Whenever we communicate in any form or medium we must be conscious of our audience. I know I am writing to my classmate and instructor, so I can write with less formality than I would with an audience of mostly strangers. Audience also affects the way that we talk about the topics we address. For instance if I were to write a post about my mother I would write it with the intention of describing how she has affected my ideologies towards women and feminism (a topic for another week), because my audience is a class addressing these kinds of topics. I would not, however, discuss how my mother is the greatest mother in the whole world, even though it is true, because my audience will understand my mother better if I discuss her with the former topics.
So who are these authors writing to? Russ? Tiptree? Are they writing to the same audience? Are they writing to an audience that maybe didn’t hear them?
Joanna Russ, we have established, writes in a very alienating way. It’s almost scary. So who was she writing Female Man for? When she sends her book out at the end it feels as though she just wrote it and hoped that maybe somebody out there would listen. She didn’t have a specific audience. Maybe that’s why she didn’t spend too much time making it accessible.
Margaret Atwood, so far as I have read, seems to be writing in a very accessible fashion. Year of the Flood can be picked up by almost anyone and can be understood. Atwood seems to be writing to an audience of those who may not be familiar with her ideas and is writing them in a fictional form to get them interested.
The only text that we have read so far that seems to be written to an audience with a solid understanding of feminist ideology is Toward a Queer Ecofeminism. The purpose of the article is to take two very educated sides of liberal thought and unite them. The author is conscious of her audience as very staunchly active people who need focused and direct points to change their minds.
In all of this we see every side of the feminist movement coming to life: educating those who are already behind their ideas, introducing others to these ideas, possibly redefining ideas that have been misconstrued, and even just shouts into the dark. All of these come together to form a gold mine of feminist literature that has shaped and defined the movement and that is still defining it.