Today on #IrishWritersWed I’m delighted to welcome Triona Scully.
In short ~ Irish-born, lives in Edinburgh.
Unapologetically apathetic. Likes long walks on the beach. Current affairs. (Thank you Cranachan Publlishing!!)
Triona has just written her debut novel, Nailing Jess, described as a book that ‘takes classic crime and turns it on its head with a deliciously absurd comic twist.’
Today Triona has a written a post for us all entitled ‘What’s in a Name?’, so without further ado….
What’s in a Name
by Triona Scully
Nailing Jess is set in a matriarchy where the traditional gender roles are reversed. In such a world, where men are oppressed, a political idealogy emerges to fight for their rights.
This movement I call menimism.
It is an entirely fictional concept, intrinsic to the book’s plot, and should never be confused with actual menimism. Actual menimism is a real world political ideology, which is rooted in the entirely unproven belief that feminism has over-extended its remit, to the detriment of men.
Most of the character’s in ‘Nailing Jess’ have strong old-fashioned male or female names like Ben and George, Martha and Kathy. That was one of the first decisions my editors made, and it was the right one.
As there is so much potential for confusion with gender reversal, they felt it was very important that people’s names were in no way ambiguous.
Because of this, there are only five characters with names especially chosen by me, that I attribute meaning to.
Jess is the female name I have chosen for Jesus.
The Main Character: D.I. Jane Wayne
The main character was always Jane Wayne.
Growing up in a one TV house, in a two channel country, viewing choices were limited and entirely dictated by the adults, because it’s a very recent trend to allow kids have an opinion. In practice, this meant Sunday afternoons that weren’t devoted to national sporting events were spent watching Westerns.
John Wayne quickly became an emblem of the masculinity that permeated my childhood. Before I had discovered feminism, and learned of the existence of a patriarchy, I always had a strong sense of the inherent inequality between men and women. When we weren’t watching men kicking balls, we were watching one man shoot half the cast, dump the girl, and ride off into the sunset.
Naming my alpha female main character after The Duke was an instant and easy choice.
The Kids: Simon, Drea and Val
Ben’s character, a full time single Dad, with a demanding career, in a women dominated profession, is easy for women to relate to. I wanted to make him menimist and powerless simultaneously, because I think a lot of feminist thinkers struggle to reconcile their world view with the realities of their compromises in the work place.
Ben, a long time academic menimist reader, has called his children after famous menimists Simon De Beauvoir, Andrew Dworkin (Drea’s full name is Andrea) and Valentino Solanas.
These choices pay homage to three of the most interesting feminists of the twentieth century.
Simone De Beauvoir is a complex writer and without a degree in philosophy almost impossible to understand. None the less, I urge you to try and read ‘The Second Sex’, a ground- breaking book on the origins and persistence of patriarchal thought. It includes such nuggets of wisdom as ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’
Andrea Dworkin is my all time favourite feminist. Reading her is both challenging and comforting. Righteously certain in her rigorously researched books, Dworkin was more prophet than academic. These days, she’s widely refiled, but usually by people who have never read an entire book she has written.
It’s such a shame that Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol, thereby relegating the most interesting thing she ever did, writing SCUM, to a very poor second place. SCUM – Society for cutting up men manifesto is a stream of feminist consciousness unlike any other I’ve ever read. It’s funny, frank and utterly absurd. It’s a short, easy read that you can finish in a few hours, guaranteed to leave you reeling for days.
You can find out more about Triona at:
Website ~ https://trionascully.com/
Twitter ~ @TScullyWriter