Feminism

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Gandalfs Beard
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Feminism

Post#51 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:30 pm

Indeed Durin, as you peruse these posts on Fairy Story you will come across some where we actually discuss the return of the Sacred Feminine which owes a lot to Lewis's and Tolkien's works, despite the views of some feminists. In fact I argue that Lewis and Tolkien are largely responsible for the Neo-Pagan revival and it's Feminine attributes.

Gandalfs Beard

Otto's World
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Feminism

Post#52 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:55 pm

That's a good point, Durin. And probably if we weigh "Feminity" and "Masculinity" on the scales in Tolkien's epic, "Feminity" would win because elves are kind of girly or gentle and pretty. But if we were all kids playing with a bunch of costumes doing LOTR, I bet most of the boy costumes would get grabbed up first, because the girl parts aren't that fun or that interesting. The girl parts are more aloof and less richly textured. (Of course, boy kids aren't often going to grab the girl costumes anyway, while girls might want to play boy parts...so that illustration was kind of dumb. :oops: ) Anyway, I totally sympathize with Eowyn because, if I had to live in Tolkien's world, I'd be pretty bummed out to be a girl. They end up weaving things... Hmm....Okay, Galadriel knows how to make some pretty awesome stuff, so maybe I'd be happy to be a female elf... Makin' magic ropes and bakin' magic lembas bread.

B'arelyn Dwarf
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Feminism

Post#53 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:11 pm

Hi just made an account on this site, so forgive me if the comments i've left sound odd and I'm wondering as to how I could sort of become more of the community on the forum cos I feel a little isolated lol.

But anyway on the subject of feminism, I haven't really thought about it whilst reading the books that much but I think that Tolkiens books generally liberate womens rights, the characters Tolkien portrays who fight evil are all generally openminded but some do appear to have a slightly lesser view towards women. The battles that the people of middle earth encounter are almost always in almost every situation faught by men and previous to the commence of these battles the authorities in the film often round up `every able bodied man'. I think that Tolkien portrays a specrum of characters, I don't think that he necessarily feels him self being represented as the characters who descriminate against women fighting and doing the things men do, although he has quite a number of them.

I think that Tolkien feels everyone does have a right to do what they want and that they shouldn't be held back by others, I think we see this view come to light (the situation is expressed quite strongly in the films aswell)when Eowyn of Rohan feels the urge to do her duty and fight for the king and for Rohan. She is underestimated by her brother Eomer, for the reason that she is a woman and achieves great victory over a very mighty foe, no other that the Witch King of Angmar, a character that thoughout the books has been described as being a very harsh and mighty foe. The situation doesn't just adress discrimination against women but also agaist Hobbits, who have also been underestimatied and undercounted by Saruman and many other characters. I don't think that Tolkien has any prejudice agaist any groups of people and don't think that just because the books are written in an old style, a style that includes alot descrimination that tolkiens views reflect them too much.

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Gandalfs Beard
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Feminism

Post#54 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:43 am

Hey B'arelyn, I'm just getting around to responding to this particular post. Sorry it took so long. I wouldn't want to go too far out on a limb, but you are right that Tolkien was ahead of his time. He isn't castigated as much as Lewis is (unfairly I think) for Sexism. But he might have been a wee bit patriarchal as reflecting the views of his day.

Having said that, Tolkien was clearly not opposed to women in leadership roles as evidenced by Galadriel, and his depiction of Eowyn as a fiercely loyal warrior. And his love of Nature, which has always been viewed as Feminine also comes across very strongly in the books.

If you read back through the older posts on this thread (which are all over the map :roll: ), you will find many intersecting points that expand on (and digress from at times ;) ) these points.

GB

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Eldorion
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Feminism

Post#55 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:37 am

I would be careful of trying to read too much into what the characters think, say and do to try to find out Tolkien's beliefs. Middle-earth is, by and large, male-dominated (with the notable exceptions of Galadriel and Eowyn, the latter being appointed to lead the Rohirrim in their king's absence). However, this does not necessarily demonstrate misogyny or any other "attitude" on Tolkien's part. Quite simply, it is realistic given the circumstances of Middle-earth that men would have done more hunting, fighting, etc. (as they have throughout much of human history). It just so happens that these activities are more interesting to read about it in a book then the traditional roles of women, though that's not to say one is more important than the other.

I am not entirely certain what Tolkien's views on feminists were, though some of his female characters seem to reflect a forward-thinking approach (Entwives leaving the Ents might fit the bill). Overall though I suspect he was coming from a historical and mythic tradition that is more male-centered rather than consciously thinking "I'm going to keep women out of this".

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Gandalfs Beard
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Feminism

Post#56 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:48 am

If anything Tolkien was rather forward thinking for his day. The few female characters that actually make an appearance (Galadriel and Eowyn) are strong and in positions of Leadership.

GB

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Eldorion
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Feminism

Post#57 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:53 am

I agree GB, and in fact I said that in my last post. ;)

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Gandalfs Beard
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Feminism

Post#58 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:09 am

You did indeed Eldorion :mrgreen: . I just boiled it down to a Nutshell to indicate agreement :lol: . :ugeek:

I'm going to be busy today, so this will probably be the last reply you'll see till the evening.

GB

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Eldorion
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Feminism

Post#59 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:16 am

Guess we're on the same page then. 8-) I'll be out and about myself in a bit - 'later!

B'arelyn Dwarf
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Feminism

Post#60 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:22 pm

Yeah maybe you guys are right, he only wrote about what was generally and mutually thought then, but I think he did liberate women's rights in way but maybe he didn't necessaraly realise he was, certainly not in the ways we think about equality or feminism today.



Oh btw GB and Eldorian, on the subject of Tolkien and his views has anyone read his Biography? I half read it, his life in some ways is actually quite sad to begin with, loosing both parents and so on. Have you guys read the biography I'm talking about by Humphrey Carpenter?

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