In which I address a common complaint concerning female roles in fantasy literature at Alpha Game:
The problem with what Wohl advocates is that by putting modern views
on sexual roles and intersexual relations into the minds, mouths, and
worse, structures of an imaginary historical society, it destroys the
very structural foundations that make the society historical and the dramatic storylines credible – in some cases, even possible. It’s problem similar to the one faced by secular writers,
who wish to simultaneously eliminate religion from their fictional medieval societies,
and yet retain the dramatic conflict created by the divine right of
kings. However, it is more severe because the sexual aspect touches upon the
most concrete basis of every society: its ability to sustain itself
through the propagation of its members.
The “sexism” of
which Wohl and many of his commenters complain isn’t cultural, it is
simply the logical consequences of biological and martial imperatives.