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



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  #741  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 4:40 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Agree. That's the point, Bellatrix is not a person to be imitated (one should not become a murderer) but it is nice and inspiring to see a woman taking such an active rol, and many times comanding men. In that sense, only in that, she is a positive example.
Exactly. I just wanna read about a woman kicking *** left and right and Bellatrix is that woman in the HP series and she happens to be evil. I really don't think anybody needs to be reminded that Bellatrix is a bad person. But to say there's nothing positive to her character is to ignore that there is a whole group of women who want to be as badass as Bellatrix minus The Evil. I (a woman) wish I had the kind of skill she has. That's why I wanna learn martial arts.


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  #742  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 5:19 am
LucyWeasley  Undisclosed.gif LucyWeasley is offline
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

I'm not sure it this has been discussed already (stupid 'search this thread' option. It gave me too many posts to look through), but I think Hermione and Ginny are strong female role models.

I find that Ginny is a strong character, but she isn't exactly given a fair chance to show it during the series.

Hermione, however, is. She uses her intelligence and strong sense of right and wrong to advise Harry and Ron on a number of occasions. The series would have turned out very differently without her. Hermione is the brains and organization behind the success of the Trio, as well as a powerful and clever witch who wants to do the right thing. I also enjoyed when she punched Malfoy in PoA.
I would also consider her a 'feminist' character, because she is angered when Ron asks her to the Yule Ball simply because he doesn't want to end up taking a "troll" like Eloise Midgen (or at least I think that's Eloise's last name...)

And (not sure if this has been mentioned yet or not either...) but I highly doubt the Harry Potter series would include any major example of sexism because 1) it's simply not important to the plot and 2) J.K. Rowling is a woman. It would be just downright strange to read a book which downplays the strength of women if it's written by a woman.


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Old January 22nd, 2011, 6:11 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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2) J.K. Rowling is a woman. It would be just downright strange to read a book which downplays the strength of women if it's written by a woman.
One word: Twilight.

But seriously, a book or any other work of art created by a woman doesn't necessarily have to portray women in a positive light; it could just be reflecting the prejudices of the times (which the prejudiced are often just as susceptible to). J.K., however, very consciously rejects these prejudices, and this is something that we can't take for granted because she's a woman herself.


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  #744  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 7:39 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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One word: Twilight.

But seriously, a book or any other work of art created by a woman doesn't necessarily have to portray women in a positive light; it could just be reflecting the prejudices of the times (which the prejudiced are often just as susceptible to). J.K., however, very consciously rejects these prejudices, and this is something that we can't take for granted because she's a woman herself.
Exactly.

Jumping right in here...I've always read Hermione as being MORE capable than the male heroes. They heavily rely on her and don't try to hide that fact. The adults and mentors in their lives acknowledge how important Hermione is, and (although IMO they don't do it enough) Ron and Harry also acknowledge how useful she is. I don't view this as being sidekick-ish at all...she rises above a mere sidekick to be a crucial part of their team.

It's very late where I am and I haven't gone through this whole thread (obviously!) but I think this is a very interesting topic, one I'll continue to think about.


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  #745  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 9:37 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

I dislike the fact that a beautiful, skilled woman like Bellatrix was also portrayed as the ultimate evil, as opposed to Molly. JKR said she deliberately staged that fight as maternal vs. not maternal. This to me sends a wrong image, as though not being maternal is bad. JKR really indulges in some old stereotypes in my opinion, and one of the is the 'femme fatale' (as represented by Bella).


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  #746  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 9:37 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by sekhmetlion View Post

About Molly's marriage, I have said it before that I misstrust it, as even if it works very good, the woman is dependent of the man for money, and she seems to me to go to her husband for support her own status or opinions rather than supporting herself: the example is when she argues with Sirius in OotP and asks Arthur for support. Yes, I am aware that one could say she was just recruiting people to her cause, but why then didn't she try to get the support of any other Order member? to me this is suspicious.

Just thought I would chime in here.

First, I don't think it's wrong for a person to turn to their life partner for support in an argument, whether male or female. I don't think Molly turns to Arthur because she can't support her own arguments. Molly has shown herself throughout the series to be very opinionated and strong in her views. She doesn't back down. I think rather, she is just looking to the person she most expects to back her up i.e. her life partner, her lover, her best friend, Arthur, who happens to be male.

Also, I don't think we should demonise Molly for not working. Feminism is about choice and equality. I have always taken it for granted that it was Molly's choice to stay at home. The Weasleys are time and again shown to be a poor family. Why doesn't Molly then work? Most likely because she choses to put her time and effort into her household and her family instead. There is nothing wrong with that, so long as it was her choice.

Just my two cents. As someone above said, feminism has many and varied meanings for different people and should not be seen as an absolute blanket term for a particular mode of thinking. This is just mine.


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  #747  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 10:05 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Just thought I would chime in here.

First, I don't think it's wrong for a person to turn to their life partner for support in an argument, whether male or female. I don't think Molly turns to Arthur because she can't support her own arguments. Molly has shown herself throughout the series to be very opinionated and strong in her views. She doesn't back down. I think rather, she is just looking to the person she most expects to back her up i.e. her life partner, her lover, her best friend, Arthur, who happens to be male.

Also, I don't think we should demonise Molly for not working. Feminism is about choice and equality. I have always taken it for granted that it was Molly's choice to stay at home. The Weasleys are time and again shown to be a poor family. Why doesn't Molly then work? Most likely because she choses to put her time and effort into her household and her family instead. There is nothing wrong with that, so long as it was her choice.

