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20494Re: Tolkien, women, gender and brain-picking

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  • Cristina A. Montes
    May 8, 2009
      I agree. I e-mailed Edith more thoughts on this matter.

      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, 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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