‘I hate Women. They get on my Nerves’ : Dorothy Parker’s Poetry of Female Sympathy


  • Francisco José Cortés Vieco Complutense University of Madrid




Dorothy Parker, popular magazines, parody, sisterly bonding, poetry of the United States


In her poetry, Dorothy Parker uses parody as a literary device to detect and denounce gender inequalities and sexist prejudices in New York during the early twentieth century. Despite the pressures of popular magazine culture on women, and her amusing jabs at her own sex in presumed complicity with the prevailing patriarchal ideology, Parker laughs last because her parodic verses, intertwining humor and faultfinding, are not only intended to entertain her male readers, but also to build a virtual village of female sympathy within a hostile male New York. She encourages sisterly bonding and welcomes real women, who are misrepresented by compulsory feminine images of happy domesticity or deviant sexual availability. Her poems offer her secret female addressees weapons of survival to live beyond their submission to male authority and repressive stereotypes of femininity.


Download data is not yet available.


Bunkers, Suzanne L. “‘I Am Outraged Womanhood’: Dorothy Parker as Feminist and Social Critic.” The Critical Waltz: Essays on the Work of Dorothy Parker. Ed. Rhonda S. Pettit. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1978: 152‒165.
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 1990.
Capron, Marion. “Interview to Dorothy Parker.” The Paris Review 13.02/09/ 2016. URL: /https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/4933/dorothy-parker-the-art-of-fiction-no-13-dorothy-parker/.
Dickinson, Emily. Selected Poems and Letters of Emily Dickinson. Ed. Robert N. Linscott. New York: Anchor Books, 1957.
Hammill, Faye. Women, Celebrity, and Literary Culture between the Wars. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2007.
Helal, Kathleen H. “Celebrity, Femininity, Lingerie: Dorothy Parker’s Autobiographical Monologues.” Women’s Studies 33.1 (2004): 77‒102.
Hutcheon, Linda. Politics of Postmodernism. London: Routledge, 1989.
Hutcheon, Linda. Theory of Parody. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2000.
Ivanov Craig, Andrea. “Being and Dying as a Woman in the Short-Fiction of Dorothy Parker.” Performing Gender and Comedy. Ed. Shannon Eileen Hengen. Amsterdam: Overseas Publishers Association, 1998: 95‒110.
Keyser, Catherine. Playing Smart: New York Women Writers and Modern Magazine Culture. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2010.
Korhut, Nil. Kinds of Parody from Medieval to Postmodernism. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2009.
Meade, Marion. Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This? New York: Penguin, 1989.
Miller, Nina. Making Love Modern: The Intimate Public Worlds of New York’s Literary Women. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Miller, Nina. “Making Love Modern: Dorothy Parker and Her Public.” The Critical Waltz: Essays on the Work of Dorothy Parker. Ed. Rhonda S. Pettit. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005: 41‒61.
Parker, Dorothy. Complete Poems. Ed. Marion Meade. London: Penguin, 2010.
Pettit, Rhonda S. A Gendered Collision: Sentimentalism and Modernism in Dorothy Parker’s Poetry and Fiction. Cranbury: Associated University Presses, 2010.
Porter, Laurence M. Women’s Vision in Western Literature: The Empathic Community. Westport: Greenwood Publishing, 2005.
Rich, Adrienne. “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.” Adrienne Rich’s Poetry and Prose. Eds. Barbara C. Gelpi and Albert Gelpi. New York and London: Norton, 1993: 203‒224.
Rose, Margaret A. Parody: Ancient, Modern, and Post-Modern. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Showalter, Elaine. A Literature of Their Own, from Charlotte Brontë to Doris Lessing. London: Virago, 2009.
Walker, Nancy A. What’s so Funny? Humor in American Culture. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 1998.
Weaver, Angela. “‘Such a Congenial Little Circle’: Dorothy Parker and the Early-Twentieth Century Magazine Market.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 38.3/4 (2010): 25‒41.




How to Cite

Cortés Vieco, F. J. “‘I Hate Women. They Get on My Nerves’ : Dorothy Parker’s Poetry of Female Sympathy”. ES Review. Spanish Journal of English Studies, no. 38, Dec. 2017, pp. 65-88, doi:10.24197/ersjes.38.2017.65-88.