Big Sister is Watching You!
A Radical Feminist Analysis of Nineteen Eighty-Four
It is a truth universally acknowledged on the Left, that a woman expressing radical feminist ideas must be a Nazi. A primary source of this belief is the iconic dystopian novel by George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was published in 1949 and has sold over 30 million copies. The anti-totalitarian tract is studied by school children, read by revolutionaries and referenced increasingly today by women and men resisting authoritarianism. It is easy to identify with the hero Winston in his fight against Doublethink, the Thought Police and Big Brother.
However, whilst Nineteen Eighty-Four is a great novel, it is profoundly misogynist, and it is an error for radical feminists to reference it uncritically. In this essay I will demonstrate that the Left’s hero, Winston, the protagonist in 1984, is deeply anti-feminist, that the Left’s hero’s girlfriend, Julia, is a man-made fantasy and that the Left’s anti-hero, Big Brother, has a secret alter- ego Big Sister whose feminist work is resented by men as a form of control and oppression of the people. Big Sister is pro-chastity, anti-femininity (make up, high heels, dresses), the destroyer of love and family ties. She is the anti-sex version of the Nanny State. She is the hidden, hated authoritarian partner who makes Nineteen Eighty-Four a double dystopia for men – as if you had Stalin controlling the state and the disapproving Suffragettes dominating society and disappearing the family. I will also unpick the multiple meanings and messages of the key word, love, which serve to confuse women and cement their subservient role. I will illustrate how this widely read revolutionary book has influenced culture to perpetuate patriarchal ideology whilst appearing to promote freedom. I will elucidate why so many on the Left believe so firmly that radical feminists are totalitarian fascists.
The Left’s hatred of feminists is aimed at radical feminists with our argument that patriarchy is at the root of oppression and our wish to abolish prostitution, surrogacy and pornography. Radical feminists argue that the family is a patriarchal institution, a building block enforcing women’s subordination, as is compulsory heterosexuality. Left wing men hate these views and work to discredit them by misrepresenting radical feminism as right wing. They suggest that women on the Left should either forget sexual politics altogether and identify with male heroes (such as Winston) - don’t think of yourself as a woman, but as a worker, a party member, a socialist, a queer and so forth. Or if you must be a feminist, you could be a feminist who fights for better working conditions for women – with a special focus on “sex-workers” in the porn and prostitution industries. The campaigns here are to improve safety by fighting society’s shaming attitudes towards women in the industry – which are targeted as the chief cause of oppression. Unite and fight capitalism and kink shaming society – the acceptable cry from women on the Left. Even better for men on the Left would be for females in the movement to be fun feminists - young, individualistic, hedonistic and uninterested in structural political analysis. This is the type of feminism modelled by Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Winston’s sex-loving girlfriend provides a role model for young women on the Left – enthusiastic, empowered, apolitical, lightweight and dismissible. They want to encourage women to be unthinking. Indeed, a new film, “Julia”, is coming out in Summer 2022 which proposes to retell Orwell’s classic from her “feminist” point of view and looks sure to articulate this problematic fun, pro-sex feminism version of women’s liberation politics. [i]
George Orwell’s anti-totalitarian novel, 1984, pits Winston Smith (the hero) against a cruel power-hungry state run by the Party and led by Big Brother. The traditional reading is that Winston meets and falls in love with Julia, and their clandestine relationship epitomises what is good about a free and true life. Winston’s political thoughts and the couple’s physical affair combine to show the two sides (mental and physical) of rebellion against authoritarianism. They compact to fight alongside the Brotherhood to overthrow the ruling oligarchy IngSoc, but instead are arrested and tortured in the Ministry of Love which helps them to see that if the Party says so, 2+2=5 and that all knowledge comes from the Party rather than material reality or themselves. The revolutionary lovers are re-educated under torture and betray one another in Room 101. “Do it to Julia,” shouts Winston to stop rats eating his face. This betrayal, suggests Orwell, is the key to breaking the revolution. “Love”, on the other hand, is the solution to totalitarianism.
