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Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3



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  #941  
Old April 6th, 2012, 8:12 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
I personally find this unconvincing, as I think Lily's Patronus might have been a doe even if she had never fallen in love with James. It is a reasonable representation of HER (just as Minerva's cat seems to be).
Replied to in the Patronus meanings thread.


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  #942  
Old April 6th, 2012, 9:37 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post

She did? Iíve never seen that statement! Could you tell me where she says that? Because, if she has said it, I do not agree. I donít find Bellatrix as singularly feminine. To me, sheís just a mentally disturbed, cruel person. I donít believe the duel between her and Molly was any sort of lesson in ďfemale proprietyĒ. I donít think weíre supposed to draw the conclusion that itís OK for men to act the way Bellatrix does but that it destroys some sort of feminine code of honor to treat children cruelly and be as sadistic as Bellatrix is.
This is what Rowling had to say about it:
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Originally Posted by JKR
The first reason was I always saw Molly as a very good witch but someone whose light is necessarily hidden under a bushel, because she isn't in the kitchen a lot and she has had to raise, among others, and george which is like, enough... I wanted Molly to have her moment and to show that because a woman had dedicated herself to her family does not mean that she doesn't have a lot of other talents.

Second reason: It was the meeting of two kinds of - if you call what Bellatrix feels for Voldemort love, I guess we'll call it love, she has a kind of obsession with him, it's a very sick obsession ... and I wanted to match that kind of obsession with maternal love... the power that you give someone by loving them. So Molly was really an amazing exemplar of maternal love. ... There was something very satisfying about putting those two women together.
So even if you don't agree that this is the symbolism of the scene, we still have the problem of JKR's intentions being, as I see it, to portray one type of woman as better than another. This is offensive to me.
I'm not saying a person cannot interpret the duel different from Rowling, of course that it both allowable and very possible. But even if I pretend to have never heard Rowling's motivation for the duel it still strikes me as odd that Molly,the most porminent mother of the series, who has never partook actively in the war until the duel, just happens to have her duelling debut against a woman who is portrayed as anti-maternal, uninterested in family life and by Molly's standards most likely a "scarlet woman".

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This marked instance of female-glorification bugs me most.
I see it rather as a limitation of women instead of a glorification. Sure she emphasizes motherhood over fatherhood quite a few times in the series but I see it as a symptom of the series' traditional view of women and their proper role. This is why I cannot find it insulting towards men but rather a small part of the unfair treatment that female characters get. I'm not saying the books want us to believe all women should stay at home and raise children since most female characters don't even have children, at least not when we are first introduced to them. But I do think motherhood is seen as such a powerful force for good that not being maternal or particularly fond of children (especially if you are a woman) is portrayed as well.... a bad thing.


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Old April 7th, 2012, 5:12 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
So even if you don't agree that this is the symbolism of the scene, we still have the problem of JKR's intentions being, as I see it, to portray one type of woman as better than another. This is offensive to me.
I don't see that JKR is portraying one better than the other. Bellatrix's actions speak for her, and the DE's probably see her as perfect, while the rest of the wizarding community sees her as a rather cruel person who likes to torture and kill people. That is who she is. Sirius thinks she's mad. The fact that Bella and Molly have chose two very opposite paths is evident; but I don't see any reason to be offended by either portrayal.

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Originally Posted by Sereena
I'm not saying a person cannot interpret the duel different from Rowling, of course that it both allowable and very possible. But even if I pretend to have never heard Rowling's motivation for the duel it still strikes me as odd that Molly,the most porminent mother of the series, who has never partook actively in the war until the duel, just happens to have her duelling debut against a woman who is portrayed as anti-maternal, uninterested in family life and by Molly's standards most likely a "scarlet woman".
I have to point out that Molly did participate in the war before the duel; she had the same type of dangerous guard duty at the Department of Mysteries as the other members of the Order. And I'd posit that it's not Molly's "dueling debut"; it's rather that we don't always see that on page. Molly was too young to be allowed to fight in the first war, but that doesn't mean she wasn't trained & skilled in dueling; she was likely much like Ginny.


