It is always so difficult to separate the narrator, the character and the author in a first person narrative, so god knows who I should be pissed at. All I know is I’m up to my gills in the persistent need to belittle women. I’m not particularly precious, especially if the critique is insightful, or at least balanced, but this depiction crosses all kinds of lines for me:
in a kindly, sleepy, warm-aired, fascinated way petted and admired all women and put his hands wherever he liked. I imagine women weren’t very angry when he saluted them in this style because he picked out whatever each of them herself prized most- colour, breast, hair, hips, and all the little secrets and connivances with which she emphasized her own good things. You couldn’t rightly say it was a common letch he had; it was a sort of Solomonic regard of an old chief or aged sea lion.With his spotty big old male hands, he felt up the married and unmarried ones, and even the little girls for what they promised, and nobody was ever offended by it pp.76-77
I am offended! Deeply! This idiotic surmising has discredited sexual assault, harassment and paedophilia in one fell swoop. This passage has me ropable.