ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2014 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Middle Earth misogyny

Since Tolkien came up in the interview, I would be woefully remiss if I did not provide a link to this spectacular example of why feminists should probably not be asked to review anything, but especially not anything written, filmed, or otherwise created by men.
I did not read The Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings trilogy as a child, and I have always felt a bit alienated from the fandom surrounding them. Now I think I know why: Tolkien seems to have wiped women off the face of Middle-earth.
Has there ever been a movement more powerfully committed to self-parody?

Labels:

72 Comments:

Anonymous Orcs are RASISS! January 18, 2013 9:30 AM  

Kinda like this...(but for real)...

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/unused-audio-commentary-by-howard-zinn-and-noam-chomsky-recorded-summer-2002-for-the-fellowship-of-the-ring-platinum-series-extended-edition-dvd-part-one



Anonymous Josh January 18, 2013 9:32 AM  

I must note that Tolkien must have also removed the rectums of all the races of middle earth, since we don't see him devote any time to bowel movements.

Anonymous Basil January 18, 2013 9:32 AM  

Nonsense! It's just that she didn't notice that dwarven women look like your average feminist.

Blogger Nate January 18, 2013 9:35 AM  

oh damn... I read that yesterday... I kept checking the address bar because I couldn't believe I wasn't at the Onion.

Anonymous AmyJ January 18, 2013 9:36 AM  

I could never be a feminist. It's too exhausting looking at everything through the filter of "but what about MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE".

Anonymous Orion January 18, 2013 9:44 AM  

Entirely too little time was devoted to sleeping in Tolkien's work. I mean, it is mentioned in passing and used to signal the end of sections, but what really do we know about sleeping in Middle Earth? Were any of the dwarfs prone to rolling around? Was Bombur the victim of sleep apnea so many over weight individuals were? Why, with out sleeping more, how do they have dreams in Middle Earth?

Anonymous Josh January 18, 2013 9:44 AM  

Everything must appeal to the womynz. No one seems to be bothered that men don't find twilight or fifty shades appealing.

I do enjoy the fight for most special victim status between women, blacks (see the tempest about that HBO show starting Justin Bieber that was deemed "too white" or the gnashing of teeth about the "cotton ceiling")

Society needs an obese crippled black lesbian to rise up and take her place as the symbol of every victim class ever.

Anonymous The other skeptic January 18, 2013 9:46 AM  

We are almost back to 2001 levels of gasoline usage

That depression looks like it is happening.

Speaking of elimination, while I have also never read those works, I suspect that he eliminated elimination from Middle Earth as well.

Anonymous Heh January 18, 2013 9:48 AM  

I must note that Tolkien must have also removed the rectums of all the races of middle earth, since we don't see him devote any time to bowel movements.

Sam talks a lot about cooking implements, but not so much about toilet paper and the lack thereof.

Anonymous Azimus January 18, 2013 9:51 AM  

I for one was disappointed not to see a red-headed sassy female dwarf bow-sniper/hacker provide balance to the company. What an opportunity squandered...

Anonymous Conrad The Crazed January 18, 2013 9:55 AM  

Oh wow. Just wow. What the hell more does the Womynz Korps want? Next up, where is the mighty Conania the Barbarina? Self-parody indeed, made all the more comical by the attempt at being intellectually serious.

Anonymous Godfrey January 18, 2013 10:03 AM  

...or more shallow and boring?

Anonymous Barney January 18, 2013 10:16 AM  

Have you met my friend Tad?

Anonymous Viking January 18, 2013 10:19 AM  

Ever notice that homosexuals do much the same thing in seeing latent homosexuality in just about everything. "oh yeah, see that between Frodo and Samwise?" *sage node*

People see what they want to see.

Anonymous Anchorman January 18, 2013 10:27 AM  

Just wow. What the hell more does the Womynz Korps want? Next up, where is the mighty Conania the Barbarina?

Are you too young to remember Red Sonja?

Anonymous The other skeptic January 18, 2013 10:30 AM  

So many myths all in one debunking

It's almost as bad as feminist complaints about Tolkien.

It's funny how many children are killed by the Flu etc, but Democrats don't go apeshit over that. Hmmm, wonder how man deaths of children can be linked to vaccinations in any one year?

Anonymous Signe January 18, 2013 10:31 AM  

Ever notice that homosexuals do much the same thing in seeing latent homosexuality in just about everything. "oh yeah, see that between Frodo and Samwise?" *sage node*

Not just gays. Also slash fangirls and lesbian-shippers. And incest-shippers. And gay incest-shipping slash fans.

And then they wonder why nobody wants to be friends with them. "Gee, Davey, could it be because you can't distinguish between affection and lust?"

Anonymous Incurvatus January 18, 2013 10:32 AM  

Hey, I've got an idea. How about we rewrite the Bible too to be more inclusive and gender neutral? Let's call it NIV'11. Or Nineveh edition.

Anonymous Josh January 18, 2013 10:34 AM  

They already did that. See TNIV.

Anonymous Signe January 18, 2013 10:36 AM  

Oh, and did I neglect to mention Real Person Fictions?

Super, super creepy stuff.

Anonymous Simon Grey January 18, 2013 10:40 AM  

"Has there ever been a movement more powerfully committed to self-parody?"

The men' rights movement?

Anonymous Signe January 18, 2013 10:43 AM  

"Has there ever been a movement more powerfully committed to self-parody?"

The men' rights movement?


Time to make popcorn!

Anonymous Loki of Asgard January 18, 2013 10:48 AM  

Time to make popcorn!

If you put artificial cheese powder on it again, wench, I shall feed you to Fenris.

Anonymous JartStar January 18, 2013 10:57 AM  

This is why the Life Application Study Bible is so popular as everything, however trivial, has to apply directly to me, my thoughts, and my priorities or it is obviously wrong or useless. Narcissism at its finest.

Anonymous Steve Canyon January 18, 2013 11:01 AM  

There were feminists in Lord of the Rings. Tolkien called them "orcs".

Blogger IM2L844 January 18, 2013 11:17 AM  

People see what they want to see.

Paradoxically, the desire to believe that human nature is evolving and/or can be transcended is precisely due to the fact that human nature is immutable.

Blogger Nate January 18, 2013 11:19 AM  

"Ever notice that homosexuals do much the same thing in seeing latent homosexuality in just about everything. "oh yeah, see that between Frodo and Samwise?" *sage node*"

Dude.

In the movies.. sam and frodo acted completely differently than they did in the books. Yes.. in the movie... they came off as gay.

OpenID trunthepaige January 18, 2013 11:20 AM  

Reading the comments there ... wow now I remember why I hated woman's studies majors. They live a world that never was or will be. They call everyone not living in their fantasy ignorant or evil

Anonymous Orion January 18, 2013 11:20 AM  

Anchorman, I blame you for reminding me of the movie Red Sonja.

McSweeny's take was awesome.

Anonymous . January 18, 2013 11:25 AM  

The characters in LOTR have hairy legs and armpits... feminists have hairy legs and armpits... what is the problem exactly?

Anonymous Cheddarman January 18, 2013 11:40 AM  

As if Eowyn killing the Witch King was not enough for them...

sincerely

cheddarman

Anonymous Josh January 18, 2013 11:52 AM  

"Has there ever been a movement more powerfully committed to self-parody?"

The men' rights movement?


absolutely. Nothing more than male feminists trying to make men into a protected victim class.

I'd also include that paul kersey guy from SBPDL for his rantings that college football isbiased against whites.

Anonymous Josh January 18, 2013 11:55 AM  

Time to make popcorn!

No need, I don't think there are that many angry butthurt men's rights activists that comment here. I think they're all over at the spearhead blog, crying, watching milf porn, and masturbating using their tears as lubricant.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia January 18, 2013 12:01 PM  

Red Sonja is supposed to be hot.
That dude-chick was even worse than the script.

Anonymous Signe January 18, 2013 12:07 PM  

No need, I don't think there are that many angry butthurt men's rights activists that comment here.

Well, you never know. That "ray" guy might stop in to say wimminz is in ur guvurmet rulin ur doods!!11!!!1!

Besides, I already made the popcorn. Here, have some.

Blogger Doorstop January 18, 2013 12:08 PM  

Thanks for pointing how how ludicrous (I need a stronger word here) it is for a "senior editor at TIME" to write about "Tolkien's world" when she's never read any of the books or even seen the LOTR movies. There are a lot of female fans, but I did know women who refused to read it or see the movies (even after the Acadmey awards) because they thought anything with swordfights and goblins was automatically for boys. Their loss.

I see she thinks that Galadriel's "main character trait is that she’s intuitive" and she hints at it being a worn-out female stereotye. Well, if that's the case then she's really gonna like Jessica Chastain's character in "Zero Dark Thirty"...which of course was directed by a women, and is the best example of female solipsism I've ever seen in a movie (especially at the end, not to give away any spoilers).

Blogger Laramie Hirsch January 18, 2013 12:10 PM  

Stupid woman.

Golly gee, I always feel left out when I see women tuning in to Lifetime or watching the View. Or when black people tune in to BET. I'm just so left out.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 18, 2013 12:11 PM  

Josh,

You left out a victim class.

Obese black crippled lesbian muslim . Oppressed by her native patriarchy, she empowers herself!

Anonymous WaterBoy January 18, 2013 12:15 PM  

"Tolkien seems to have wiped women off the face of Middle-earth."

Now, why is she so certain that none of the orcish hordes were, in fact, female? I mean, could you even tell the difference between them?

Anonymous Josh January 18, 2013 12:22 PM  

Also, she should be half hispanic and half black.

Anonymous Josh January 18, 2013 12:23 PM  

Besides, I already made the popcorn. Here, have some.

Does it come with bourbon?

Anonymous VryeDenker January 18, 2013 12:31 PM  

I don't think I've ever read a more feminine description of any female fantasy character than that of Luthien or Eowyn. And I'm not even pointing out to the ultimate expression of femininity that is the companions of the Ainur (Yavanna, etc.).

Anonymous Lysander Spooner January 18, 2013 12:43 PM  

WIMMIN RUIN EVERYTHING: http://youtu.be/4m14-EtY8Wc

Anonymous Ioweenie January 18, 2013 12:43 PM  

Speaking of self-parody, check out this from Judith Shulevitz, author of, The Grayest Generation: Older Parenthood Will Upend American, published in The New Republic, as interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air:

"So I honestly sort of forgot to get married. I just sort of forgot. I, like, woke up in my early 30s and thought, gee, I kind of forgot to get married here."

"I wasn't taking my relationships all that seriously because no one around me was. I was a journalist, and it was expected that I put in these crazy hours and devote myself entirely to my career, and I was perfectly inclined to do that and everyone around me was doing that, so it just didn't occur to me to think about it. Maybe the reason I met the guy I wanted to marry when I was 34 was because I was ready to start thinking about getting married.

"So you know, if it had been something that other people were doing, I might have started to think about it, and if it had been something that my bosses would have thought was fine, then I might have started to think about it. I mean my bosses - who are part of the same system - would have looked askance. They would have said, well, she's not serious."

50 years of social experimentation hasn't changed biology. Of course, the author's solution are legislative/policy changes. Embarrassing.

Blogger ajw308 January 18, 2013 12:45 PM  

@Anchorman
Are you too young to remember Red Sonja?
I was thinking the same thing, but as we've learned, what women ask for and what they want are often two different things.

Hollywood could remake Red Sonja and women wouldn't go see it. But, maybe, just maybe, if we added lots of spanking scenes and had a submissive Sonja, well, who knows..

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 18, 2013 12:56 PM  

AJW308,

Maybe Red Sonja just needs some Kinky Fuckery.

Anonymous Signe January 18, 2013 12:56 PM  

Does it come with bourbon?

No, His Lordship doesn't let anyone touch his liquor cabinet. Sorry.

Anonymous Daniel January 18, 2013 1:03 PM  

Cut her some slack. Ruth Davis Konigsberg is one of the foremost feminist critics living today. Okay, so she kind of blew it on Tolkien, but look at her other stuff:

On Catcher in the Rye, from the Smith College Grécourt Gate, 1971

"A degrading tromp through American culture of the mid-century, and unworthy of its acclaim. Oh, Catcher in the Rye? Oh! No, that's great. I thought you guys were asking about Tolkien again."

On 50 Shades of Grey, from the Utne Reader, 2011

"A liberating, post-modern response to the inner dialog of the complex interrelationship between the heroic Bella archetype, of the grossly misunderstood Twilight trilogy."

On Twilight, from her op-ed in Newsweek, 2012

"tl;dr"

Anonymous Jill January 18, 2013 1:14 PM  

The woman's article makes me excessively impatient. Would she have wanted Jackson to change Frodo or Bilbo into a female Hobbit who's handed a ring from her aunt or mother? I'm sure there have been plenty of books written using that paradigm, but they aren't Tolkien, are they? Frankly, if I were to write a book with a female heroine, it would not contain epic battle scenes because I would rather be strung upside-down by my toenails than try to create a written logistic of war. Hence, my adventure would use feminine archetypes, of which, the warrior is not one. But here is where I'm doing a face palm--Tolkien does use feminine archetypes, such as Galadriel as the archetypal female oracle. Most of the women, however, are wives, mothers, grandmothers, etc. They are there--they are just in the background. And the added Galadriel scene in The Hobbit movie? Yeah, I would say it failed at anything but humor.

p.s. Great interview at Spec Faith--you came across as being quite a bit more humble than you sometimes seem.

Anonymous Josh January 18, 2013 1:16 PM  

And lo, a great cry arose, and Daniel was accused of being a white knight in 3...2...1...

Blogger JDC January 18, 2013 1:17 PM  

Well it's settled. In order for LOTR to appeal to the broadest audience possible, and not disenfranchise any sub-group, no matter how deviant, the following characters true sexual identities need to be revealed. Gay - Tom Bombadil (chronic dancer and singer), Legolas, Gimli (obvious sexual crush on Legolas), Merry and Pippin, Frodo and Sam, The Balrog and Gandalf (close inspection of video evidence reveals that Gandalf was really working the fire demon from behind during their epic fight), the Nazgul (who wears capes in summer?),all elves (thin, neat and well-spoken=gay), Gollum (nobody really wants to know what he did with the ring when nobody was lookin), the Witch-king (allusion is obvious), Wormtongue (he didn't beguile Theoden simply to affect Rohan).

Blogger ajw308 January 18, 2013 1:27 PM  

STG,
Last Fall I flew and at least 1/2 the women reading e-readers were reading some book of the 50 Shades series. I'm 6'5" so I can stand in line and see what the people in front of me are reading. The dialog and text I saw seemed so simple, I could probably write at that level.

'Cept I'd need to add some novel twist. Maybe kinky %&$@ery between wereseals. Then I'd add the werebeaver with his built in paddle for spankings galore. Heck, Spankings Galore would be the office secretary for the secret agent werebeaver.

Blogger ray January 18, 2013 1:50 PM  

Tolkien seems to have wiped women off the face of Middle-earth.


if only

given what i've seen the past six decades, women should be awarded quarters and employment in saruman's pits until they are fit to mix with humanity

Anonymous brentg January 18, 2013 2:07 PM  

Merry actually killed the Witch King of Angmar when he stabbed him through the back of the knee with his sword/dagger from the barrow wight mound that had been made in Westerness long before. The sword/dagger was imbued with spells of unraveling that destroyed the witch's spirit. He was not killed by a man (as in the somewhat prophecy), he was killed by a hobbit. Eowyen provide an assist by killing the flying mount and distracting the witch king, allowing Merry to crawl up and do the stabbing.

Nothing would have affected the nazgul without the spells in Merry's sword/dagger

Anonymous Signe January 18, 2013 2:50 PM  

See? Told you "ray" would show up to express his deeply-considered, shift-key free opinions of women.

Am I good or what?

Anonymous Ain January 18, 2013 2:54 PM  

Nate: "In the movies.. sam and frodo acted completely differently than they did in the books. Yes.. in the movie... they came off as gay."

Frodo sounded gay every time he opened his mouth.

Blogger The Aardvark January 18, 2013 3:25 PM  

This somehow reminds me of the news reporter in the cartoon "Freakazoid": "Christina Sheniqua Sanchez Toyota O'Malley"

But,then, everything reminds me of that.

Anonymous Bastiat January 18, 2013 4:17 PM  

"Entirely too little time was devoted to sleeping in Tolkien's work. I mean, it is mentioned in passing and used to signal the end of sections, but what really do we know about sleeping in Middle Earth?"

When you next re-read the books pay attention to Sam's sleeping habits. He sleeps when he's safe and stays up when he's not (i.e. only he sleeps soundly when in the trees with the elves). Near the end he's awake or at least trying to stay awake to keep guard.

Anonymous KYdude January 18, 2013 5:38 PM  

You could make a better argument that Tolkien was a theosophist than a misogynist.

