Blood Meridian as a feminist work (spoilers)

I never said progressive, and I even recanted calling it feminist.

I think you should reconsider whether things are "uniquely male and uniquely female", or whether people, from birth, are encouraged and expected by the culture to behave in ways that are considered male or female.

Childbirth is an experience no male can ever have. That is uniquely female. Impregnating is an experience no female can ever have. That is uniquely male. Women have substantially more estrogen; men, substantially more testosterone. We can muddy those lines with modern medicine but the 'original ingredients' come from two distinct sexes. There are experiences you can only have as a man and only have as a woman, and those experienced have shaped what gender means relative to where society is at.

History, especially the history of civilization building, is often rested in the lap of men. Kings, generals, heroes, politicians, philosophers, scientists... they're 99% men throughout history. Women are largely left out of the picture. In Blood Meridian, a book very critical of this 'civilization building' and the brutality it takes to accomplish, celebrates the nurturing tendencies of women. Throughout our 5000 or whatever years of history, women have occupied pretty much the same repressed role up until about 100 years ago. That's a LOT of time of women just playing second fiddle to men and not even being able to conceive of what you're saying, that it's stereotypical to be considered gentler because that was just the 'way things were.'

Blood Meridian is set before ANY conceptions of modern gender or anything. My point is that women, without any social footing to stand on or modern conceptions of identity to give them a sense of agency and with men basically treating them like chew toys (I don't think it's that exceptional to say that history was thoroughly unkind to women), were still influential in shaping the world and keeping our humanity intact and the book celebrates that. We always celebrate the conquerors but the reason we made it this far with our humanity intact is because of the people who had compassion.

I guess if you want to you could take gender entirely out of my point because people seem to have a really uncomfortable time with how distinct men and women were, historically speaking (we just 'believed' we were and functioned that way until someone in the last century or so decided to believe different). Basically being nice is good and I like that a book as brutal as blood meridian has this little message that the world isn't ENTIRELY horrible thanks to those few people who are nice. I like hopeful messages wrapped in nastiness I guess

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