The “J’s” are All Separate – The Multiverse
Janet, the alien human from a distant all woman future, Jeannine, a woman from a reality where World War 2 never happened (year 1969), and Joanna, a woman from our reality’s 1969 are all separate from each others’ person. The reason behind this requires some background context. The Female Man was written during the height of feminism in the second Equal Rights Movement. During that movement, the Equal Rights Amendment was proposed and eventually it was refused. During that time, there were women acting on it in different ways. There were those against it, such as Phyllis Schlafly, those for it, and those who chose not to get involved. Each one of theses sides had mentalities that fit with one of the characters listed above. Jeannine believes in a “barrier between [her] and real life which which can be removed only by a man or by marriage” (Russ 120)*. Janet is the closest to “for” the Equal Rights Amendment since she is act independent and assertive from men. “‘Say it loud. Someone will come to rescue you.’ ‘Can’t I rescue myself?’ ‘No.’ ‘Why Not?'” (Russ 45). Those line shows that Janet acts independent of men, and does not rely upon them. As for Joanna, she fits the middle ground. She identifies herself as the “female man” only the make herself stand out but ultimately doesn’t really choose a side (Russ 5).
Now what I’m getting at is that each of these characters represents a mentality of women during the second Equal Rights Movement in our timeline. Russ takes this a step further and separates the characters by “universe”, explained under the Many-worlds Interpretation of Multiverse theory. This physical separation makes it easy for her to create circumstances that would socially define the characters. While the characters may have similarities between each other and the way the novel is written, it could be possible that they are all the same person, but another possibility is that they are all the same person but from different universes that shaped their personality.
*I know it’s further then what was assigned for the week.
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Russ, Joanna. The Female Man. Boston: Beacon, 1986. Print.