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  #944  
Old April 7th, 2012, 10:34 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
I don't see that JKR is portraying one better than the other. Bellatrix's actions speak for her, and the DE's probably see her as perfect, while the rest of the wizarding community sees her as a rather cruel person who likes to torture and kill people. That is who she is. Sirius thinks she's mad. The fact that Bella and Molly have chose two very opposite paths is evident; but I don't see any reason to be offended by either portrayal.
Their protrayals don't offend me at all. Their face-off however does. Molly has chosen a different path from Bellatrix, yes. She has also chosen a different path from Greyback, Dolohov or Yaxley. She doesn't duel any of these DEs even though they are her enemies as well and she would be perfectly in the right to do so. She is pitted against Bellatrix and we have Rowling's quote to confirm that this isn't a coincidence. She intended Molly to come out of the duel as "the better woman". Not the better person, as I gather. The fact that they were both women was crucial.

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I have to point out that Molly did participate in the war before the duel; she had the same type of dangerous guard duty at the Department of Mysteries as the other members of the Order. And I'd posit that it's not Molly's "dueling debut"; it's rather that we don't always see that on page.
If you can find another instance when Molly duels in the books then we can discuss it of course but to my knowledge that is the only time she duels (though it has been a while since I read the books so I could be wrong). This is why the duel with Bellatrix is so important, IMO. If we had seen Molly duel other ten wizards prior to that duel than we wouldn't have to read anything else into the duel other than that two people on two different sides are fighting each other. Since, to my knowledge at least, this is Molly's first (on page) duel it's all the more significant and makes it clear that there is a symbolism attached to it (which I have to say again that Rowling has confirmed so it's not a case of readers reading too much into it, IMO).
I'm not sure I understand what exactly you are disagreeing about though. Are you saying that the duel isn't symbolic/doesn't have the meaning Rowling attached to it or that the meaning is present but not offensive? Both arguments are valid of course, I just want to know what I'm up against so to speak, for clarity's sake


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  #945  
Old April 8th, 2012, 12:32 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Their protrayals don't offend me at all. Their face-off however does. Molly has chosen a different path from Bellatrix, yes. She has also chosen a different path from Greyback, Dolohov or Yaxley. She doesn't duel any of these DEs even though they are her enemies as well and she would be perfectly in the right to do so. She is pitted against Bellatrix and we have Rowling's quote to confirm that this isn't a coincidence. She intended Molly to come out of the duel as "the better woman". Not the better person, as I gather. The fact that they were both women was crucial.

If you can find another instance when Molly duels in the books then we can discuss it of course but to my knowledge that is the only time she duels (though it has been a while since I read the books so I could be wrong). This is why the duel with Bellatrix is so important, IMO. If we had seen Molly duel other ten wizards prior to that duel than we wouldn't have to read anything else into the duel other than that two people on two different sides are fighting each other. Since, to my knowledge at least, this is Molly's first (on page) duel it's all the more significant and makes it clear that there is a symbolism attached to it (which I have to say again that Rowling has confirmed so it's not a case of readers reading too much into it, IMO).
I'm not sure I understand what exactly you are disagreeing about though. Are you saying that the duel isn't symbolic/doesn't have the meaning Rowling attached to it or that the meaning is present but not offensive? Both arguments are valid of course, I just want to know what I'm up against so to speak, for clarity's sake
My point was that JKR was intending to show the better choice in the books, and how the choices we make affect not only ourselves, but everyone else around us as well. We don't see who else Molly duels during the course of the attack on Hogwarts; and that is because the author is focusing largely on what Harry, the trio, and Voldemort are doing. We see that particular duel because Harry sees it, because Harry is rushing to get to where Voldemort is but notices that Ginny misses being hit by an AK by only an inch and changes course to confront Bellatrix; but before he can get there, Molly intervenes. That's why we see Molly's duel with Bellatrix, but not any other DE's who she may have fought (and I'm sure she did, she would hardly be standing around waiting to get hit by a spell). That JKR intended us to see that duel? Sure. That it was somehow "symbolic" of good mother vs. not a mother -- no, I doubt it; "good woman" vs. "bad woman" -- no, I don't think so on that one either. In my opinion, JKR's emphasis has been concentrated on choices (from which everything else results).


