carmel Bird on her Twitter advising me to 'leave the damn housework' when I was wanting to write and do the domestic household chores as well. The trouble is I'd love to leave it but I can't create properly when there's chaos around me! As the stay at home member of our family, there's also an expectation that as I am at home the housework will be done. No cleaner, alas. I would love to polish up my bobo cred by not caring if the washing up is piled up but it niggles away at me and so I'm a lost case! That's why I love your book so much, Rachel because it articulates so very well this dilemma. I saw on Jen's blog at Baxter street that she was reading it and made a comment on how much I loved it and then I saw you're blogging. I'll try to keep up with your posts when I'm not practising my domestic artistry or hopefully writing! Thanks for your wonderful book. I'm sure I did a post on it on my earlier Tale Peddler blog on Google.

Rachel Power said...

thanks Josephine. You might like to respond to my latest post then!!
Yes, I find the housework vs writing thing an eternal dilemma. And I too have never understood it when people tell me to ditch the housework - partly because, like you, I can;t work in chaos, but also because ignoring it doesn't make it go away and I'm all too aware there'll be twice as much to do tomorrow.
I do see the wisdom in trying to write outside of the house though. I have just started hiring a space in the hope that this will save me! Have you thought of doing that? x

Alison Sampson said...

I too can only write when the house is vaguely under control or I am out of it - I use a table at a local bar during quiet hours - way cheaper than an office but embarrassing when what I write makes me laugh or cry! thankfully it's pretty dark in there...

Kim Smith said...

for some people can be dilemma but I can said female are genius because they can do many perfect things
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