Orwell is a darling of the left, indeed of the gender critics/abolitionists but his critique of totalitarianism is fatally tainted by his misogyny and hatred of feminism. Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is a vision of a double dystopia that conflates the Big Brother enemy (Stalin, Hitler, etc) with an unacknowledged Big Sister enemy (the Suffragettes, Josephine Butler, etc). His vilification of First Wave Feminism helped create the false truism amongst the Left that feminists are Nazis or Fascists and allied with the right.
“He disliked nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones.”
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a brilliant book, but the hero Winston is deeply misogynistic. Near the start of the novel, during the Two Minutes of Hate against the leader of the revolutionary Brotherhood, Goldstein, Winston switches his hatred of Goldstein to a female colleague he has seen but never spoken to. He fantasises about tying “the girl” to a post, raping and killing her. “Vivid, beautiful hallucinations flashed through his mind. He would flog her to death with a rubber truncheon. He would tie her naked to a stake and shoot her full of arrows like Saint Sebastian. He would ravish her and cut her throat at the moment of climax.” He explains his feeling: “Better than before, moreover, he realised why it was that he hated her. He hated her because she was young and pretty and sexless, because he wanted to go to bed with her and would never do so, because round her sweet supple waist, which seemed to ask you to encircle it with your arm, there was only the odious scarlet sash, aggressive symbol of chastity.”
So here, in the first chapter of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the hero lays bare his inner thoughts towards a “girl” at work. He wants to rape and kill her because he can’t have her. He is assuming he can’t have her, we infer, because he is older, thirty-eight, and unattractive. These days we might call Winston an incel. He is doubly convinced that he won’t bed her because she is wearing a Junior Anti-Sex League sash which Winston describes as an “aggressive symbol of chastity”. It’s noteworthy that a sign indicating a young woman’s desire not to have sex is described as aggressive. Orwell continues to develop Winston’s character: “He disliked nearly all women, and especially the young and pretty ones.”[ii] He notices one young woman in the canteen, remarks on her obsequiousness towards a male she was sitting next to and her “youthful and rather silly feminine voice.”[iii]
Winston is separated but had been married for just under two years to Katherine, a beautiful but in his mind vacuous “girl”. Once he’d gotten to know her, he judged that she “had the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had ever encountered.”[iv] He hated having sex with her because “what was strange was that even when she was clasping him against her, he had the feeling that she was simultaneously pushing him away with all her strength.” Perhaps he should have investigated her ambivalence, thinking that Katherine might have had good reason for it. Instead, he criticised her for her lack of enthusiasm for the sex act, annoyed that “she would lie there with shut eyes, neither resisting nor co-operating, but submitting.”[v]
“The Party was trying to kill the sex instinct,” writes Orwell.[vi] Aware, clearly that there are differences between men and women, he adds: “As far as women were concerned, the Party’s efforts were largely successful.” Much has been written by feminists about how men and women experience sex differently which outlines the very good reasons women have to be women to be anti-sex. Any sex mentioned in this article refers to heterosexual intercourse, with all the associated cultural baggage of dominance and subordination. Is it women in general, not the Party, that are getting their way here? Winston remembers going to a prostitute, a prole, which is forbidden by the Party, who want to “kill the sex instinct”. He is disgusted by her when he sees she is old but completes the act anyway. “Why could he not have a woman of his own instead of these filthy scuffles at intervals of years?” he thinks. Revealing, perhaps, his true opinion about women’s sexual attractiveness, Orwell writes that prole females went to work at twelve, have a “brief blossoming-period of beauty and sexual desire” before marrying at twenty.[vii]
Winston did not, however hate his mother, who he holds up as a paragon of bygone virtue. She had sacrificed her own life and indeed her daughter's, in order to save his. He regrets that the Party has destroyed human loyalty and love to make such an act now impossible. He remembers that he had stolen food from his starving sister and suspects this had led to her death, but regrets that familial love has been destroyed. Winston applauds motherly self-sacrifice in women.