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  #946  
Old April 8th, 2012, 10:31 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
My point was that JKR was intending to show the better choice in the books, and how the choices we make affect not only ourselves, but everyone else around us as well.
Yes but my point was that Molly has also made different choices from many other DEs yet she didn't end up fighting them.

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That's why we see Molly's duel with Bellatrix, but not any other DE's who she may have fought (and I'm sure she did, she would hardly be standing around waiting to get hit by a spell)
Since she had to take off her cloak and free her arms before fighting Bellatrix I would say that that was in fact her first duel that night. It wouldn't make much sense for her to put her cloak back on and then take it off again after each duel. Molly is said to be quite good with Healing spells so it's also possible that she was taking care of the injured. Molly was never shown to be interested in the battlefield so far so I don't see why that day should be an exception. Tonks is the only woman in the Order that we see fighting. The other female members seem sort of passive.
Quote:
That JKR intended us to see that duel? Sure. That it was somehow "symbolic" of good mother vs. not a mother -- no, I doubt it; "good woman" vs. "bad woman" -- no, I don't think so on that one either.
In my opinion though, as much as I hate those two meanings, if she hadn't been aiming for the duel to have some sort of significance besides the obvious one of saving Ginny then there would have been no reason to have Molly fight Bellatrix at all. They have no history together, no prior confrontations or reason to confront one another and frankly I see Molly as rather hypocritical in her speech about how Bellatrix should stay away from her children when her children were actually hurt more by other DEs. So for Rowling to avoid having Neville kill Bellatrix or Harry or Tonks, all of whom she had a history and subplot with, only to have Bellatrix face Molly instead.... there's simply no reason for the author do to that unless she is aiming for some sort of a symbolical meaning, in my opinion. Plotwise there were much better characters for the task of eliminating Bellatrix.
This, and the quote from Rowling, are the reasons why I believe that the duel holds the mother vs non mother or good woman vs bad woman symbolism.

One thing that can be said in the defence of that is that Voldemort himself is also thwarted by a mother's love, the first time he is vanquished, the second time when Narcissa lies to him and the third when Harry is granted a protection against him. So the fact that motherhood is used as a "weapon" even against a man can somewhat salvage the "feminism" of that duel. It's not enough for me but it's a thought...

Like other posters have said a few pages back I was also bothered by the lack of female contribution to the final battle. Besides Minerva (and Molly) no other woman or girl accomplishes anything. Hermione helps Harry a great deal in the search for the Horcruxes so she's somewhat excused but other female characters don't really help out if I remember correctly. What is done is mostly done by men unfortunately. I also feel sorry for Ginny for having to be rescued by her mother since I saw her as yearning to prove that she is grown up and a powerful witch capable of taking care of herself. I wonder why JKR kept her in what I see as a rather helpless role with somebody always having to come to her rescue. Does that mean that Ginny was wrong for not staying put in the RoR?


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  #947  
Old April 9th, 2012, 5:22 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Yes but my point was that Molly has also made different choices from many other DEs yet she didn't end up fighting them.
I don't think that assumption can be made, just because something likely happened off-page rather than on-page. Molly was there as a member of the Order, a defender of Hogwarts, and the odds that she fought other DE's are quite high.

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Originally Posted by Sereena
Since she had to take off her cloak and free her arms before fighting Bellatrix I would say that that was in fact her first duel that night. It wouldn't make much sense for her to put her cloak back on and then take it off again after each duel. Molly is said to be quite good with Healing spells so it's also possible that she was taking care of the injured. Molly was never shown to be interested in the battlefield so far so I don't see why that day should be an exception. Tonks is the only woman in the Order that we see fighting. The other female members seem sort of passive.
I think that's quite an assumption to make, that Molly would not be fighting, but only nursing the injured. From the description in the books, there did not seem to be time to take care of the injured until the temporary truce between the attacks, that is the only mention of it. The book seems to indicate that every able bodied adult and student of age all lined up to fight, even Trelawney. And I would hardly call McGonagall a passive Order member.

