作者:夏綠蒂.柏金斯.吉爾曼(Charlotte Perkins Gilman)


我想可以注意一點是《她鄉》是一本 1915 年出版的小說。雖然當時已經是第一波女性主義運動興起的時間,然而那年頭大多數國家的女性都還沒有投票權。我不是很確定以當時的時空背景,是如何看待所謂的「女性特質」。然而直到 1935 出版的《三個原始部落的性別與氣質》,都仍將「過度敏感,稍有委屈便落淚」當作是(西方文化認定的)女性氣質。(雖然《三》這個描寫的目的是為了說明在不同文化中,這種特質並非女性專有而是兩性兼具的。)
跋扈的缺點很顯而易見,然而好好先生又如何呢?除了在故事中的背景顯得沒有必要而有些可笑之外,根據曾經當過一段時間好好先生的我們家 En 表示,若為了當好好先生而刻意貶低自己,那麼對方也沒有理由給予對等的尊重。可憐的 En 當年是在終於決定不再當好好先生,改用平常心對待每一個人之後,女人運才突然好起來的。

Herland was published in 1915, the time of the first-wave feminism. At that time, women do not have voting rights in most countries. I am not quite sure that how people thought “femininity” means at that time. Yet it was mentioned that a tribe with people “sensitive and easily to weep” was looked as a femininity tribe in Western eyes, in the 1935 publication Sex and temperament in three primitive societies.
In this context, we might see Herland as a prophetic science fiction. It may be over beautifying and idealizing at some aspect. Yet the girls’ reactions facing the three men with different attitudes seems similar to girls nowadays.
Dominant Terry did no good. Jeff the Mr. Nice Guy was the middle one. Vandyck who had “good girl friends but nothing else” at his homeland was the most popular one.
Today there are still men try to be dominant and show a guidance attitude when pursuing women. This may be useful when they have advantages like knowledge or others, but only when they do have these advantages. (Just last week, one of my friend, who is a hard-researching working cat owner, received some indiscriminately collected “cat tips” from a pursuer.)
The drawback of being domineering is obvious. How does Mr. Nice Guy? Sometimes it seems to be not necessary and ridiculous, just like in the background of Herland. Also there is no reason to give someone respect if a man belittles himself first. The difference betwenn Jeff and Vandyck interested me, because my own husband was a Mr. Nice Guy during his college years. He was depressed for no girl loves him. Finally he despaired and decided to be Mr. Nice Guy no more and to treat everyone the same, male or female.
Suddenly it seems all girls came to him as pursuers.
This perhaps is what Somel indicated by “That’s what I mean about you being more like us — more like People. We feel at ease with you.”
A women is still a person before being a female.


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