In the eighth episode of HBO Max’s comedy series ‘Minx,’ Joyce receives a stunning offer to appear on the renowned ‘The Dick Cavett Show.’ To overcome the negative publicity of Minx, she explains the foundational feminist values of the magazine to Dick Cavett. To introduce another opinion on Joyce’s use of pornography to propagate feminist notions, Dick invites Victoria Hartnett, writer of the famed and significant feminist book ‘Suffering Suffragettes.’ As Joyce gets starstruck seeing Victoria, one must be wondering whether the author and her book are real. On that note, let us share the answers!
Is Victoria Hartnett a Real Writer? Is Suffering Suffragettes a Real Book?
No, Victoria Hartnett is not a real writer, and ‘Suffering Suffragettes’ isn’t a real book. However, creator Ellen Rapoport and her writers conceived the character heavily resembling real-life writers and their pivotal books, especially regarding suffragettes, who demanded voting rights for women. From Antonia Raeburn and her ‘The Militant Suffragettes’ to Christabel Pankhurst and her ‘Unshackled: The Story of How We Won the Vote,’ the 20th century witnessed the introduction of several books regarding the suffragettes. Victoria and her book do resemble these writers and books, which were part of the feminist movements of the time.
Victoria also represents Joyce’s numerous feminist idols, who motivated her to conceive ‘The Matriarchy Awakens,’ which transformed into ‘Minx.’ In the show, Victoria and her book are parts of Joyce’s fundamental understanding of feminism. She was inspired by Victoria and other feminist writers like Simone de Beauvoir and Germaine Greer to mold her personality as a feminist. Rapoport connects the fictional Victoria to reality by introducing her as a friend of Germaine Greer, a pivotal figure in the radical feminist movements of the 20th century. Placing Victoria as one among a few real-life feminist authors enhances the authenticity of the character as well.
Rapoport, however, doesn’t depict Victoria as an outrightly admirable character. Even though she is a renowned feminist, she fails to see the value of the articles Joyce published in her magazine. Victoria also misunderstands the changes Joyce brought to the articles for them to be readable to the general public as superficial. Through the character, Rapoport apparently brings out the elitist notion of the famed feminists, who ignore the success of Joyce’s articles among the women who wouldn’t have necessarily read Victoria’s intellectual work.
For women like Shelly or Bambi, Victoria’s book is nothing but a terrible textbook they can’t connect with. Whereas, Minx appeals to them. They can comprehend the articles which are presented in their language while Victoria’s book is limited to the intellectually-superior women. This comparison helps Rapoport to portray the value of Joyce and her magazine and the limitations of Victoria’s intellectually appealing book.
Joyce’s encounter with Victoria teaches the former that her idols may not necessarily approve of her ideas and notions, especially if she challenges them. Although Joyce’s interaction with Victoria turns out to be a dispiriting affair for the former, she may have learned that her voice, Minx, is beyond the judgments of people like the latter.
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