Posted in Female Author, Short Story

Short Story #9

The Other Place by Mary Gaitskill « 365 Days of Women Writers.

I disagree with Chance’s view of this story.

Gaitskill does seem to be pitting normal and abnormal against each other, but does not do it in a subtle or hinting kind of way. We are given an array of situations here.  The narrators mother has been abused in the past and is continually abused psychologically by boyfriends. His wife has a history of being a sort of peer-pressure co-abuser. The society around him continually shows women in a violently victimized light. His childhood friends joke about what bitches women are (though he suspects that they don’t mean it).

The narrator is kind of a distillation of all these things. He has seriously fantasized about hurting women, but given the opportunity, doesn’t. On the surface, he’s the good guy that takes his kid fishing. He’s not the ski-masked rapist, he’s the nice guy you might have coffee with.