Gender Role Reversal / Reblogged

Wearing the Pants in Print Culture: Sylvia Beach

Beach’s role in the world of print culture removes her from her role as a subordinate into her role as the dominant not only in her relationship with Joyce but in all of her “separate sphere” relationships. By not only running, but owning the bookstore/lending library, Beach shows her dominance in the business world–the world of men.

Life's A Stage

For a long time, it’s been a man’s world, and women have often been secondary, subjugated and sometimes non-existent. The field of print culture is no exception, but for some of the small bookshops on the Left Bank of Paris in the early 1900s. One of them was run by Sylvia Beach, who would be responsible for publishing the influential work Ulysses. Despite being a woman at a time when women were supposed to be housewives, Beach showed the world that a woman could wear the pants in a relationship and be successful in the man’s world of print culture.

I think it is important to think about what Beach actually accomplished in the printing world as a woman. A huge example of this is that Beach, without even knowing it, embodied the Main Principles of L’Ecriture Feminine specified by Helene Cixous:

  1. Not invested in gender alone, so there are…

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