Jean Cortiel, examining the androcide
that appears in Joanna Russ' writing, maintains that it is primarily a narrative device to endow female characters with agency, not the celebration of violence or the advocacy of mass murder that it often is in men's works (46).
By following recurrent themes, such as the rescue motif, androcide, cats, and meta-textual commentary through her work we see Russ's development in terms of her feminism.
Agency is explored through the gendering of authorial voice and through Russ's recurrent theme of androcide. It is in her consideration of The Female Man in this section that Cortiel first explores the paradox of utopian Whileaway which "is both based upon patriarchy and imagined as beyond it, expressing the need for such a utopian space and the ultimate impossibility of reaching this space" (89).