Wrangling with Elwing, or Confronting My Own Sexism in Reading Her Story

This post is in honor of Mother’s Day. Yes, I know … Mother’s Day was on Sunday. But since I debuted my Tolkien fan fiction survey data on Sunday with two posts, I did not want to inundate my blog with three posts in one day, two of them lengthy. So this post comes with […]

What the Valar Reveal about Gender Roles in Tolkien’s Legendarium

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a fellow SWG member about sexism in Tolkien’s legendarium. The LotRProject statistic that only 18% of the characters in the legendarium are women is well-known, but he pointed out that the Valar are split 50-50 in terms of sex. This is an interesting point and […]

Mary Sue in Fantasyland: The Legitimacy of Female versus Male Fantasy

One of the issues I like to follow in the broader sci-fi/fantasy/geek subculture is the recent attention to that subculture’s problem with sexism. Since I tend to keep things here focused on Tolkien and fan creation of transformative works (versus the many other ways that people express their fannish appreciation), then I haven’t talked too […]

Gender Equality and Elves

Marta has a post up (The Problem with Eowyn) that is in reply to a post by Anna Wing (Eowyn, Female Agency, blah blah) about the possible gender issues in Tolkien’s depiction of Eowyn. Not being an expert on the LotR canon, I don’t feel that I can contribute to the discussion on Eowyn, but […]

Lúthien: A “Mere Maiden”?

I am in the midst of reading The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, which I have never read in full. They are very illustrative and have spurred many ideas for future HL posts (and I am only one-third through!), but I encountered one statement the other day that refuses to rest in my mind until I […]

Geeks Behaving Badly?

XXFactor has a post today about the persistent sexism in “geek culture,” which this particular writer identifies as the tech industry. Now I’m not part of the tech industry–unless fumbling through the occasional SQL query in MS Access counts–but I do count myself as part of varying facets of “geek culture” and wonder if the […]

“He gave me nothing but a name, and I have filled it with myself”: LeGuin’s Lavinia Reviewed

One theory of fantasy literature that has always appealed to me is the idea that because fantasy fiction permits stories to occur at a remove from what we understand as “reality,” then fantasy literature can begin to heal inequities that continue to plague the real world and, therefore, must be present in any literature representing […]

Open Thread for Slash Discussion

I am opening this post for any and all who are interested in continuing the slash discussion from LotR Genfic. This discussion has been moved offlist since the list is a gen group and the discussion was starting to touch on issues that don’t necessarily belong on a family-friendly group. So that we could keep […]

Animated Ragdolls for Grownups: 9 Reviewed

***SPOILERS AHEAD!*** I am not going to shy from discussing details and outcomes of the plot when they are relevant to the points I am discussing here. So if you want to go into the movie without knowing the details of how it will turn out, get thee to the theater and then come back […]

Inferior Writing? On Chicklit, Fantasy, and Mary Sue

In the Arts section of DoubleX magazine this week is an article, The Death of Chick Lit, examining how the quintessential beach-reading genre might have to remake itself somewhat to accommodate its readers’ realities in a world in economic recession. The author, Sarah Bilston, argues that women won’t care as much about conflict spurred by […]