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Old April 15th, 2012, 8:54 pm
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kittling  Female.gif kittling is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
Join Date: 26th March 2008
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post
Meh, well, that wasn’t the debate I was getting into. My main point was that, in a story whose main theme is love, portraying a mother’s love as “stronger” than a father’s is, IMO, favoring women and being unfair to men.
Sorry, this being a thread about feminism I thought your point would refer back to that subject – and personally I think it is an important issue in its own right as well as in ascertaining whether or not the positioning of a mother’s love as “stronger” than a father’s is in fact fair or unfair to men – after all if the positioning constrains women and men are therefore left ‘free’ it could easily be argued that men’s position is in fact much fairer rather than the opposite.

Well, there are plenty of women in the series who have concerns other than raising their kids.
As this point refers to the series, as opposed to just Deathly Hallows I’ll answer it on the Harry Potter: A Feminist Novel?

Err…sorry, you’ll have to help me out here. I don’t think I understand what you’re trying to say so I’ll refrain from making a comment.
As this point refers to the series, as opposed to just Deathly Hallows again I’ll answer it on the Harry Potter: A Feminist Novel?

Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
So they very well may have children and/or grandchildren. Just because we don't see it in this story (mostly seen from Harry's experience) doesn't mean we can definitely conclude they had no other life away from school. It's similar to working at a large corporation; you don't really know details of most of your colleague's lives, and wouldn't know if they had kids, or how many -- but not knowing doesn't mean they don't exist.
No, its not like working in a large corporation – your workplace is real, as are your colleagues; the characters in a book are not real the have no existence out side of the confines of the page. They don’t have hobbies unless the author chooses to show them participating in or frothing about a hobby; they don’t even have a past unless the author chooses to show us a past. Yes logically someone doesn’t just get to 40 without experiences but that’s a real person yes Molly hypothetically did stuff before the book starts but unless JKR puts it in the book it doesn’t happen because it’s a fiction not reality.

Originally Posted by JackIanto View Post
Hi. I'm new to these forum (this is indeed my first post).
Hello JackIanto, Good to hear from you

To me she is a character of her time, born in 1949, a child of the 50s, at Hogwarts in the 60s and married and having children in the 70s. Like so many of that era she is a woman being a mum and a housekeeper which was at that time the role that society had for women.

I doubt that Molly, in the conservative wizarding world, would have been exposed to such ideas.
Your identifying the wizarding world as conservative (a statement incidentally that I personally agree with whole heartedly ) is a fairly contentious one. Some people it seems see a lot of what I would call the background detail or set dressing (a history where women have been Minister of Magic, or where the main sport is a unisex one, for example) as proof that the wizarding world in fact a very progressive world where gender equality exists.

While I strongly disagree with this conclusion I can see how one might get that impression from the ‘set dressing’ - and where it allowed to permeate the story we actually see on page I might agree with it. However it doesn’t seem to and so I feel a rather mixed message is given.

My concern in discussions about Molly is that she is seen as just a mum/mom.
That sort of is my concern too; not that we discus Molly as if she is only a mother but the fact that the author chooses to only show us that side of her except on 2 occasions (one of which is a simple one line reference to her being ‘on duty’ for the Order which is so small it is almost swept under the carpet, the other being during the end battle.

In the words of Germaine Greer (when speaking of Betty Friedan)
"Women don't get the respect they deserve unless they are wielding male-shaped power"
Here again Molly springs to my mind. It feels to me as if Molly’s big fight with Bellatrix is used in exactly that way – it is only when she turns her wand from use for mothering and uses it as a metaphorical gun that she is seen as something more than ‘just a mother’. There is a feeling I think that the incident is used by the author to show Molly has strength and/or power when in fact JKR has had six books in which to demonstrate this with resorting to Molly ‘wielding male-shaped power’ but has singularly failed to do so

This leads me to think about the way gendered qualities and behaviours are used in the series but again I’ll answer it on the Harry Potter: A Feminist Novel? as it applies to more than just the last book.

Me, trying to resurrect another feminism thread? Never.
Molly may be a modest woman living a pretty ordinary life (though in un-ordinary circumstances) but she wields power, power of a different form. She has, again to quote Greer: "The be a person, with dignity, integrity, nobility, passion, pride that constitute personhood. Freedom to run, shout, talk loudly and sit with your knees apart."
That to me is Molly.
Out of curiosity where do we see this in the books?

Surely if we take your concept that Molly is a product of her era – then she is not a housewife & mother through free choice but because that was the main or only option society provided her with.

I don’t have a problem with Molly, or her role within the book per se it is the context with which I have a problem. The predominance of motherhood as the option for women, for the only female characters who as adults don’t become mothers they either take on a surrogate mother role (ie one that provides them the opportunity for continual contact with children whom they can nurture and mould such as teaching) or they are nasty people. It feels to me as if the lack of desire for motherhood is used to portray a basic unpleasantness, even unnaturalness – that for me is another problem.


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