Last night I settled to read the two books I have on at the moment: Negotiating with the Dead by Margaret Atwood and My Life as a Man by Philip Roth.  Although both deal with the writer, they are quite different, but wait!  During my reading of Negotiating with the Dead, I came across this passage:

“No doubt this is because I was told, in 1960, as a twenty-year-old poet, by an older poet who was a man, that I would never come to anything as a poet until I had been a truck-driver, thus learning at first hand what real people actually did all day.  I don’t think there are any tried true correlations of that reliable cause-and-effect sausage-machine kind between life and art, or none that have to do with quality – that is, raw material into the truck-driver’s seat, and after a while, accomplished top-grade artist out the other door.  But perhaps if it had been possible for me to hire myself out as a female truck-driver – which it was nor, yet, there and then – I would have done it, and it would have become one of those formative experiences biographers are so fond of talking about, and then I might have thought otherwise.”

A paragraph later, I put down this book and opened My Life as a Man.  In the first paragraph I read, I found the following quotation:

“Unattached and on her own, a woman was supposedly not even able to go to the movies or out to a restaurant by herself, let alone perform and appendectomy or drive a truck.  It was up to us then to give them the value and the purpose that society at large withheld – by marrying them.”

I got that weird feeling of déjà-lu.  Strange…

My conclusion is that the Feminists got it all wrong: driving trucks was the way forward!

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