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Random at first, than starts on feminism

I haven't had a shower tonight and I ain't gonna!!!

Yeah! Take that RULES!!

Of course, my hair and possibly skin will object in the morning but meh. Tomorrow is all about the medical again, I'm afraid. I need blood tests for just about everything, and I have to see the doctor too, if I can get in.

Random thoughts, apparently unconnected by any logic or produced by any stimuli:

I'm addicted to this game where I'm a rat and I have to run around a maze collecting cheese. It's "retro" which means it's designed to look like it was programmed in 1985. But it's fun and I rock with my white rat.

I don't care if they're cheesy. I like The Monkees.

Padme Amidala is a quitter. Imagine all those little girls growing up with the NEW Star Wars the way I grew up with the OLD, PROPER Star Wars. My role model was Princess Leia, their's will be freakin' Padme. Padme gets into politics at a young age: two thumbs up. First movie, no issues with her. Good, strong, smart, young power woman. Second movie, what happens? Falls in love. Suddenly she's pissweak. Then, third movie, what the fuck? Bad-acting boyfriend turns to the dark side, life is not worth living, let's drop dead and orphan my newborn children. Nice one, power woman. How did I get onto this subject? I don't know, I haven't been watching Star Wars. All I know is, Leia shits all over her Mum as a female role model. Leia was gun-totin', rebellious AND a princess. Hell yes, small children! That's who you wanna be.

Should I paint my bedroom pink?

By coincidence, given that I wrote the above, I have just stumbled upon an essay which writes about the chauvinist, masculine implications of Harry Potter. Is anyone on the flist of the opinion that Harry Potter is somehow sexist or anti-feminist? It didn't make a very persuasive argument, I felt.
For one the thing, the essay seems to have been written before Book 5, so of course, it doesn't account for the later-book actions of Hermione, Ginny, Fleur or even Luna.
It cites Chamber of Secrets for example. It reminds us that Ginny is treated as "stupid" and "who would want to read the boring thoughts of an 11-year-old girl" (how Harry will never love her, etc.) Two things, one... that Ginny is a silly little girl is Voldemort's opinion. Two... I think the diary of an 11-year-old girl WOULD be pretty bloody dull. Ditto a boy. Hell, I've read my own private diaries from 15 and 16 and SNOOZEVILLE!!!
It also talks about the supporting cast of girls and how they giggle and gossip and get catty. Well, yes, that's not a very positive view of young women, but hands up all those who are at, or went to school with girls. Keep your hand up if those girls WEREN'T giggly, gossipy and catty. Yeah. Thought so. This doesn't seem to me as a chauvinist view so much as an accurate one. Girls are like that. Boys often behave like Harry and Ron. There's offence, they fight about it, something happens, they make up. Not always, and not all boys, but often, boys are just less full of crap.
Another point is that Hermione, while smart, is afraid in dangerous situations and constantly seeks approval from Harry and Ron? Also, she's naggy. I can kinda see where the writer is coming from with Hermione being more afraid of such things as trolls then the boys. And I can see what she means that Hermione is a bit of a nagger. But is she less brave than Ron and Harry? She's the least afraid of Grawp. She's the one who WANTS to break the rules to start the DA. Hermione isn't as brave is given only one example: the troll in book one. Well... alright, but... it is book one.
Does anyone get what she means by Hermione seeking approval from Ron and Harry? Because I've never noticed that. To me, it seems more that Ron and Harry seek Hermione's approval. Harry values her opinion so much that he stores information to ask her about later, he hears her voice when he's doing something he knows she wouldn't approve of, and both Ron and Harry are out of sorts when Hermione is mad at them. They work harder at school to satisfy her, and though she's a nagger, she sees their potential and pushes them as they need to be pushed.
As for the girls in HP being more emotional than the boys. Perhaps they are, or at least, more openly emotional more often (we have to ignore Harry's fits of CAPS for this theory to hold up). This brings me to another question and deserves a paragraph break.

When did women start thinking that emotion was a weakness? Hermione cries and that makes her somehow anti-feminist? I think that "to be emotional is weak" is the more chauvinistic view. Perhaps this is my perspective as a depression sufferer with emotional flatness, but I see emotion as a positive. Her emotionality is precisely why I like Hermione more than Ron or Harry.
Hermione is sometimes emotional. But she is also more emotionally aware. Clueless Harry needs Hermione to explain to him the feelings of girls around him. Of the main three, only Hermione seems able to empathise with her classmates.
Would someone with more expertise than I care to explain what it is about emotion? Why is it seen as a) feminine and b) a bad thing? And most importantly, how have twenty-first century women, who purport to be so attentive to these issues, let that stereotype infect their own thinking?

Comments

( 5 comments! — Make Remark! )
jenreth
Aug. 19th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear. What was that great Hermoine quote I'll always remember in relation to boys?
"Ron, just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon!!" *nods sagely* so true, so true
citizen_cam
Aug. 20th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
Ooo! Analycious!
citizen_cam
Aug. 20th, 2007 12:57 am (UTC)
(Er...that's a combination of "analysis" and "delicious". I appreciate some might get a TINY bit confused, especially if you look at what the word LOOKS like it might mean. Haha. My bad...)
etherealdeva
Aug. 20th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC)
I've always just been of the view that it gave a rather accurate depiction of teenagers of both sexes. Not positive or negative towareds either, jsut aiming for accuracy. After all, CAPS Harry may make you want to hit him over the head with OoTP, but's it's a pretty good depiction of an angsty teen.
Some girls are giggly and gossipy and catty. Some girls aren't. Some boys refuse to express their emotions, some can't do it and some do it quite well (I always got the impression that cedric was rather good at that).

And you're definitely right that the theory gets even more shaky when you look at the later books. I love what JK did with Ginny on the last book. No pining and waiting for her hero to save the day. She let him go off and do her thing, and while he was busy she went about doing what she could. Seems awfully power woman to me.

And I don't actually think there's much stronger than Luna. Even if you discount any fighting she did, it'd take a greater strength than I have to know everyone thinks you're crazy and picks on you for it, but to disregard them and see the world your own way anyway.

So, I'm not entirely sure how coherent those thoughts are, since I'm slipping this post in between customers at work, but I thought I'd throw my opinion in too. :)
seagull_fred
Aug. 20th, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)
I don't know why emotions are considered to be feminine and bad. Somehow that's just always been the case, though, hasn't it? It's funny, coz when someone is 'emotional', they are immediately connected to being sensitive and easily upset. Other emotions like anger or happiness aren't put into the word. Strange.

I do think that women are more capable of seeing/hearing finer details than men. So even though there are a lot of genuinely sensitive men out there, they are totaly outnumbered by the over-sensitive women. And those same over-sensitive women become more emotional and upset than their male cunterparts because they see/hear finer details in everyday life that may or may not exist. Therefore they're considered 'annoying' and 'bad' because they get upset so easily. Esp when it's that certain time of the month...

Re: the 21st century women question, it's possibly a generational trend. In in our grandparents' day, the mother stayed at home, the father went to work. Then in our parents' day, mothers started working and were given more freedom. By now, women are highly regarded if they are seen as completely independent. Just look at Princess Fiona in Shrek. No more damsels in distress in this day and age.

So I suppose that by taking on the similar independent role that our grandfathers took up, women these days also feel obliged to take on other male characteristics and ideals too. Therefore, the male chauvinistic view that emotions are feminine and bad have entered the female mindframe as well.

I'm pulling most of this out of thin air, btw, but I enjoy thinking about this sort of stuff :) Please post your unconnected, random thoughts more often, please!
( 5 comments! — Make Remark! )

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