Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Fay Weldon - the only feminist

Fay Weldon guested Brighton yesterday to do a talk at the Pavilion Theatre, hosted by New Writing South. She has inspired me not to have children. At least not more than one. Fay is soon turning eighty and talks about women, men, children and sex more easily than anyone else I've come across lately.

One of the things she said was that it was easier for women of her generation to raise children than it is for women today. Mainly because today there are more expectations that you should do everything "right" whilst back in her day people were more relaxed ...

With no shame she tells the audience that she's the only feminist and that a lot of feminists probably hate her. She feels sorry for men. Because women don't need them any more ... Then she goes on to say that life stops at thirty-five because it's around that age women lose their sex appeal. If these words had come out of someone else's mouth I'm sure it would've caused a lot of reaction, but Fay is more convincing than any politician when she speaks ...

And yes she talked about writing too. Saying that you are as bad as the worst of your characters. She also thinks that you get better at writing novels with time, but that doesn't mean your novels get any better, it's just that you know what to do.

Another intersting thing she pointed out was that when she was writing for TV she was asked to make a lot of changes and when she handed in the new version of the script they asked her to make more changes and so on, but were still not happy with it. In the end she gave them her original version - which they accpeted. People like what's familiar, she says. And that first version was familiar to them.

I've only read a couple of Fay's novels, but am planning to read more. One that I really remember is Big Women about a group of women fighting for feminism in their own ways ... Her latest novel is Kehua which deals with ghosts from a departed past, based on Maori mythologi.

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