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