Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Female in Snow Crash

In last week’s class we discussed how Neuromancer was in many ways made for the teenage boy. While some members of the class didn’t have a problem with this fact, others defended their enjoyment of the book and others (maybe just Professor Montez) disliked the book based on the idea that it was inherently for thirteen-year-old boys. Snow Crash seems to me to be even more overly written for a young male audience. Combining pizza, skateboards and high-speed cars in the opening pages of the book, what more could a teenage boy ask for?

As the book continues, I was a bit surprised to see a female character enter into the action. But Y.T. with her non-gendered initials doesn’t seem to be screaming femininity (maybe she shows more lady-like qualities later in the book and I’m just not there yet). There just doesn’t seem to be many women in the book. Y.T.’s mother is kept in the dark about her daughter’s job as a Kouier seemingly because she would disapprove of the danger in Y.T.’s job. But Y.T.’s mother also has a dangerous and secrete job working for the Feds. Both mother and daughter try to protect the other by not disclosing information about their choice of career.

But Y.T. must change out of her manly Kourier uniform into a dress before returning home. She uses a female friend as an alibi to fool her mother into thinking she is harmlessly socializing with other females, as opposed to steeling cars, zipping around on skateboards and chasing murders around the city with an older man (Hiro). Y.T. must hide her femininity from the outside male world, by dressing and acting like a man, but she also must hide this manly side from her female character at home.

But even with Y.T. as a spunky female character, I don’t know how a female audience would relate or does relate to Y.T. and this book in general. Although I can relate to Y.T.’s desire to ride skateboards and act like one of the boys, I find her need to separate her male and female sides troubling. Snow Crash seems to force her to be one or the other, not incorporating her feminine and masculine sides into one strong character.


Ben said...

Y.T. seems like a female skaterpunk to me, just with more emphasis on the punk than the female aspects for most of the book.

What about the sex scene with Raven and the dentata?

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