This sage article at Literary Hub.
“In 1987, Toni Morrison declared that she was reclaiming the label of “black woman writer,” stating that those who wouldn’t label her as such “were trying to suggest that I was ‘bigger’ than that, or better than that.” Instead, she says,
“I simply refused to accept their view of bigger and better. I really think the range of emotions and perceptions I have had access to as a black person and as a female person are greater than those of people who are neither. I really do. So it seems to me that my world did not shrink because I was a black female writer. It just got bigger.””
Rebecca Solnit: Art Makes the World, and It Can Break Us
“I sort of kicked the hornets’ nest the other day, by expressing feminist opinions about books. It all came down to Lolita. “Some of my favorite novels are disparaged in a fairly shallow way. To read Lolita and ‘identify’ with one of the characters is to entirely misunderstand Nabokov,” one commenter informed me, which made me wonder if there’s a book called Reading Lolita in Patriarchy. The popular argument that novels are good because they inculcate empathy assumes that we identify with characters, and no one gets told they’re wrong for identifying with Gilgamesh or even Elizabeth Bennett. It’s just when you identify with Lolita you’re clarifying that this is a book about a white man serially raping a child over a period of years. Should you read Lolita and strenuously avoid noticing that this is the plot and these are the characters? Should the narrative have no relationship to your own experience? This man thinks so, which is probably his way of saying that I made him uncomfortable.”
This has happened to so many women–pointing out that Lolita is about child rape is not a way to make friends and influence people. Solnit puts it back into focus for us.