20494Re: Tolkien, women, gender and brain-picking
- May 8, 2009I agree. I e-mailed Edith more thoughts on this matter.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, scribbler@... wrote:
> Interesting topic, Edith!
> Most certainly, I'd say that the worst misunderstanding of Tolkien's
> attitude toward women is the assumption that he condescends - especially
> when the interpretation is based solely on reading LOTR. Unless the
> reader pays close attention, he can easily miss the indications that
> Tolkien's women are generally strong and not "typical passive heroines"
> (that is, are they paying attention to Galadriel's history, the tale of
> Luthien, etc.).
> I think the contraints of the type of story he was telling in LOTR, and
> the character selection ended up making the novel atypical of JRRT's work
> in general, especially as it relates to female characters. Too many few
> Arwen as the *standard* of Tolkien heroines, where she is actually pretty
> much the exception (even Finduilas, who is rather passive, is a bit more
> active than Arwen).
> Huh. That would be a different tack to take: Eowyn is the standard of a
> Tolkien heroine, not the exception (Luthien, Ildis, Elwing, Galadriel --
> all "take action" types).
> > I'm one of the presenters at the NEH-funded institute "J. R. R. Tolkien's
> > The Lord of the Rings: The Real and the Imagined Middle Ages" at
> > UT-Commerce
> > this summer. I'm supposed to be the gender expert, although where they got
> > that notion I have no idea. But hey, who turns down a free trip to
> > Commerce,
> > Texas in August? (See
> > http://community.livejournal.com/lotr_middleages/886.html if you wish, but
> > please be advised I did not write the blurb attached to my name, and its
> > hyperbole makes me by turns appalled and hysterical.)
> > I hereby humbly request that fellow scholars and aficionados help me out
> > by
> > answering the following:
> > What do you think are the best and worst things written on the topic of
> > Tolkien and women/gender/the feminine, etc. in Tolkien's work (and
> > preferably why)? In addition (or instead of) what are the most widely held
> > wrong-headed notions about the previous topics held by scholars or the
> > general public?
> > I have some notions of my own but this group is more widely read and
> > variously opinionated than my head by itself. I just got a first deadline
> > of
> > June 1 for handouts to be copied, so I am suddenly more highly motivated
> > than heretofore, and your assistance will be greatly appreciated.
> > Replies can be sent to me at correspondence@... or shared with the
> > list if you like.
> > --
> > Edith Crowe, Corresponding Secretary
> > The Mythopoeic Society
> > http://www.mythsoc.org | correspondence@...
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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