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Men Fear Women and Other GeneralizationsKruegers article Women Readers and the Politics of Gender in Le Roman de Silence focuses on several different interpretations of the romances intentions towards presenting the role of women No conclusions are formed as to whether or not the author of Silence Heldris is being misogynistic or proto-feminist Krueger points out that this question of Heldris intent will probably never be answered definitively Her article does argue that while women are told to be silent in the romance there is also a challenge to the traditional roles of men and women because of Silences excellence at being a man Naturally she cannot fool Nature for long but she does a pretty good job of hiding her sex for a while There are several lines from the romance I would like to focus on During lines 3240-3280 the minstrels with whom Silence has been traveling and performing begin to hate him They are positively disgusted with his superb musicianship and jealous beyond control about how much everyone loves him They say that their own talents are multiplied in him suggesting not only that he is a better artist than they but also that his talents come from theirs and are not at all his own For a moment let us assume that this entire rant is based on the fact that Silence is really a woman then assume that she represents all women who have tried to break free of the mold Nature prepared for them for as these men see it the natural way is the way it has always been and why should it be otherwise The disgust of the minstrels could then be read as a jealousy and fear of women in general They are shocked and outraged that either were not as good as we used to be or this upstart is the best jongleur there ever was Does this mean that men must become weaker for
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