The Left’s hero’s girlfriend is a fantasy sex-robot
Winston’s girlfriend is a perfect role model for young women on the Left. Julia is a fictional character – a fantasy created by Orwell for Winston (and all Left men) whose desires reflect exactly their own. Julia, although 26 is referred to as a “girl”, emphasising her youth and unmarried status. She lived in a hostel with 30 other “girls” and Julia shows her allegiance to the patriarchy, saying: “Always in the stink of women! How I hate women!” Julia is a perfect woman-hating female then, someone for young anti-establishment women to emulate. She had worked producing porn for the proles and started her first “love affair” the age of sixteen with a sixty-year-old Party member.[viii] This person can only have been written by a man. Sixteen-year-old girls don’t want illicit sex with men four times their age and they certainly wouldn’t call it love. Julia is clearly a male fantasy, made up by a man for men, like a sex-robot.
Before having sex for the first time, Winston told Julia that he had fantasised about raping and killing her. Instead of horror and disgust, Julia, the male-creation's response was to laugh delightedly. On finding out that she had had sex with scores of men, Winston was thrilled. “I hate purity” he said, “I hate goodness. I don’t want any virtue to exist anywhere.” He checks Julia's motives “You like doing this? I don’t mean simply me: I mean the thing in itself?” Julia responded: “I adore it” and for Winston, “that was above all what he wanted to hear”.
Winston wanted his girlfriend to adore heterosexual intercourse with men, sex, “the thing in itself” more than he wanted her to love him. This is a male dream, that young women, “girls”, as Orwell describes them, enthusiastically do intercourse sex with older unattractive men like Winston, consenting to it, enjoying it, wanting it, even knowing that their male partner has fantasies of raping and murdering them.
Winston explains to Julia his hope that they would contact the Brotherhood and join the resistance against Big Brother and the Party. She is uninterested and anyway doesn’t believe there is a resistance or that it could win. “You’re only a rebel from the waist downwards,” says Winston, suggesting that all that matters to her is sex and immediate pleasure.[ix] He trivialises her, making her seem less than human, but also appreciates her rejection of chastity. Winston dreams at one point of Julia walking towards him and tearing her clothes off. He says her gesture overturned a whole culture, “as though Big Brother and the Party and the Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm.”[x] Women undressing as the crucial political act suits the Left nicely.
With careful reading, we see that the core act of resistance in Nineteen Eighty-Four is heterosexual intercourse between an unattractive older man and a girl more than a decade his junior. Older women who might have warned Julia about the perils of this are either absent (Julia’s female relatives), dead (Winston’s mother), disappeared (Winston’s wife), uneducated (the washerwoman who sings below their rented room), or trapped in domestic drudgery (Mrs Parsons). Julia is a young woman alone, isolated by her hatred even of the thirty women she lives with. A culture that could protect her, built up by during the first wave feminists during the previous century, is characterised as the enemy – puritanical, controlling, anti-sex, anti-joy – and presented as a form of totalitarian oppression implemented by Big Brother and the Party. Orwell is misrepresenting first wave feminism as authoritarian and offering two male centred options for females – maternal self-sacrifice love, and youthful animalistic sex.
In Orwell’s vision, anything that limits men’s access to “the thing itself” is bad – fused with state control, presented as totalitarian. Big Brother has done a deal with the witch Big Sister to thwart joy, sex, passion, instinct, humanity. Orwell has slurred the feminism that sought to erect protective boundaries around girls, women in prostitution, wives in marriage and to offer them opportunities outside the prison of the patriarchal family and fused it with state totalitarianism.
The sex between Winston and Julia was a blow struck against the Party, a political act, writes Orwell. Convenient, that. Satisfactory, for the Left, for heterosexual sex between old unattractive men and “girls” to be seen as a potent revolutionary act. What’s more, Winston’s unattractiveness implies that Julia would want to have sex with any man, every rebel man, which makes her even more of a useful role model.
Big Sister is watching you too
Julia’s Junior Anti-Sex League sash showed her membership of the Party’s campaigning anti-sex youth group. Her presumed lack of interest in having sex with Winston was made more hateful in his eyes because it was supported by the state. This is where Orwell’s totalitarian party IngSoc differs from Stalin’s or Hitler’s. Neither real life dictator set up an anti sex group.[xi] My contention is that in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell created a hidden “Big Sister” who in cahoots with her brother imposes feminist politics through the state. He is describing what men experience as a Double Dystopia.
