My "go-to" place for everything Travis McGee is D.R. Martin's blog Me and Travis McGee
When I discovered D.R.'s site, I had read the entire 21 book series twice so I wasn't (and didn't) worry about spoilers. But going through some of D.R.'s entries (a synopsis of each book) and related comments, I noticed that readers had a 'takeaway' from the books that I had never thought of and in all sincerity, rather shocked and frankly annoyed me.
There were some comments about Travis being a misogynist and had no respect for women. In fact, some even said he treated them (my words) as throw-a-ways, simply using them for his own gratification and pleasure...using them as play-toys. Who and what are THEY, THOSE
people talking about?
With that said, I decided that I would take note of just how Travis felt about women and boy did I hit on a gold mine in The Quick Red Fox
for insight, in Travis' own words, his feelings about women.Taking a look, here are some direct quotes:
Travis says to actress Miss Dean “Affection, understanding, need and respect. You can be sarcastic about that too, if you want. Bed is the simplest thing two people can do. If it goes with a lot of other things, it can be important, and if it goes with nothing else, it isn’t worth the time it takes.”
Leaving Travis said, “Love you, I said. It doesn’t cost a thing. Not when you do.” Travis sounds in love.
Travis and D... talking: “Don’t do that to yourself, D... You are implausibility…astoundingly, unforgettably great. And I don’t mean just in a…”
D...replies: I know. It isn't me, and it isn't you. Let’s not talk about it. It’s the total of us, the crazy total. I’m not going to talk about it or think of what comes after. Okay? Okay, darling?’
No talk. No analysis.”
And later: “We are kind of beautiful,” she said. It’s enough to know that, I guess. Alone I’m just …sort of efficient and severe and a little heavy-handed. Defensive. Alone you’re just sort of a rough, wry opportunist, a little bit cold and shrewd and watchful. Cruel, maybe. You and your sybarite boat and your damned beach girls. But we add up to beautiful in some crazy way. For now.”
“For now, D…?” replies Travis (Trav in love?)
Obviously a woman's body is just that, hers to love and admire without categorization into the "perfectly sized" woman. (Whatever THAT is!) Travis says: ”In the bathroom, in fading light of day, her body bore the halter marks of the long sunny ride, her broad flat breasts pale, responsive to soapy ablutions cooperatively offered.”
Travis thinks “…and I wondered if, when his (referring to a book character) physical resources began to flag he would stimulate himself by corrupting her. A woman to him would be something owned, to use as he wished.”
Just to be fair, I did find one comment which surprised me and seemed to me, to objectify women; Travis said “The Swedes grow some of the finest specimens of our times.” But Travis can be forgiven by me, out of 160 pages written in 1964, he was still far beyond some men I know today and this is almost 50 years later.
Also, I noted a few comments and words of introspection by Travis which I particularly enjoyed and I've included them:
“I was not a very earnest nor constructive fellow.”
"And I have locked myself into this precarious role of the clown-knight in the tomato-can armor, flailing away at indifferent beats with my tinfoil sword. A foible of the knight, even the comic one, is the cherishing of women, and perhaps even my brand of cherishing is quaint in this time and place.”
"I get this crazy feeling. Every once in a while I get it. I get the feeling that this is the last time in history when the offbeats like me will have a chance to live free in the nooks and crannies of the huge and rigid structure of an increasingly codified society. Fifty years from now I would be hunted down in the street. They would drill little holes in my skull and make me sensible and reliable and adjusted.
“Violence is the stepchild of desperation.”
I've said my peace and offered support of my position that Travis McGee is not a misogynist. He treats women with respect and equality which was, in my mind, was unheard of in the '60's. If you disagree, watch Mad Men on TV, or offer your own support of your position.
Enough said. Oh, the book. The book was great, a bit slim on the storyline, but who cares? It's Travis McGee, so says me and Travis is and always will be my guy!