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Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien and women

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  • wendell_wagner
    Jeanette, John, David, Several people on the message board have asked me to convey their thanks to you for your answers. Wendell Wagner In a message dated
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 8, 2013
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      Jeanette, John, David,
       
      Several people on the message board have asked me to convey their thanks to you for your answers.
       
      Wendell Wagner
       
      In a message dated 6/6/2013 8:58:14 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, WendellWag@... writes:
       

      On a message board I post to, someone has made the following claims:
       
      *****************************************************************************************************************************
       
      Back in my undergrad days (Those particular days being the semester leading up to the first LotR moving coming out, so... fall 2002?), I took a course about Tolkien (a 300 level Honors elective). One of the books we read was a compilation of Tolkien's letters. One of the things I, as a budding young feminist, had a hard time getting over was just how WEIRD Tolkien was about gender relations. He refused to visit C.S. Lewis' house if Lewis' wife was home (because being in such a private setting with another woman might incite lustful thoughts). He was positively baffled at any woman who wanted to continue her education, and vehemently opposed to women at Oxford... not so much because he didn't think they were capable, but being around women might create lustful thoughts in the men and because... well, why are they even there? Why could they possibly want anything other than a home and a million babies? Isn't going to school just a waste of time for everyone involved, since once she meets the right man, she'll just want to go make babies?
       
      *****************************************************************************************************************************
      Here's the URL for that thread:
       
       
      This sounds hopelessly wrong to me as a summary of Tolkien's opinions.  Would anyone like to give some specific citations to show that it's wrong?
       
      Wendell Wagner
       
       

    • David Bratman
      You re welcome. I ve been to the message board and seen the original poster s acknowledgment that she probably misremembered. My guess is that what happened
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 10, 2013
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        You're welcome. I've been to the message board and seen the original
        poster's acknowledgment that she probably misremembered. My guess is that
        what happened is that she took what Tolkien actually said about women's
        education in his letter to Michael, and unconsciously combined it in her
        mind with other stereotypical male chauvinist views of a quite different
        nature, and assumed that Tolkien accepted the whole package. Having read
        Letters only, which doesn't emphasize the other aspects of Tolkien's work
        with women's education, could reinforce this misapprehension.

        And who knows what such an otherwise-uninformed reader would make of the
        comment on Lewis's "very strange marriage" ...

        DB



        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <WendellWag@...>
        To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2013 11:38 AM
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien and women


        Jeanette, John, David,

        Several people on the message board have asked me to convey their thanks to
        you for your answers.

        Wendell Wagner


        In a message dated 6/6/2013 8:58:14 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
        WendellWag@... writes:




        On a message board I post to, someone has made the following claims:

        ****************************************************************************
        *************************************************

        Back in my undergrad days (Those particular days being the semester
        leading up to the first LotR moving coming out, so... fall 2002?), I took a
        course about Tolkien (a 300 level Honors elective). One of the books we read
        was
        a compilation of Tolkien's letters. One of the things I, as a budding
        young feminist, had a hard time getting over was just how WEIRD Tolkien was
        about gender relations. He refused to visit C.S. Lewis' house if Lewis' wife
        was home (because being in such a private setting with another woman might
        incite lustful thoughts). He was positively baffled at any woman who wanted
        to continue her education, and vehemently opposed to women at Oxford... not
        so much because he didn't think they were capable, but being around women
        might create lustful thoughts in the men and because... well, why are they
        even there? Why could they possibly want anything other than a home and a
        million babies? Isn't going to school just a waste of time for everyone
        involved, since once she meets the right man, she'll just want to go make
        babies?

        ****************************************************************************
        *************************************************

        Here's the URL for that thread:

        http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=693003

        This sounds hopelessly wrong to me as a summary of Tolkien's opinions.
        Would anyone like to give some specific citations to show that it's wrong?

        Wendell Wagner
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