Thus, in 1984, Orwell makes an attack on what could be described as “Big Sister” elements that were gaining power in the British state and institutions of power at the time, (just after the second world war). These included laws protecting married women, anti-prostitution laws in the Nineteenth Century, the 1919 Act enabling women to work in professions such as law and medicine and women winning the right to vote in 1928. [xii] [xiii] These came from the First Wave of Feminism, the movement in the 19th century and into the 20th in which feminists fought against men’s rights to have sex when and where they wanted. Women sought to put up barriers – to rape in marriage, to the prostitution of children, to women having to say yes to sex on demand by their husbands.[xiv] Sheila Jeffreys in The Spinster and Her Enemies examines these feminist struggles against child abuse and prostitution. She shows how the advances of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were undermined by a pro-sex ideology which took off after the Great War. George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four should be recognised as a foundational text in the pro-sex canon, rather than as simply anti totalitarian.
Orwell does not name Big Sister, but he implies that her work is being done by the Party and Big Brother. He laments that women are no longer addressed as Mrs., but comrade. They no longer wear make-up and dresses. We read that Winston hated women of his own class: “The women of the Party were all alike. Chastity was as deeply ingrained in them as Party loyalty.” His hatred was because of women’s denial to men of sex. Instead of investigating why party women valued chastity (he could have referred to Virginia Woolf’s Three Guineas which proposes chastity of the body and mind), Orwell has Winston muse: “The sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion.” For Winston under the Party, “Desire was thoughtcrime”. Orwell is railing against societies and states that enable women’s entry into public life, escape from married role and especially against organisations (that give young women sashes) that promote chastity. Musing on this, Winston in a resentful moment thinks; “It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and the nosers-out of unorthodoxy.”[xv]
The message in 1984 is that being anti-sex is part of being totalitarian. Being pro-sex is revolutionary and an expression of freedom. We are meant to identify with and empathise with Winston, the man who fantasised about raping and murdering his female colleague. Orwell is showing us the type of freedom left wing men want. They want sex on demand and are happy to support abortion on demand to enable it.
Early in the book, Winston starts to write a diary, which is not illegal, but he knows will be punished if discovered. He is interrupted almost immediately by a knocking at the door and to his relief it is not the Thought Police but “Mrs Parsons, the wife of a neighbour” (is she not a neighbour in her own right?) wanting him to help unblock her drain. He is meant to think of her as a “comrade” but continues with Mrs.: “with some women one used it instinctively”. On his way back to his apartment, her son fires a catapult at Winston which goes unpunished, and Winston reflects, “Nearly all children nowadays were horrible... by means of such organisations as the Spies, they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages”. Orwell describes how using songs, processions, banners and hiking, children were brainwashed and empowered by The Party to be agents of state control, destroying family life. Along with the similarities with Hitler Youth, there is a lamentation for the destruction of patriarchal power within the family. Mr Parsons is notably absent in family life, and the children are disrespectful of their mother and Winston. In this scene, in the grim, foul smelling, neighbour’s home, Orwell mourns the loss of the patriarchal family unit. He is setting up the old family unit, supposedly harmonious and the nexus of love, against the broken, violent chaos of homes under a too powerful state. In this world, children are cruel and violent - children all clamoured to be taken to the monthly executions of war criminals.
He notes that some parents are denounced as Thought Criminals by their own children who no longer have familial loyalty. With a feminist lens, it can be seen that as well as not wanting Big Brother, the state to see inside his mind, Winston also does not want children or women to know what his is thinking. After all, he was thinking of raping and killing a girl at work. He wants to protect men from all types of Thought Police – Big Brother, Big Sister, Little Brother and Little Sister.
During his interrogation and torture in the Ministry of Love, Inner Party member O’Brien reveals to Winston that Julia had betrayed him immediately. “All her rebelliousness, her deceit, her folly, her dirty-mindedness – everything has been burned out of her.”[xvi] Here, we are supposed to believe that O’Brien (the human embodiment of Big Brother) wants young women to not be dirty-minded. This is a typical lie under patriarchy – the alpha males pretend in public that they disapprove of women’s “dirty mindedness” but encourage it in private. Orwell is thus tricking us in two ways in this scene. This is supposedly a private conversation between Winston and Big Brother/O’Brien but of course, we the reader are party to it, so it is in fact public. Rather than spill the beans and admit that he, O’Brien, had had sex with Julia or had raped her during torture (and why shouldn’t he have had?), O’Brien presents himself as puritanical. This just doesn’t ring true at all.
