The Female Relative Phenomenon

Is it just me, or does it seem like a new book comes out every other day with a title that fits the following format:

"The X's Wife/Daughter/Other Female Relative," where X is (usually) some kind of occupation.
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flag this list (?)
308 books · 112 voters · list created December 1st, 2009 by Ashley (votes) .
29 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Ashley 1144 books
44 friends
Morgan 1401 books
1121 friends
Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 546 books
471 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3160 books
832 friends
Jennifer 1522 books
123 friends
Greyweather 2654 books
72 friends
Bettie 15450 books
120 friends
Kelsey 212 books
18 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-27 of 27 (27 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 2: by Bettie (new)

Bettie It seems that these titles don't score very highly star-wise with me.


message 3: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl No, it's not just you, Ashley. When I see these titles in the bookstore I usually run like hell.


message 4: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl "The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter" might be the strangest.


message 5: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Still to be written:

The Phlebotomists's Daughter
The UPS Man's Daughter
The Optician's Daughter
The Treasury Secretary's Daughter
The Epidemiologist's Daughter
The Sanitation Worker's Daughter
The Vice President's Daughter
The Migrant Worker's Daughter
The Middle Manager's Daughter

I can't wait to not read them.


message 6: by Bettie (new)

Bettie Lobstergirl wrote: "Still to be written:

The Phlebotomists's Daughter
The UPS Man's Daughter
The Optician's Daughter
The Treasury Secretary's Daughter
The Epidemiologist's Daughter
The Sanitation Worker's Daug..."


Snort! *wine/monitor* - Shall we have a buddy non-read?

xx


message 7: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Bettie wrote: "Snort! *wine/monitor* - Shall we have a buddy non-read?..."

Sure, I'm not-starting them right now.


message 8: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Lobstergirl wrote: ""The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter" might be the strangest."

Yeah, that one probably takes the cake!


message 9: by jo (new)

jo love this list. i think we should have one with the female gerund phenomenon, though right now i can think only of film titles (Kissing Jessica Stein, Loving Annabelle...).


message 10: by Bettie (new)

Bettie She was only a Tiler's Daughter - but she knew how to raise the roof.

She was only a Fiddle Maker's Daughter - but she sure knew how to fret.

She was only a Palmist's Daughter - but she sure read between the lines.

She was only a Linen-Maker's Daughter - But she was good between the sheets.

She was only a Biker's Daughter - But she knew how to twist my throttle.

She was only a Plumber's Daughter - But she knew how to pull people's chains.

She was only the Strongman's Daughter - But she knew when to break it off.


message 11: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Ha! I always have been so annoyed by these titles! Great list.


message 12: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited May 18, 2011 03:50AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) jo wrote: "love this list. i think we should have one with the female gerund phenomenon, though right now i can think only of film titles (Kissing Jessica Stein, Loving Annabelle...)."

Now there is one! See http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/10...

And in creating that list, I noticed that there are also plenty of titles (predominantly romance novels, many of them written by women) following the corresponding pattern of the "male gerund phenomenon" ... ("Loving Jack," "Kissing Jack," "Leaving Jack," "Killing Jack," etc. -- well, alright, the last one would probably be a mystery ... or a true crime tale, who knows. ;) )


message 13: by jo (new)

jo YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks for the shout-out, too.


message 14: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited May 18, 2011 08:16AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) You're very welcome! :)

ETA: There's a list for The Male Gerund Phenomenon now as well: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/10...


message 15: by Riona (new)

Riona This phenomenon has never before occurred to me, but now that the evidence is staring me in the face...

Also, this whole thread is hilarious!


message 16: by Garet (new)

Garet OMG. This has been bugging me for ages and I finally decided to see if there was already a listopia list for it. Thank you!

I've added a few books from my own reading. I wish there was a way to list these books by publication date because it would be interesting to see how far back the phenomenon goes and when the explosion occurred. I have the feeling that it's relatively recent.


message 17: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jul 09, 2012 10:47AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads My own guess about that would be that there are examples of the phenomena from "back in the day" - like Charley's Aunt or The French Lieutenant's Woman - but it has become much more popular recently.


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship I run from these too--way to define your heroine by (usually) a man in the fucking title! Great list!


message 19: by Therese (new)

Therese Hear, hear! The lack of originality and the unfeminist implications are nauseating!


message 20: by Andréa (new)

Andréa Like Garet, I've been annoyed by these titles for awhile and came into Listopia to create this list if it didn't already exist.

I'm loving this comment thread!


message 21: by Andréa (new)

Andréa The list creator may want to take a look at the entries on this list; some don't seem (to me) to follow the original intention of the list, and some only include the female relative in the subtitle. Some weeding may be warranted, depending on how strict one wants to be with the guidelines.


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship Yeah, there are a few that aren't really relatives. Though I'd be inclined to leave titles like "The French Lieutenant's Woman," which seem to meet the spirit of the list even if they aren't actually relatives, and get rid of ones like "Daughter of the Forest," since that isn't an actual relative at all.

In addition to being unfeminist, it strikes me that these titles are really, well, boring. "The Optimist's Daughter"? "The Shoemaker's Wife"? Who wants to run out and read something like that? I'll grant there is some interest generated by titles like "The Time Traveler's Wife," but many of them are so mundane as to spark no interest even in the person referenced, let alone their female relatives.


message 23: by Andréa (new)

Andréa Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship wrote: "Yeah, there are a few that aren't really relatives. Though I'd be inclined to leave titles like "The French Lieutenant's Woman," which seem to meet the spirit of the list even if they aren't actually relatives, and get rid of ones like "Daughter of the Forest," since that isn't an actual relative at all.

I agree. I also tend to think titles like "American Wife", "Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife", and "Kissing the Gunner's Daughter" don't fit the theme guidelines, although they all technically refer to female relatives in their titles.


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship I don't understand - a wife is a relative by marriage.


message 25: by Ashley (new)

Ashley I agree - I've looked at the list a few times and thought about weeding but never brought myself to make a decision - maybe I'll have another look :)


message 26: by Andréa (new)

Andréa Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship wrote: "I don't understand - a wife is a relative by marriage."

Right. But the description for the list says "a title that fits the following format: 'The X's Wife/Daughter/Other Female Relative,' where X is (usually) some kind of occupation."

"American Wife," "Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife," and "Kissing the Gunner's Daughter" don't fit that format. Ones that would fit the format would be "The American's Wife," "Mr. Darcy's Wife" or "The Darcy's Wife", and "The Gunner's Daughter."


message 27: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Went through it and weeded most of them out, I think :) Thanks for the reminder Andrea!!


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