January 18, 2003

Wymyn of Middle-Earth

Here's a rather silly article comparing the female characters in the Lord of the Rings novel to the movie versions'. It was originally in the Orlando Sentinel, which we here like to call the "Slantinel," and is the usual piece of puffery. Some laffs:

Itís a manís world, this Middle-earth of J. R. R. Tolkien. "Tolkien created an entire world of medieval warriors and feudalistic practices in which women are not only lacking in positions of power but missing altogether," writes Raj Shoan in The Tolkien Archives. "Other than a few notable females, this is a story by a man about men for men." The wizards donít date. The Urk Hai and other evil goblin soldiers are not of woman born, but built by wizards. And when the decision is made to march off to destroy the "one ring," it is carried out by a fellowship ó emphasis on fellow.
You know, I don't wonder that boys and men like to form "He-Man Woman-Hater" clubs where they can get away from yeasty femalisms like this.

Here's another:

With Arwen and Eowyn, an elf and a human who compete for the affections of Aragorn, Tolkien didnít even put much effort into distinguishing their names.
Funny, I don't have any trouble telling the names apart. Sure, they both have five letters in them and begin with vowels and end with "n." I can only hope this guy hasn't had any girlfriends with similar names. "You called me Ann!" "I did not -- I said Nan!" "You did too!"

I can only imagine the trouble Peter Jackson will have if he ever does try to film The Hobbit. That story has no female characters at all.

Posted by Andrea Harris at January 18, 2003 11:29 AM

I bet this guy came up with all these ideas all on his own, 'cuz they just sooooooooooooooo original. ;-) What a fucktard.

Posted by: David Jaroslav at January 18, 2003 at 02:21 PM

Oh for pete's SAKE!! Can I stop banging my head agaisnt the desk now?

I have discussions like this with a young female friend of mine, and sometimes....

Posted by: Ith at January 18, 2003 at 04:13 PM

I'd much rather read or watch a male-centered woman-free story than a male-centered story with really badly drawn women in it. LOTR is neither -- it has few but fine women. I don't understand why so many feminist critics have had a problem with their underrepresentation -- Galadriel! Eowyn! Honestly!

Posted by: A. at January 18, 2003 at 04:48 PM

Blogspot is screwed up and I can't publish anything new on my blog, so I've decided to come over here and put all my drivel in your comment section.

Back soon with 2000 angry words on recent price hikes on Internet midget porn.

Posted by: Steve H. at January 18, 2003 at 04:53 PM

Wait'll they get a gander at Shelob.

Posted by: *** Dave at January 18, 2003 at 05:21 PM

Yeah -- heh heh... so you wanted strong female characters, eh?

Steve: I agree, the price increase in Internet midget pr0n is a disgrace. I say we organize a protest and march on Washington.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 18, 2003 at 05:49 PM

For Tolkien's generation, it's always amazed me that the female charcters in his books were all strong women. Heck, even Lobelia showed more gumption than many male hobbits when Sharky's men took over.

Posted by: Ith at January 18, 2003 at 06:08 PM

After reading the book I felt Eowyn was a strong female character, I mean after all, she kicked the Nazgul's ass.

Posted by: James P at January 18, 2003 at 06:29 PM

The guy is probably a huge Wonder Woman fan, and measures all female characters in any work of fiction against that standard! :)

Posted by: rinardman at January 18, 2003 at 11:47 PM

one word: Galadriel.

Galadriel. Galadriel. Galadriel.


Posted by: chris at January 19, 2003 at 02:41 PM