It supports the thesis that Big Brother is not a male, with male interests, but a conflation of male and female – the embodiment of a male authoritarian state melded with a female totalitarian society – which fuse to thwart Winston as a public man and as a private father and husband. It functions to justify the Left’s belief that hatred of feminist boundary setting is fused into state authoritarianism.
O’Brien is speaking frankly when he lays out The Party’s plan for society. “We have cut the ties... between men and woman. No one dares to trust a wife or a child.” He continues: “the sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm.” [xvii] Here, my contention is that Orwell is describing the world he thinks feminists would create if they got more power. Possibly it might be true that if women had more power they would attempt to reduce men’s unfettered access to sex – indeed that is just what the First Wave feminists did.[xviii]
But it’s not just feminism’s attack on femininity that Orwell disliked. Socialism also broke down sex roles – make up, scent, dresses, heels for women, which Orwell regrets in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Through Winston, he shows regret that the state institutions no longer promoted femininity in women.
Let’s go back to the dream Winston had of “the girl” walking towards him and tearing her clothes off in which he argues that her gesture overturned a whole culture, “as though Big Brother and the Party and the Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm.”[xix] This is where Nineteen Eighty-Four differs from most revolutionary manuals in suggesting that the ruling class would be overthrown by young women undressing dramatically. Orwell clearly thinks that the totalitarian oligarchy oppressing society will be most undermined by girls unrobing themselves. Which totalitarian group could that be? Not Stalin or Franco, not the Stasi. But perhaps yes, to some extent, as authoritarian patriarchs do often aim to limit male sexuality, often as an offer to protect women and children and get them onside. But the Brotherhood, the outer party beta males like Winston feel they are losing out.
“Tacitly the Party was even inclined to encourage prostitution, as an outlet for instincts that could not be altogether suppressed.”[xx] What the Party didn’t countenance was “promiscuity between Party members.” Orwell continues: “Its real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act. Not love, so much as eroticism was the enemy.” Orwell writes that this was to prevent ties of loyalty forming between men and women. I suggest that what he calls a critique of the Party was in fact an attack on women wanting to limit men’s ability to access women’s bodies. Even within marriage, mutual desire was discouraged. “Sexual intercourse was to be looked upon as a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an enema.”[xxi]
You might say that this feminist analysis is overemphasising the light-hearted romantic subplot, irrelevant to the real political story of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The real genius, you might argue, is his unpicking of IngSoc, the Party, Doublethink, Newspeak etc. But I’d argue that the reason he became the darling of the Left is that he succeeds in establishing that sex is revolutionary, that chastity is aggression, that the Junior Anti-Sex league is as bad as Hitler’s Youth and to be anti-sex is to be anti-freedom. He is binding Stalin to Sylvia Pankhurst, Hitler to Josephine Butler. Every left wing man’s nightmare comes true with public totalitarianism and state support to protect the women’s private sphere and limit men’s access to women’s bodies. Winston is fighting two authorities – Stalinism and Feminism, Big Brother and Big Sister. Orwell is clear about this: “There was a direct, intimate connection between chastity and political orthodoxy.”[xxii] It’s an act of patriarchal Doublethink that we all both know and don’t know what Orwell was saying.
The trick Orwell performed was to conflate Stalin’s prying and state control with the feminist political demands of women. Down with Big Brother – morphs into Down with Big Sister! The Brotherhood will come to the rescue. What about the Sisterhood? Did Orwell not notice the Suffragettes? Women were fighting for right to say no to sex, the “thing itself” dripping with the aroma of women’s subordination.
The Ministry of Love – the real Doublethink at the heart of the novel
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, in true Doublethink style, the Ministry of Love is where Winston and Julia are tortured after their arrest by the Thought Police. The Ministry of Love is in fact where torture happens. Doublespeak by the party serves to confuse the population, and the same is true in patriarchy where it is used as a key word to confuse women. Julia makes contact with Winston with a written message “I love you”, but their affair is more about sex, dressed up as a form of resistance, than love.