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Originally Posted by Sereena
In my opinion though, as much as I hate those two meanings, if she hadn't been aiming for the duel to have some sort of significance besides the obvious one of saving Ginny then there would have been no reason to have Molly fight Bellatrix at all. They have no history together, no prior confrontations or reason to confront one another and frankly I see Molly as rather hypocritical in her speech about how Bellatrix should stay away from her children when her children were actually hurt more by other DEs.
I don't think it's necessary to have a "history" with a DE before dueling them. It's a war, you fight whomever you can without analyzing it first if you want to stay alive and defeat Voldemort. Why isn't the threat of Ginny being killed by Bella enough of a motive? Also, Bella seemed to be taunting Molly that once she killed her, what would happen to her children. It sounds like an implied threat to me -- first Molly, then the rest of her children. How does it make Molly "hypocritical" for telling Bella that she (Bella) would not be around to hurt any of her children? Sorry, but I disagree strongly with that interpretation.

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Originally Posted by Sereena
I also feel sorry for Ginny for having to be rescued by her mother since I saw her as yearning to prove that she is grown up and a powerful witch capable of taking care of herself. I wonder why JKR kept her in what I see as a rather helpless role with somebody always having to come to her rescue. Does that mean that Ginny was wrong for not staying put in the RoR?
I don't understand why anyone should feel sorry for Ginny. Remember that Hermione & Luna were fighting Bella along with Ginny. Bella is not an easy fight; she alone with Voldemort seemed to be fighting multiple people. Do you think Ginny felt "helpless" because it took three of them to hold off Bella? I don't think she felt that way at all, either with her friends or when Molly took over the fight. Ginny is fairly confident in her abilities, and I don't think the fact that it took 3 of them to fight Bella made her feel helpless but rather an acknowledgement of the skill level of Bella. And I don't think Ginny resented her mother taking over the fight; Molly had just lost one of her children, she was determined to not lose another if she could help it.


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Last edited by HedwigOwl; April 10th, 2012 at 5:57 am. Reason: typo/revision for clarity
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  #948  
Old April 9th, 2012, 5:09 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
So for Rowling to avoid having Neville kill Bellatrix or Harry or Tonks, all of whom she had a history and subplot with, only to have Bellatrix face Molly instead.... there's simply no reason for the author do to that unless she is aiming for some sort of a symbolical meaning, in my opinion.
Not strictly related to feminism in DH but are any of the "younger generation" shown actually killing anyone? Neville kills Nagini but Nagini wasn't a human so I don't exactly count that. Harry never actually killed Voldemort, Voldemort was killed by his rebounding curse. Again. (Wow, tough luck. ) Draco, the "worst" or "most evil" young character attempts to kill people but never succeeds. Crabbe and Goyle cast dangerous curses that likely would have resulted in Harry's death had he not escaped them. To my knowledge/bad memory, no student-aged person in the books is shown actually casting a curse that kills someone while an adult like Molly is shown doing just that.

Keeping something like this in mind, I see the Molly/Bellatrix battle not so much a comparison of a bad woman v. a good woman or a mother v. a non-mother but JKR protecting her young characters so we can't later condemn them for willfullying killing another human being (even though I think Neville had more of a "right" to kill Bellatrix than Molly did seeing as it was Bellatrix that who tortured his parents into madness), no matter how evil that person was or justifiable that killing would have been. Perhaps JKR is a victim of that condition known as loving your characters too much; she didn't want Neville to be seen killing or torturing even someone like Bellatrix because he was too young, too innocent, too precious to sully in that way.


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Last edited by Goddess_Clio; April 9th, 2012 at 5:12 pm.
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  #949  
Old April 9th, 2012, 7:19 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

And also, there's the believability factor: It's a lot more likely that an adult wizard around the same age as Bellatrix could kill her rather than a teenager boy.


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Old April 9th, 2012, 9:37 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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And also, there's the believability factor: It's a lot more likely that an adult wizard around the same age as Bellatrix could kill her rather than a teenager boy.
I don't think it's unbelievable that a 17/18 year old could duel someone like Bellatrix, nor do I think it's unbelievable that a teenager could kill her.


