I just finished reading The Cows, by Dawn O’Porter.
I wanted to LOVE this book, because I adore Dawn. I love her style; I love her humour; I love her podcast; I love her husband; I love the name of her dog. I just love her. And I really wanted to love this book.
Now, let me start by saying I do like it, I like the story line, I like the characters, and I like the way it’s set out. Dawn has introduced three characters, three strong women who have their own story, each very different from the other. The story is told in each point of view, and in each chapter we hear from each women at regular intervals. This point, I loved. I loved how involved I was with each character, how we knew what they were doing at each moment in time, how it interacted with the other women.
Each character has an interesting life, each strong, each wilful, each a little bit mad. I read the book in two days. That’s a good sign. Although, I did find myself skipping lines. I wasn’t interested in what filled each invisible dotted line on my page (okay, iPad, but you get the picture). I skipped the dull prologue and searched for the dialogue; that’s where the good stuff lay.
My biggest bugbear? It was all about men.
Ever since I listened to an episode (35 to be exact) of The Guilty Feminist, I carefully and judgementally interrogate everything I read, listen to or watch for the passing of the Bechdel test. Created by graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, a film passes the test if there are two women present, who talk about something other than a man for 2 uninterrupted minutes. (Google it, it’s a very interesting revelation). This book doesn’t pass it. I know that officially, books aren’t included. And I don’t want to ‘diss’ anything that Dawn does; see previous gushing love confession. But I hate that these three women, these three strong women, talk about men ALL THE TIME. Why Dawn, why?
Why does Cam, a feminist, no shit taking blogger, write about her toyboy? Profess about her man friend? She is such a good, badass character who has made her millions (literally) by blogging about her childfree, carefree, man-free life, and the main fixture of her story is a man.
Tara, a single mum, is a successful TV producer, and a superhero mother. Yet her story line focuses on a man, who after date one, made her so horny she masturbated on a train?
Lastly, Stella; she has an eighty five percent chance of getting cancer; lost her twin sister and mum to cancer; and has a pretty shitty relationship with her boyfriend. She has a crazy plot to get pregnant by her boss (a man).
What’s going on? Why are they all pining after men?
Please read it and let me know your thoughts? I think I’m being harsh, but then again, I’m allowed to be aren’t I? I’m allowed to feel angry and a bit upset that a woman I admire so much, took an excellent opportunity, and spent it writing about men.
Awaiting your opinions.