by J.M. Coetzee
Disgrace Women and Femininity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
A solid woman, embedded in her new life. Good! If this is to be what he leaves behind—this daughter, this woman—then he does not have to be ashamed. (7.32)
David seems to think that having a sturdy, hardworking, earthy woman for a daughter is a noble thing, deserving of respect. Does this say anything about the sleek, cosmopolitan women that he generally finds himself attracted to?
Sharing a bed, sharing a bathtub, baking gingerbread cookies, trying on each other's clothes. Sapphic love: an excuse for putting on weight. (10.57)
It's interesting to see that David's ideas about the experiences of lesbians are so caught up in hyper-feminine and childlike examples. It's as though he pictures two eight-year-old girls at a sleepover, when really it is clear that Lucy was in a serious, adult relationship with another woman.
Bev Shaw responds only with a terse shake of the head. Not your business, she seems to be saying. Menstruation, childbirth, violation and its aftermath: blood-matters; a woman's burden, women's preserve. (12.44)
Here is one of the first instances after Lucy is raped that we see David feeling marginalized as a man. Do you think it is possible for him to commiserate? Do you think that Bev can do a better job of relating to Lucy solely on the grounds that they are both women?