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Both Sides of the Gate: Patriarchy in Sheri S. Tepper's "The Gate to Women's Country"
Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
Vol. 19, No. 1 (72) (2008), pp. 25-38
Published by: International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24352403
Page Count: 14
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Men, Patriarchies, Womens rights, War, Violence against women, Human aggression, Feminism, Gender roles, Utopian fiction, Eugenics
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Sheri S. Tepper's 1989 novel The Gate to Women's Country spans genres as both a feminist utopia and a battle-of-the-sexes story. Both contribute to an overall warning of the signs of impending patriarchy in a culture and methods for resisting it. Tepper refutes the idea that patriarchy is inevitable because of men's violent tendencies by creating a culture in which violence is being bred out of men. However, those men outside Women's Country still retain the inherent male violence and will to dominate, and seek to retake Women's Country for themselves. Tepper provides a continuum of patriarchy, from the Holylanders' violent oppression of women to the Women's Country's active elimination of the perceived cause of female suffering, in order to illustrate how patriarchy can overtake a culture and how women can and must react in order to draw attention to the plight of women in a patriarchal culture and to prevent patriarchy from gaining control of their own cultures.
Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts © 2008 Brian Attebery, as Editor, for the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts