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Where Lord of the Rings Causes Me to Think About Feminism

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I did finally go out and see Return of the King yesterday. I have to say that I would thoroughly moved by it and Peter Jackson did indeed save the best for last. There were quite a few scenes that stuck in my mind, but one in particular made me think of a post by Ms. Lauren.

Don’t read on if you don’t want a spoiler…

There is a scene in the movie where Eowyn comes face to face with one of the dead, dragon riding kings that is about to kill her father. At a point, the dead king says to her “No man can kill me.” Eowyn takes off her helm and says “I am no man” and dispatches the evil.

As she said this and killed the dead king, you could hear the women in the theater clapping, or saying “yeah!” etc… I couldn’t help but to smile because it has reminded me of so many times in other movies where a woman has gotten the better of a man or a situation and you can just feel the smiles and appreciation of the females in the audience. It’s great but it is sad also that such a response occurs. Why should a woman feel like she is “liberated” or “validated” by seeing a femme on the silver screen get the upper hand? You really don’t see this happen when I guy gets in a really good punch in a movie. Why is there such a cry of “hell yeah” in movies like Kill Bill and something I remember from my childhood The Color Purple. The only way to explain this would be if somewhere women still do feel somewhat repressed in day to day life. They still feel like maybe they cannot be the female hero’s that shine on the silver screen. Just as being a mother and nurturer is important, there are some women who want to fight and shine and do all the cool, brave, “macho” things that their male accolades have experienced for years.

Even when we are in this time when there is supposedly much more freedom and choices for women, women still feel somewhat stifled in competitive situations. They still feel that because maybe they don’t extrude the machismo of their male counterparts, their voices aren’t heard as loudly… And they are perhaps correct in this regard.

If there was not some sort of imbalance, why are we saying “Go On, Girl!” when she slays a dragon in the movies just as some other guy did. Bravery and honor is still bravery and honor, no matter if it comes from a man or a woman.

Still, I suppose that things are getting better. We are getting more movies like Charlie’s Angles and The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which are showing bad ass, but kicking women in more and more major roles… and this is a good thing. Even the video game companies are starting to make more action and adventure titles featuring women as the lead characters. Primal and BloodRayne are two good examples… Mind you, they were made so that they would still appeal to the male market. In BloodRayne, her boobs jiggle and bounce in the most unnatural way when she does battle… or breathes in that matter, but hey! It is a start. Now if only they would make a Vice City with a choice being a sexy, dangerous, chick instead of always having to play as Tommy Vercetti and I think that I will feel more welcomed in the land of video games.

Still, we aren’t there yet. We are no where there yet. We won’t be there until a woman and throw a punch in a movie and no one feels like it is a particularly unusual thing to do but only another element to further the story on. Don’t let the rant of imbiciles like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter (who if it wasn’t for feminism would be knocked up baking cookies somewhere instead of opening up that moronic trap of hers) scare you away from condering what feminism is or what it stands for, or if women truly are equal in this world. The day we clap because Eowyn killed a bad guy and not because “that woman, Eowyn” killed a bad guy, will be the day that we know progress truly has been made.

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  • Gerald Ball

    Victoria:

    Ann Coulter bashing I see? Ordinarily I would say that the essence of feminism ought to be countenancing the same right to disagree and dissent that you demand for yourself, but in the loathsome Coulter’s case I defer. Although I should point out one thing that Coulter’s right about … the left was soft on communism during the Cold War because they were VERY SYMPATHETIC towards them if you know what I mean. To this day you still have Castro huggers.

    In any event, if feminism is what you are talking about, then include my male self. But with a caveat … I am an equity feminist. Gender feminism is nothing but a witches’ brew of Marxism, anger, pseudo – science, and self – serving rhetoric that shifts to serve the needs of the moment. Gender feminists are no different from Ann Coulter in my estimation. But equity feminism is excellent. After all, I have a mother and a wife and even if I didn’t I’d want women to be well treated.

    P.S. Video games cater to teen boys because that’s who heavily disproportionately buys them. There has been much effort and research dedicated to creating video games that girls and women, but all have failed. The only video game that interested women was Tetris, which oddly enough was created by the Soviet Union’s Education Ministry. So does that mean that women are commies? Hmmmm …

  • Sarah e.g.

    Gerald, I’m an equity feminist myself. The other kind infuriates me. What’s to be done with these people who believe half the population is sub-human (excuse me, sub-humyn)? Shouldn’t they be shunned, like the KKK?

    Now to the really important issue: video games. What’s wrong with these Tetris-women? I’ve never understood it. I love video games (I’ve just been slaughtering Nazis with a machete in “Emperor’s Tomb”. Hee hee), but the popularity of deathly-dull puzzle and card games mystifies me.
    I’m sure it’s cultural, not genetic. I’m not a mutant, but I did have an unusual upbringing.

  • Doc

    On other plus sides, you might want to re-view the Alien series (with that humongous Alien Quadilogy series). Sigouney Weaver’s Ripley and the other female characters were very well balanced and in James Cameron’s “Aliens”, the bad ass packing the biggest gun was Vasquez, a woman, and it wasn’t a statement, it just was.

    But overall, it’s a great female-as-hero series without people thinking about it, they just accepted Ripley on par with Bruce Willis in Die Hard. ANd the box office recipts certainly showed no willingness of men and women to go to the theatre.

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    Really, I always thought a bunch of people clapped and cheered to that scene simply because it was incredibly well done (it was my favorite scene of the movie and I’m a man). Or it was the feeling of, “He deserved it.” Just like Gandalf bopping Denethor on the head when he ordered everyone to basically give up when the enemy arrived at the gates. That part was also worthy of a, “He deserved it” clap and cheer.

  • http://www.greenvalley123.com/about.asp Lori Lundeen

    Lord of the Rings III was good. I think
    that Jackson captured the overall tone and spirit of the books better than I
    dare say anyone else could have. Imagine George Lucas doing it! :)

  • http://none.com Anonymous

    “The only way to explain this would be if somewhere women still do feel somewhat repressed in day to day life. They still feel like maybe they cannot be the female hero’s that shine on the silver screen.”

    Or maybe it’s just that women are sexist c u nts.