Amoeba Women

There have been other authors who have written about these amoeba-like women – Maria Luisa Bombal and Esther Tusquets come to mind.

What’s really funny is that this is a relatively recent phenomenon. For instance, a nineteenth-century author called Pilar Sinués, who is considered ultra-conservative, openly mocks this type of women. I actually stole the expression amoeba women from her. In Sinués’s novels, women who are obsessed with making their husbands happy and who have no other interest in life are referred to as “things and not sentient creatures.”

And it’s not just Sinués. It was a widely accepted tradition in female literature, even that written by very conservative, Catholic authors, to mock women who have no interest in life aside from pleasing a man. It’s only recently that these boy-crazy eternally childlike women became a huge feminist ideal.

5 thoughts on “Amoeba Women”

  1. Out of curiosity, what do you think that has happened recently to make novels like this palatable and even popular? Do you think this is a backlash to the feminist movement? Or is a fantasy thing? Or perhaps a cultural thing for American readers?

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    1. Actually, there’s an identical phenomenon going on in Spanish literature. From 19-century novels that extol independent and strong women, we went to recent novels that have protagonists who will do anything, including murder, to defend their right never to grow up.

      My first book was about this phenomenon. It’s very curious to me that it’s transcultural.

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      1. My wacky new-age hippie acquaintances would say it’s because with world population at an all-time high, more souls than usual have reincarnated directly from a previous existence as animals 😉

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