@Orion - little tidbit
Lórien was one of the angels of Middle Earth and was the Master of Dreams and Visions. He knew all the hopes and dreams of the Children of Illuvatar.

Anonymous Cheddarman January 18, 2013 5:55 PM  

Merry actually killed the Witch King of Angmar when he stabbed him through the back of the knee with his sword/dagger from the barrow wight mound that had been made in Westerness long before. The sword/dagger was imbued with spells of unraveling that destroyed the witch's spirit. He was not killed by a man (as in the somewhat prophecy), he was killed by a hobbit. Eowyen provide an assist by killing the flying mount and distracting the witch king, allowing Merry to crawl up and do the stabbing.

Nothing would have affected the nazgul without the spells in Merry's sword/dagger-brentg


I stand corrected---

sincerely

cheddarman

Anonymous Cheddarman January 18, 2013 5:58 PM  

Feminists hate Tolkien and Lewis because they know the differences between the masculine and feminine and celebrate both in their true forms.

The progression into drooling idiocy described in Romans chapter 1 applies here as well.

Anonymous Stickwick January 18, 2013 8:35 PM  

Eowyen provide an assist by killing the flying mount and distracting the witch king, allowing Merry to crawl up and do the stabbing.

Not quite. She delivered what is considered to be the death-blow with a sword "between crown and mantle." Merry is the one who distracted the Witch-king and thus provided the assist.

Anonymous Kickass January 18, 2013 9:37 PM  

Even I knew that, that is how they got around the whole thing about no man being able to kill him, no?

Anonymous brentg January 18, 2013 11:05 PM  

@ Stickwick -

Here's the quote-

And behold! there lay his weapon, but the blade was smoking like a dry branch that has been thrust in a fire; and as he watched it, it writhed and withered and was consumed.
So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse. But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dúnedain were young, and chief among their foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king. No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.
-- ROTK, Chapter 6, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"

In searching for the quote (I remembered _way_ too much of it) I stumbled on a few huge nerd sites that have huge discussions going back and forth on the unresolved nature of this question. I'm going to go back and ready the battle just to get the rest of the context. OK, I'll probably just read the whole book (it's been a few months).

Blogger Russell Snow January 19, 2013 12:50 AM  

http://thepessimist.com/2013/01/02/tolkien-chicks-wanted/

Anonymous Herman the German January 19, 2013 12:29 PM  

Nate wrote: Dude.

In the movies.. sam and frodo acted completely differently than they did in the books. Yes.. in the movie... they came off as gay.

---Couldn't agree more, Man. Definitely came off as gay in the movie ONLY. I remember my brothers joking about it with me after we first saw the movie: (said with a lisp) "Oh FRODO....I mith my THAMM!!!!!" LOL

Anonymous Herman the German January 19, 2013 12:41 PM  

Maybe Red Sonja just needs some Kinky Fuckery.


----LOL, Oh Man....will we EVER be able to think of ANYONE other than the most illustrious Charles Dance when recalling "kinky fuckery"? - CLASSIC.

Anonymous Stickwick January 19, 2013 12:51 PM  

@ brentg:

The wound inflicted by Merry undid the spell that gave the Witch-king his formidable physical presence, but it was Eowyn's blow that actually killed him. From the appendices:

For her shield-arm was broken by the mace of the Witch-king; but he was brought to nothing, and thus the words of Glorfindel long before to King Earnur were fulfilled, that the Witch-king would not fall by the hand of man. For it is said in the songs of the Mark that in this deed Eowyn had the aid of Theoden's esquire, and that he also was not a Man but a Halfling.

Blogger jonsanake January 19, 2013 1:09 PM  

It appears brentg and Stickwick are both right in this context but brentg is a little more right. But it wouldn't be the first time a woman dealt a death blow to a powerful enemy. It adds insult to injury. Imagine Hector killed by a mere woman instead of by Achilles.

Blogger jonsanake January 19, 2013 1:11 PM  

actually maybe he isn't more right.

Anonymous stg58/Animal Mother January 19, 2013 1:35 PM  

I will report back tomorrow night. Driving from Houston to El Paso. 10 hours of driving, 10 hours of audio book. LOTR all the way.

Anonymous Anonymous January 20, 2013 8:35 AM  

Don't you mean Red Sonja? Or Xena?

Post a Comment

NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. Anonymous comments will be deleted.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts