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ERIC Number: ED391176
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Jul-15
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Gendered Plagiarist.
Howard, Rebecca Moore
In modern authorship, the writer is believed to be capable of working alone, autonomously, without being influenced by others. If the writer is a "true" author, he or she is also believed to be producing an "original" text and is accorded ownership of the text. These apparently neutral, natural moves actually participate in a hierarchy of authorship. At the one extreme is the true author, recognized by "his" autonomy and originality. At the other extreme is the plagiarist. This hierarchy, furthermore, is implicated in a set of gender-based assumptions that lead to disturbing conclusions about feminine authorship. Harold Bloom's "The Anxiety of Influence" and Thomas Mallon's "Stolen Words: Forays into the Origins and Ravages of Plagiarism," demonstrate the terms of these conclusions. Both Bloom and Mallon assert that all writing is influenced, none autonomous. Both, further, discuss writing with sexual metaphors that indicate a lack of appreciation for collaboration and other female inclinations. Robinson Shipherd was specific in linking originality to the masculine body, plagiarism to the female. Other 20th century writers, like Sigmund Freud, depict women as an obstruction to creativity. Meltzer finds that for Freud, men must acknowledge the feminine as the "passive and unproductive" elements in their work or they themselves will become feminized. Consider, also, William Perry's well-known explanation of exam-taking: rote obedient learning is associated with the female, while a subtle grasp of the abstract is associated with male learning. (Contains 19 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A