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Un monde de femmes (1988)

par Sheri S. Tepper

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

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2,034526,866 (4.05)155
Fantasy.Fiction.Literature.Science Fiction.Women rule in Women's Country. Women live apart from men, sheltering the remains of civilization. They have cut themselves off with walls and by ordinance from marauding males. Waging war is all men are good for. Men are allowed to fight their barbaric battles amongst themselves, garrison against garrison. For the sake of his pride, each boy child ritualistically rejects his mother when he comes of age to be a warrior. But all the secrets of civilization are strictly the possession of women. Naturally, there are men who want to know what the women know. And when Stavia meets Chernon, the battle of the sexes begins all over again. Foolishly, she provides books for Chernon to read. Before long, Chernon is hatching a plan of revenge against women.… (plus d'informations)
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Affichage de 1-5 de 52 (suivant | tout afficher)
The Gate to Women’s Country is a standalone science fiction novel by Sheri Tepper. This was my first time reading anything she had written.

The story is set on earth, long after an apocalyptic event known as the “convulsions”. Most of the pre-convulsion technology was wiped out. In their society, women do most of the work for maintaining their communities, learning the sciences and the arts and the skills necessary for survival. The men mostly serve as warriors, living apart from the women, with some exceptions among men who have chosen to remain with the women as servitors. The story primarily follows Stavia, alternating between a timeline starting when she’s 37 and a timeline starting when she’s 10. The younger timeline gets the most page time, and takes Stavia into her early 20’s as she deals with life and begins to learn some of the secrets of the society she lives in.

I liked this. I put it down easily, but I enjoyed it when I picked it back up. There’s a lot of depth to the world-building here, and a lot of meat to chew on. There are a lot of gray areas with the society portrayed in this book. I could understand how and why the people made the choices they did to create their society, but I also thought it had a lot of flaws and found myself debating whether the benefits were worth those flaws.

The characters were as nuanced as the world-building, and I cared quite a bit about what happened to Stavia. Having the two timelines split up did remove some of the suspense about what would happen to Stavia whenever she was in danger in the earlier timeline, but the story from the earlier timeline was interesting enough despite that and it had plenty of other revelations to offer.

The story was satisfying as it is, but there was also enough depth to the world that I felt there could have been other interesting stories to tell in the same setting. I might have chosen to read them if they existed. I also have the author’s book Grass on my Kindle, so I look forward to getting around to that one someday.

The Kindle edition I read has a lot of random italics that don’t belong there. That got a little exasperating. I kept catching myself reading a sentence with odd emphasis because of the incorrect italics, then I’d compulsively re-read it without the emphasis so it didn’t sound so ridiculous. ( )
1 voter YouKneeK | Aug 20, 2022 |
The first time I read this book was way back in 1988-89 timeframe. I was in the U.S. Army, getting money for college, since they offered, and was stationed in a tiny little place called Ft. McNair, in Washington DC. I was there my entire 3 years after Basic & AIT, so got to know the place fairly well. They had a small store, mini-bowling alley, an assortment of ghosts (really, look it up), General's Row, a DIY car wash, and a library. I loved the library most of all. I probably read all of their spy novels due to being in the DC area; I enjoyed all the possibility of espionage and counterspies and such, even though the likelihood of it happening was slim. I also read Backpacker magazine, more in the hopes of escaping the oppressive concrete of a large metropolitan city as soon as possible than going on any grand camping adventures. It was on one of my almost daily lunchtime visits to this itty bitty library that this title, "The Gate to Women's Country" caught my eye. The cover was not lovely and the book looked old. It wasn't overly thick. It wasn't meeting many of my typical requirements, but I read the back cover and was intrigued. It was the start of a long and solid love of all things written by Sheri S. Tepper. I honestly would love to read her grocery list and would treasure it always. She classifies herself as a Science Fiction/environmentalist writer. I, however, ever-so-politely, disagree with her. I would put her strongly in the post-apocalyptic fantasy section for every book, with a not-so-subtle feminist slant. I have laughed outloud and cried with her books. So, about 28 years after I first read this book, I decided that I would read it again. I had remembered the story line pretty well, forgotten all the names, and discovered new ideas due to life experience. It was just as captivating to me now as it was then. Such interesting ideas: men live outside of the walls to protect the women and are primarily the warriors; women live inside and are the doctors, teachers, crafters, farmers, and law makers. Boy babies are raised with mothers until the age of 5, then go to the warriors for 10 years. Then they get to decide whether to stay in the garrison or return through the gate. There are many secrets that the women hold dearly, that the men would like to know, and that causes murderous plottings. Also interestingly is an off-shoot that shines a light on polygamous communities outside of Women's Country. Enjoy this thought-provoking book and author. ( )
  BarbF410 | May 22, 2022 |
The Gate to Women's Country is an enjoyable read and an example of fine world-building that hardly ever feels exposition-y. I enjoyed discovering more and making sense of Women's Country and its ways. I liked the emphasis on rituals, the excerpts from the pseudo-ancient play, and the details about the structures of each society. For instance, I found it clever that men mostly read epics, while women are pushed towards life-long learning and developing an art, a craft, and a science.

The book offers a controversial proposition.-- spoiler! -- ...

The women in Women's Country are leading an eugenics program. They are trying to breed out aggressiveness by selectively reproducing with men who display a gentler temperament.

