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Male Creators of Creatures

ericafenton's picture

In this post, I want to highlight a quote from Riva Lehrer's Golem Girl:

"...every creature is made of inanimate material that is shaped and awakened by the will of a master (and nearly every story is of a master-not a mater-a male who attempts to attain the generative power of the female body)" (p. xiv). 

I love this quote. I find the idea of a male attempting to attain power dedicated only to a body with female reproductive organs and hormones, features that are often used to take power away from the individuals and group as a whole, extremely inticing. Riva highlights that the masters, the creators of creatures in our stories, are usually men. It is interesting that Riva draws the connection between creating a creature and creating a baby inside a woman. Throughout the piece, she discusses the relationship between her identity as a disabled person and the idea of golums, drawing similarities between their bodies and their distance from societal expectations of "normalcy." Disabled people are labeled such through social constructions of a normal body and normal production. Meanwhile, male creators of creatures seek to overcome a real, biological, natural reality that female reproductive organs and hormones are necessary for the creation of humans. They seek to construct themselves as creators; to be seen as posessing a power that is exclusive to female reproductive bodies.

I am having trouble bringing this thought full-circle. I am very drawn to the idea of a male trying to harness female power, but have not connected that to the relationship between disability and golem. If anyone has any thoughts, please share!