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Old April 9th, 2012, 9:40 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

I'd have found it a tad unbelievable if Neville HAD managed to kill her, myself...


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  #952  
Old April 9th, 2012, 10:24 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
Keeping something like this in mind, I see the Molly/Bellatrix battle not so much a comparison of a bad woman v. a good woman or a mother v. a non-mother but JKR protecting her young characters so we can't later condemn them for willfullying killing another human being (even though I think Neville had more of a "right" to kill Bellatrix than Molly did seeing as it was Bellatrix that who tortured his parents into madness), no matter how evil that person was or justifiable that killing would have been.
Yes it's possible that JKR didn't want any of her young characters to kill someone but there were other grownups besides Molly better fitted for the task, IMO.

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
I don't think that assumption can be made, just because something likely happened off-page rather than on-page. Molly was there as a member of the Order, a defender of Hogwarts, and the odds that she fought other DE's are quite high.
First of all I don't know why you're calling me mirrormere but I like it

Second, while it's possible that she did fight anyone else (though not probable for the reason I posted) the fact still remains that her duel with Bella is the only one we are shown which implies that it was more significant than others.
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I don't think it's necessary to have a "history" with a DE before dueling them. It's a war, you fight whomever you can without analyzing it first if you want to stay alive and defeat Voldemort. Why isn't the threat of Ginny being killed by Bella enough of a motive?
It is a good enough motive for Molly to want to intervene but it's not a good enough motive for the author to put Molly and Bella together. Someone else could have attacked Ginny and then Molly would have had to fight that person.
And no, of course that for the fighters it isn't necessary to have a history with someone in order to fight them. But since this isn't a real battle that logic doesn't apply. Poetic justice is something that often happens in literature and while it doesn't have to happen every time, I am still inclined to believe that JKR avoided it for the reason that she wanted to pitt Bellatrix and Molly against each other and underline the motherhood theme of the series.

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How does it make Molly "hypocritical" for telling Bella that she (Bella) would not be around to hurt any of her children? Sorry, but I disagree strongly with that interpretation.
Sorry. What I should have said is that for me JKR suddenly painting Bellatrix as the Weasley enemy number 1 was unconvincing since other DEs had hurt Molly's children much more than Bellatrix. I felt that the scene was getting too personal and the reasons behind it were shallow compared to what Molly had had to endure because of other DEs.

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I don't understand why anyone should feel sorry for Ginny. Remember that Hermione & Luna were fighting Bella along with Ginny. Bella is not an easy fight; she alone with Voldemort seemed to be fighting multiple people. Do you think Ginny felt "helpless" because it took three of them to hold off Bella? I don't think she felt that way at all, either with her friends or when Molly took over the fight. Ginny is fairly confident in her abilities, and I don't think the fact that it took 3 of them to fight Bella made her feel helpless but rather an acknowledgement of the skill level of Bella. And I don't think Ginny resented her mother taking over the fight; Molly had just lost one of her children, she was determined to not lose another if she could help it.
Ginny strikes me as a rather determined young woman who wanted to make a difference in the great battle. That is in fact quite feminist of her that she doesn't settle for being an observer but wants to participate. However that falls flat because in the end Ginny only manages to get herself in trouble and has to be rescued by her mother.

I'm not saying that she is weak or that she should have done better against Bellatrix. I'm saying that it must have felt like a disappointed to her to have her mother barge in, calling people names and taking over the fight as though it was her own. Not to mention the fact that Ginny must have also worried for her mother's safety. I sure wouldn't want my mom to be fighting a psycho and I would feel really guilty if I had somehow managed to get myself in trouble and left her with no alternative other than to do so. I thought it was brave of Ginny to disobey Harry and her mother and leave the RoR. The fact that she then needs rescuing undermines that positive message, IMO, and makes the reader wonder whether or not she should have stayed put. Again not saying that she was weak, just saying that she was ultimately not allowed to make a difference in the war, which I think she would have wanted to do.