Before they consummate their relationship by having sex, Winston wants to make sure that Julia does not really mean she loves him. Not love in the wider sense. Love in the sex sense. She confirms that it’s sex she wants, “the thing itself” and reassured, they start an affair and he confusingly seems to fall in love with her. Here we see Orwell laying bare the structure of patriarchal duplicity, using love as a word to trap and torture women. He flips the non-state torture technique used by men under patriarchy into a state ministry – the Ministry of Love – where torture by the totalitarian state happens.
Winston mourned the time when “there was still privacy, love and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason.”[xxiii] But love is a slippery word that means different things to each of us. In particular, it means something different to men and women. Love is used to groom women to be oppressed, to confuse women and justify their subservient role. Love can mean the caring from a mother to a child, from a daughter to a sister, from a man to a woman, and it can be a euphemism for sex, which can be a form of violent torture.
In terms of familial love, Winston dreamed about his mother, who he thinks disappeared in the great purges. In the dream his mother and sister were being sucked down towards their deaths and they all knew “that they were down there because he was up here.... they must die in order that he might remain alive.” [xxiv] Winston knows that his mother sacrificed herself and his sister for him and laments that this sort of loyalty and sacrifice were no longer possible under the Party. Feminists, on the other hand, do not mourn the passing of this sort of love, this female self-sacrifice. [xxv]
Can a man think up or write a feminist?
In summer 2022, a new movie, a “feminist” remake of Nineteen Eighty-Four will tell the story from Julia’s viewpoint.[xxvi] But can a male construct even present a feminist viewpoint? Julia is a fictional female character written by Orwell, (a man) for his revolutionary hero Winston (a man) for Left wing men to read and enjoy. For girls and women, we could read Nineteen Eighty-Four and identify with Winston, the protagonist, sure. But we are not men so who can we identify with? Mrs Parsons, the “colourless, crushed-looking women with wispy hair and a lined face”? No thank you. Winston’s self-sacrificing mother? Or dreary wife? They barely feature, and only in his memory. We are left with Julia. She, in fact, is the suggested role model for women in anti-authoritarian struggles.
Can we predict who will be playing Julia? Perhaps it will it be a man who says he is a woman. These days we can’t rule anything out... My prediction is that Julia will love sex, will enjoy porn and some of her encounters with men will be paid “sex work”. She will hate older women and their “aggressive” chastity. This remake from a “feminist” point of view will be an opportunity to modernise the misogynists role model for revolutionary girls. George Orwell’s estate’s literary executor Bill Hamilton worryingly predicts: “The millions of readers who have been brought up with Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four will find this a provocative and satisfying companion.” I think “Julia” will yet more fun feminism, the type the lads like, just another double backed layer of dude’s Doublethink to mislead women.
[i] Feminist retelling of Nineteen Eighty-Four approved by Orwell’s estate | Books | The Guardian
[iii] p.56. All pages refer to the 1987 Penguin edition of the book.
[xi] At the time of publication, C.S. Lewis was critical of the novel, claiming that the party’s view on sex lacked credibility. Lewis, Clive Staples (1966). On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature. George Orwell. Harcourt. p. 101.
[xii] The Equal Franchise Act of 1928 gave British women over 21 the vote and women finally achieved the same voting rights as men.
[xiii] The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 | First 100 Years
[xiv] The Spinster and her Enemies, Sheila Jeffreys (1986).
[xviii] Religions also often appeal to women by offering them safety in return for obedience. The top men (e.g. priests) profess to be anti-sex, or see sex as sinful, or say sex should only be for procreation. Is this a sales pitch to women, to get them onside?
[xxvi] Feminist retelling of Nineteen Eighty-Four approved by Orwell’s estate | Books | The Guardian
This is a thoroughly enjoyable unpicking of content ,form ,and origin of Orwell’s misogyny.I had noted and done some analysis of the erotic conundrum in 1984,(it purports to be a proposal for autonomy and liberation,but is undercut with Orwell’s repulsion from women),but had not noticed the links to the programme of the early 20c feminists.So a lucid uncovering for me .
I'm embarrassed to admit that I never picked up on this in 1984. I see by your examples that I'll never read it again in quite the same way. So thanks for enlightenment.