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Today I Learned: Feminism

29/05/2013

Today I learned that Feminism is not just seeing women acting like men but its realizing that women are fully individual people.

Before folks say, “Well Duh, Peeta… are you that slow? UNSUBSCRIBE.”  I would like to submit two of the strongest female charters of this generation as examples.

Katniss – A very powerful young lady who wins the first Hunger Games on her own terms (if you are spoiled by this then I don’t know how to help you).  There are parts in future books where she seems little more than a pawn but time and time again she comes back and does things her own way.

Hermione – One of the best written female characters in a long time.  She is very much her own woman who has feeling, goals, and desires.  She can hold her own.  Even if she is somewhat sexualized in Goblet of Fire when Ron suddenly realizes she is a woman the over all development of Hermione is exceptional.

On the surface these two are fantastic however one problem with both of these portrayals is that they are both in a theatre of war and are in a lot of ways being represented in a typically male fashion giving the impression that if a woman want to be strong she needs to bring her “man suit” because its the only way she is going to get noticed.

Women are strong in so many ways you cannot categorize them.  Katniss and Hermione are great examples that still fall short in places.  I am not saying that if you cannot write perfect characters then don’t do it.  On the contrary; the fact that they exist in a sea of so many more poorly written females is encouraging.

Another thing that is troubling is  some  will point to these two characters and use them as examples that we are getting past the “old days” of sexism.  While I think we are making progress we have a long way to go and even those these two are a lesser evil they are still an evil that should not be completely ignored.

What do you think about these two characters?  (also if you like I will post your comment, just let me know by sending an e-mail to dftbanews@gmail.com)

This post was largely inspired by the video below.

Warning the comments in this video are rough

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One comment

  1. I love Hermione because she’s a warrior, but not a fighter, if that makes sense. Her greatest strength is her intelligence and curiosity, and she *thinks* her way out problems rather than using brute force. She’s also loyal and willing to make great sacrifices, including erasing herself from her parents life, to protect her friends, which is so brave and I don’t think a lot of people appreciate that.

    On top of all that, she’s hugely discriminated against in society fro not being wizard-born, but she manages to keep her head up about it. Probably for that reason, she’s also quick to jump to defend anyone she feels is being bullied or discriminated against, even House Elves, although that didn’t turn out as she’d hoped.

    I personally don’t think of bravery, sacrifice, loyalty, self-respect, and intelligence are masculine or “manly” traits; to me, they’re pretty gender-neutral, and if you get to know a lot of women in real life, you’ll see that there are tons of “Hermione-like” women and girls.

    Honestly, when Pottermore sorted me into Gryffindor, I was a little disappointed. But then I remembered Hermione is a Gryffindor, and it made me feel a lot better.

    I agree that we are not getting past sexism yet, there’s still a long way to go. The thing about sexism that most concerns me are she sheer number of young women I know who have been victims of harassment, rape, sexual assault, and violence. One great thing about fantasy characters like Hermione, Katniss, and, I would add, Coraline, Meg Murray (from A Wrinkle in Time), and superheroines like Batgirl, Wonder Woman, and Black Canary are that, in different ways, they inspire girls to face this adversity head-on with courage and intelligence.



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