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Old April 10th, 2012, 12:56 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by ShadowSonic View Post
I'd have found it a tad unbelievable if Neville HAD managed to kill her, myself...
Neville grew into quite a confident young man by the end of the series and, I think, one that was entirely capable of killing, just as I think Harry was capable of killing (though he was saved from that by a technicality ), Hermione was capable of killing, Ron was capable of killing, Luna was capable of killing, I could go on...

And to be clear, I'm not saying that Neville would have to cast Avada Kedavra in order to kill; Molly didn't cast AK but the curse she did cast ended up killing Bellatrix; whether that was the intended result or whether the curse happened to hit Bellatrix in such a way or in just the right place that it resulted in her death we'll never know.

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Yes it's possible that JKR didn't want any of her young characters to kill someone but there were other grownups besides Molly better fitted for the task, IMO.
I agree. The way that duel was presented in the book you get the strong impression of it being womano-a-womano for a very specific reason. In fact, I clearly remember on my first reading of the book that when Molly stepped up for the battle against Bellatrix I went "wh-wha-whaaat??? Why her? These characters have never even met on page! There's no reason Molly should be the one killing Bellatrix!"

Quote:
Second, while it's possible that she did fight anyone else (though not probable for the reason I posted) the fact still remains that her duel with Bella is the only one we are shown which implies that it was more significant than others.
And the fact that it came out of the blue with hardly any set up other than an arrant curse flying at Ginny. I actually found this moment as a terrible end to Molly's character because she's stepping up to defend her daughter and sort of (to me) underlining that what she always wanted was a daughter and that Ron's suspicions that he was least loved of his siblings wasn't just an insecurity but that, to a certain extent, it was true. (I do think Molly loved Ron, so everyone knows.) I'd go into this more but this isn't Molly's thread.

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It is a good enough motive for Molly to want to intervene but it's not a good enough motive for the author to put Molly and Bella together. Someone else could have attacked Ginny and then Molly would have had to fight that person.
Yeah, the Molly/Bellatrix showdown always seemed odd to me but the more I think about it in conjunction with this thread the more I'm convinced this duel was a statement about good women versus bad women because everyone in that duel was a woman - Ginny, Hermione and Luna battle Bellatrix before Molly steps in. Women, women, women.

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And no, of course that for the fighters it isn't necessary to have a history with someone in order to fight them. But since this isn't a real battle that logic doesn't apply. Poetic justice is something that often happens in literature and while it doesn't have to happen every time, I am still inclined to believe that JKR avoided it for the reason that she wanted to pitt Bellatrix and Molly against each other and underline the motherhood theme of the series.
And to spare one of her precious youngsters their innocence. Personally, I would have liked to see at least one of the younger characters shoulder the mantle of having killed someone in the name of something greater than themselves. That character wouldn't have to like the fact that they killed but for every young character to skate by unscathed feels like a cop out.

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Sorry. What I should have said is that for me JKR suddenly painting Bellatrix as the Weasley enemy number 1 was unconvincing since other DEs had hurt Molly's children much more than Bellatrix. I felt that the scene was getting too personal and the reasons behind it were shallow compared to what Molly had had to endure because of other DEs.
Another instance, IMO, of JKR underlining the fact that Ginny was the single most precious thing on the planet to Molly and Ron wasn't even close - none of her boys were. Bill had been ravaged by Greyback, why wasn't Molly dueling him? George had been maimed by Snape - Molly should have been on the war path against him. Fred had been killed by a death eater! Why wasn't Molly going after that person? But all it took was one mis-aimed curse at Molly's daughter and look out! Okay, this should probably go to Molly's thread...


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  #954  
Old April 10th, 2012, 3:50 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

I'm going to concur with Melazka that the subject matter hardly makes it feminist fare, unless by "Feminism" you mean, women are included in the story line.


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Old April 10th, 2012, 6:15 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
Another instance, IMO, of JKR underlining the fact that Ginny was the single most precious thing on the planet to Molly and Ron wasn't even close - none of her boys were. Bill had been ravaged by Greyback, why wasn't Molly dueling him? George had been maimed by Snape - Molly should have been on the war path against him. Fred had been killed by a death eater! Why wasn't Molly going after that person? But all it took was one mis-aimed curse at Molly's daughter and look out! Okay, this should probably go to Molly's thread...
To be fair....Snape was being summoned by Voldemort & then killed, so Molly couldn't duel him. And if I remember correctly, we never see who killed Fred -- a wall gets blasted away from behind where the trio, Percy & Fred were standing over 2 disarmed/defeated DEs. I don't know about Greyback, but Hermione blasts him away from Lavender on their way to the shrieking shack to look for Nagini, and I think someone else takes him out at the beginning of the 2nd phase before they even get back into Hogwarts.