A reviewer denounced the book as "gender essentialist, heterosexist, cissexist". I definitely think that the novel reflects the era in which it was written in. I am not certain however - having not read enough by Sheri Tepper or about her - that we can equate the world she built in the novel with her own views. Indeed I wasn't sure whether this representation of eugenics was intentionally undermined by the discourse on culture/nurture also presented by the book.

At some point, one of the characters, Chernon, describes the purposes of men and women within Women's Country as being completely at odds, like the wheels of a cart going in opposite directions. I couldn't agree more. Women's Country is based on the deliberate indoctrination of most men into what one might call toxic masculinity and fascism (worshipping the military, negating one's self, despising and objectifying women all the while fearing them, etc.). Why didn't Women's Country try to educate boys the way they did their own girls? Or why didn't Women's Country simply strive towards a gender-fluid world? Women's Country clearly relies on nurture as much, if not more than it does on nature. I found this to be in contradiction with the ending's reveal, which made me think that the reveal was perhaps not presented as THE solution but as a misguided one.

Regarding the other claims, it is certainly ludicrous that LGBQ people are just waved off in one paragraph as a "genetic defect" that could be erased. That reflects a very naive understanding of sexuality and its interaction with history and culture. This point did make me question the assumptions underlying the rest of the work.

In the end, I have to agree that the book is gender essentialist, heterosexist, and cissexist. I'm just not sure whether the lesson we're supposed to draw is that this is legitimate. Hey, the author is dead, so I guess this is about what we want to make of it! ( )
  lochinb | Jun 3, 2021 |
In the post Convulsion future, women and men are segregated, by the ordinances of Women's Country. Women and children stay behind the walls. Men live in garrisons outside. Sometimes the men plot against the women; but they have a deeper strategy. The protagonist of this book is Stavia who grows up the daughter of a Councillor. She has a childhood infatuation with a boy called Chernon, who is being manipulated by the head of the garrison to try to seduce her. The story is an exploration of gender roles; which are innate and which are learned.
There was a twist to this tale but it took a long time to get to it. Stavia was quite a passive participant in her life until near the end of the book, when new characters and settings were rapidly introduced. ( )
  questbird | Feb 9, 2021 |
Tepper, Sheri S. The Gate to Women’s Country. Bantam, 1988.
Taken as a feminist manifesto that argues that women are perfectly capable of designing and governing a society at least as successfully as the male of the species ever has and that testosterone drives a lot of bad behavior, Sheri Tepper’s The Gate to Women’s Country makes its point. As a plausible post-apocalyptic world, it falls a bit short on plausibility. I can buy that men could easily develop a spartan military subculture, but It is hard to see the boys ever agreeing to live only in garrisons outside the country walls. The selective breeding program as well makes me skeptical. I think the multiverse premise in Joanna Russ’s The Female Man (1975) better handled and more nuanced. All that said, Tepper does a good job of getting us inside her characters’ heads. I also like the idea of making the sacrifice of Iphigenia and Euripides’ Trojan Women as cautionary tales for a feminist society. ( )
  Tom-e | Nov 2, 2020 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 52 (suivant | tout afficher)
"I confess this book defeated me. I didn't finish it and came away with a very low opinion of Tepper's work, which I had not previously read."
"This is, unquestionably, a serious, ambitious novel, about the roles of the sexes ..." "My advice for the future is that someone, either Ms. Tepper or her editor, slog through the dense elephant grass of her prose armed with a blue pencil and, whenever wandering herds of adjectives appear - shoot to kill."
ajouté par RBeffa | modifierAboriginal Science Fiction, Darrell Schweitzer (Mar 1, 1989)
 
Tepper's finest novel to date is set in a post-holocaust feminist dystopia that offers only two political alternatives: a repressive polygamist sect that is slowly self-destructing through inbreeding and the matriarchal dictatorship called Women's Country. Here, in a desperate effort to prevent another world war, the women have segregated most men into closed military garrisons and have taken on themselves every other function of government, industry, agriculture, science and learning. The resulting manifold responsibilities are seen through the life of Stavia, from a dreaming 10-year-old to maturity as doctor, mother and member of the Marthatown Women's Council. As in Tepper's Awakeners series books, the rigid social systems are tempered by the voices of individual experience and, here, by an imaginative reworking of The Trojan Woman that runs through the text. A rewarding and challenging novel that is to be valued for its provoc ative ideas.
ajouté par cmwilson101 | modifierPublishers Weekly
 

» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (12 possibles)

Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Sheri S. Tepperauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Di Marino, StefanoTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Harman, DominicArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Jacobus, TimArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Jääskeläinen, JukkaTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
McLean, WilsonArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Oklander, AdrianaTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Olbinski, RafalArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Roberts, AdamIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Tate, IawaTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé

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Fantasy.Fiction.Literature.Science Fiction.Women rule in Women's Country. Women live apart from men, sheltering the remains of civilization. They have cut themselves off with walls and by ordinance from marauding males. Waging war is all men are good for. Men are allowed to fight their barbaric battles amongst themselves, garrison against garrison. For the sake of his pride, each boy child ritualistically rejects his mother when he comes of age to be a warrior. But all the secrets of civilization are strictly the possession of women. Naturally, there are men who want to know what the women know. And when Stavia meets Chernon, the battle of the sexes begins all over again. Foolishly, she provides books for Chernon to read. Before long, Chernon is hatching a plan of revenge against women.

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