Domestic duties are regarded as feminine in popular culture. Karl Ove Knausgaard’s enormous three volume tome, My Struggle, is full of descriptions of domesticity, and he has been showered with highbrow literary praise for them. But would the same be true if he were a woman?
What if it were a woman moaning about motherhood and its frustrations, a woman filled with resentment about preparing dinner and doing the laundry, or a woman wishing she could just be alone for a while and write? Isn’t this what Knausgaard longs for a good part of the time, a room of one’s own and the freedom to write? If the thousands of pages of My Struggle are testimony to anything, it is that the man did find time to write.
A thorough and fascinating essay on the feminization of literature, over on Lit Hub.