Even so, the threat to Ginny was happening right in front of Molly, so I'd expect her to intervene no matter which of her children it may have been; and of course it's a better storyline for it to be Ginny, not only because of Molly, but Harry as well.


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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:19 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

Guys, I'm not going to close down the Molly/Bellatrix duel topic, but please can you make sure that you make it clear in all your posts how what you've written relates back to the topic of Feminism (or lack thereof) in HP?


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Old April 10th, 2012, 5:36 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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To be fair....Snape was being summoned by Voldemort & then killed, so Molly couldn't duel him. And if I remember correctly, we never see who killed Fred -- a wall gets blasted away from behind where the trio, Percy & Fred were standing over 2 disarmed/defeated DEs. I don't know about Greyback, but Hermione blasts him away from Lavender on their way to the shrieking shack to look for Nagini, and I think someone else takes him out at the beginning of the 2nd phase before they even get back into Hogwarts.

Even so, the threat to Ginny was happening right in front of Molly, so I'd expect her to intervene no matter which of her children it may have been; and of course it's a better storyline for it to be Ginny, not only because of Molly, but Harry as well.
I get why Molly couldn't duel Snape on behalf of George, he was off busy doing other things, but the other two are harder to explain away and, I think, even further underline the feminist issue being presented by the duel with Bellatrix. It wasn't Mulciber who tried to curse Ginny, it wasn't Yaxley or Avery or Greyback or Dolohov or any of the other Death Eaters - it was just about the only woman Death Eater we are ever shown in the entire series - and we're only ever given two, one of which (Alecto Carrow) is only in like four scenes in the entire series and, to me, felt like she was made a woman simply so Bellatrix wouldn't be the only woman death eater in the books


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Old April 11th, 2012, 1:38 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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I get why Molly couldn't duel Snape on behalf of George, he was off busy doing other things, but the other two are harder to explain away and, I think, even further underline the feminist issue being presented by the duel with Bellatrix. It wasn't Mulciber who tried to curse Ginny, it wasn't Yaxley or Avery or Greyback or Dolohov or any of the other Death Eaters - it was just about the only woman Death Eater we are ever shown in the entire series - and we're only ever given two, one of which (Alecto Carrow) is only in like four scenes in the entire series and, to me, felt like she was made a woman simply so Bellatrix wouldn't be the only woman death eater in the books
I don't get the feeling that the DE's are an especially pro-women's rights bunch, and I don't think they'd go out of their way to recruit them to even out their numbers. Bella and her husband both joined up (probably together), and while we're told very little about the Carrows, they seem cut from the same cloth so maybe they joined together as well. Although perhaps there were more women DEs, they weren't important to the story....so...

I'm not sure how it would be good from a feminist viewpoint if there were loads of women who queue'd up to be DEs. But I think the reason we see Bella putting Ginny in danger is that there weren't that many DEs standing at that point, and if you had to pick 2 that would be still left untouched at that point, and easily dueling more than one person, it would be Voldemort and Bella. I know that JKR has talked about her thoughts at having Molly finish off Bella, but I also think that Bella was chosen to be one of the last fighting because it seemed a logical conclusion. So partly a symbolic intention on JKR's part, but to me I think Molly's motivation was the will/intent to protect her child, which I don't even put in a feminist/non-feminist category.


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Old April 11th, 2012, 4:12 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Yeah, the Molly/Bellatrix showdown always seemed odd to me but the more I think about it in conjunction with this thread the more I'm convinced this duel was a statement about good women versus bad women because everyone in that duel was a woman - Ginny, Hermione and Luna battle Bellatrix before Molly steps in. Women, women, women.
I got the same feeling and wondered why JKR made the battle so segregated when it comes to gender. The only woman on man duel is between Minerva and Voldemort and then she is only one of the fighters the other two being men. I think Rowling worried that having a man defeat Bellatrix would send the wrong the message but we're complaining anyway so... I would have had no problem with Kingsley killing Bella for example and wouldn't have considered that an issue at all. He is an Auror she is a dark witch- it fits. I don't think gender needed to come into play in that context. Also, as I said before it's problematic that Molly is the only woman who makes a powerful contribution to the war. Minerva fighting Voldemort is nice and all but since she doesn't win it can't really count, IMO. Many boys and men contribute to the war but only one woman as far as we know (on the good side that is).


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I don't get the feeling that the DE's are an especially pro-women's rights bunch, and I don't think they'd go out of their way to recruit them to even out their numbers. Bella and her husband both joined up (probably together), and while we're told very little about the Carrows, they seem cut from the same cloth so maybe they joined together as well. Although perhaps there were more women DEs, they weren't important to the story....so...
I don't think there were anymore. I think this says something not just about the DEs as a group but of the wizarding society in general where women seemed more interested in staying at home and raising children. I got the feeling that pureblood families have very traditional values considering the fact that Bellatrix was the only woman in her family to be a DE and one of the very few women in Voldemort's army. I would say all female characters that we meet and that have children are stay at home moms besides Tonks who dies rather quickly after giving birth

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So partly a symbolic intention on JKR's part, but to me I think Molly's motivation was the will/intent to protect her child, which I don't even put in a feminist/non-feminist category.
There is nothing either feminist or unfeminist about protecting your child IMO. The issue I have with some of the mothers in HP is that their whole world revolves around their children while for the men it's not really the case. To take Lucius Malfoy as an example, he doesn't have a proper job but he is a DE and has a great influence over the Ministry. Arthur also works outside the home. With Lily, she dies so soon after having Harry that we don't even know what she would have done in the future but JKR doesn't tell us about any of her plans after finishing Hogwarts. Rita Skeeter is childless and so is Umbridge so they don't count. Minerva and some other women work at Hogwarts so they are around children almost all the time anyway.
I get that Molly is supposed to be the mother of all mothers but I would have liked to see her fighting for something other than her children yet again since all she ever does is for them. It would have developed her character which, despite what others have said I don't think the duel does. yes we saw another part of her in terms of her ability to use violence but it was still something she did as a mother. It seems all Rowling's female characters are consumed by motherhood while the men still have hobbies, jobs and interests.


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Old April 11th, 2012, 4:51 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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The issue I have with some of the mothers in HP is that their whole world revolves around their children while for the men it's not really the case. To take Lucius Malfoy as an example, he doesn't have a proper job but he is a DE and has a great influence over the Ministry. Arthur also works outside the home. With Lily, she dies so soon after having Harry that we don't even know what she would have done in the future but JKR doesn't tell us about any of her plans after finishing Hogwarts. Rita Skeeter is childless and so is Umbridge so they don't count. Minerva and some other women work at Hogwarts so they are around children almost all the time anyway.
I get that Molly is supposed to be the mother of all mothers but I would have liked to see her fighting for something other than her children yet again since all she ever does is for them. It would have developed her character which, despite what others have said I don't think the duel does. yes we saw another part of her in terms of her ability to use violence but it was still something she did as a mother. It seems all Rowling's female characters are consumed by motherhood while the men still have hobbies, jobs and interests.
I agree to an extent, but I did feel as the series went on JKR started to redress this a bit - as I've said before, I felt one of the "messages" in GoF was that Barty Crouch Snr spent too much time at the office and that was a major contributor to Barty Jnr going off the rails. Also, in DH I felt Dumbledore was portrayed as making the mistake of his life by putting his "hobbies, jobs and interests" above caring for his sister - something which he spent the rest of his life regretting.

So, while I do think the series fails to give as much prominence to female characters as male and it often fails to present mothers as people with interests in their own right, I think in the latter part of it, there's a suggestion that being "consumed" by parenthood is important for both mothers AND fathers and that fathers could take a leaf out of Molly's book.


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