Just my two cents. As someone above said, feminism has many and varied meanings for different people and should not be seen as an absolute blanket term for a particular mode of thinking. This is just mine.
Exactly. Feminism is about choice and Molly chose to be a homemaker. She also chose to join the Order and fight against Voldemort. I don't know why Bella is admired above Molly for her choices. They seem to be much the same, but on opposite sides. Bella is a sadistic monster, Molly a loving mother. They are both extremely powerful witches. Bellas is admired for being slavish in her devotion to Voldemort and for not having a real thought of her own. She parrots his beliefs and puts those beliefs above her own family. We don't see any sign that she has a thought in her head other than how wonderful Voldemort is. I have real doubts about the level of Bellatrix's intelligence. I have no doubts that Molly was intelligent. She fought for the Order because she could see how evil the other side was. She lost her brothers in the first War and she did not let the loss crush her. And she was powerful magically, but she did not glory in that power or use it to hurt another person. Yet Bella, who whatever else she may have been was not Voldemort's second in command, (Voldemort had no command chain) is admired for being Voldemort's lapdog and Molly is not admired for her strength and positivity. Strange.


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  #748  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 10:19 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

People can choose who they admire? Feminism means different things to different people. Just a thought.

To me, the elevation of 'maternal' above all else in a woman is troubling.


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Old January 22nd, 2011, 10:36 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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They are both extremely powerful witches. Bellas is admired for being slavish in her devotion to Voldemort and for not having a real thought of her own. She parrots his beliefs and puts those beliefs above her own family. We don't see any sign that she has a thought in her head other than how wonderful Voldemort is. I have real doubts about the level of Bellatrix's intelligence.
Well she doubts Snape even though Voldemort is convinced Snape is completely on their side. She even questions him and doesn't back down until she gets answers. Of course she relies on Voldemort a lot but really how is this any different than Harry being suspicious about Snape and the Order members refusing to ask questions because DD could not be wrong? How is this any different than Hagrid punching Karkaroff in the face for being disrespectful towards Dumbledore? And what happens to the Order members when Dumbledore is gone? They simply lose their way and start a radio talk show. Bellatrix seems to me to be more of a leader than a follower especially when it comes to other DEs. She has issues taking orders from Lucius in OotP and in the end Lucius backs down and has to listen to her. She takes command at Malfoy's Manor and does what she thinks is best even though she knows Voldemort specifically ordered for him to be summoned when Harry is captured. Last but least, why is Bellatrix seen as emulating Voldemort's beliefs when in fact those beliefs belong to pureblood families more than they actually belong to Voldemort? I'm pretty sure the Black family were pure blood supremacists long before Voldemort came around so those ideas weren't exactly his original thoughts either.

As for Molly, I think she is quite ambivalent when it comes to being a feminist role model. I think there are many admirable things about her but I don't think feminism would encourage women to be so dependent upon a man. The idea of feminism, especially nowadays, is the women should support themselves and be equals to the men in the relationship. However, it's possible that in the Wizarding World finances aren't that important so even if Arthur were to leave Molly and the kids they could still manage somehow.


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Old January 22nd, 2011, 11:45 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by Trixa View Post
Well she doubts Snape even though Voldemort is convinced Snape is completely on their side. She even questions him and doesn't back down until she gets answers.
Yes, but is this because she is jealous of Snape's seeming closeness to Voldemort or because she really doubts Snape. If she was really proactive in her suspicions about Snape wouldn't she have taken steps to get to the bottom. Instead she accepts what he says and then goes back to stroke Voldemort's fevered brow.



Quote:
Of course she relies on Voldemort a lot but really how is this any different than Harry being suspicious about Snape and the Order members refusing to ask questions because DD could not be wrong? How is this any different than Hagrid punching Karkaroff in the face for being disrespectful towards Dumbledore? And what happens to the Order members when Dumbledore is gone? They simply lose their way and start a radio talk show. Bellatrix seems to me to be more of a leader than a follower especially when it comes to other DEs. She has issues taking orders from Lucius in OotP and in the end Lucius backs down and has to listen to her. She takes command at Malfoy's Manor and does what she thinks is best even though she knows Voldemort specifically ordered for him to be summoned when Harry is captured. Last but least, why is Bellatrix seen as emulating Voldemort's beliefs when in fact those beliefs belong to pureblood families more than they actually belong to Voldemort? I'm pretty sure the Black family were pure blood supremacists long before Voldemort came around so those ideas weren't exactly his original thoughts either.
I think it is more his beliefs than anybody elses. When do we ever hear her say that her family would not stand for Mudblood contamination? It's all

'The Dark Lord says this, the Dark Lord says that. Oh my God, the Dark Lord gave me that sword to put in my vault, I'm going to be in a lot of trouble if it's gone. Don't call him yet. I'll call him now.'

Yes the Order does kind of lose it's way after Dumbledore dies, what does that have to do with Bella's failing as a proactive leadre in the Death Eaters. Do we know she actually planned and executed a raid? It's hard for me to condemd the Order for failing to pick up the fight after Dumbledore's death and not notice that we never see Bella do anything but indulge her sadism and worship of Voldemort.


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As for Molly, I think she is quite ambivalent when it comes to being a feminist role model. I think there are many admirable things about her but I don't think feminism would encourage women to be so dependent upon a man. The idea of feminism, especially nowadays, is the women should support themselves and be equals to the men in the relationship. However, it's possible that in the Wizarding World finances aren't that important so even if Arthur were to leave Molly and the kids they could still manage somehow.[/QUOTE
]

That could be so, but I can't see Molly falling into a slough of despond if Arthur had been killed. Yes she loved him and feared for his life but she did not prevent him from fighting. She only put up objections agains Ginny fighting because Ginny was underage. But Ginny ended up out of the Room of Requirements anyway and Molly did not banish her to the kitchen. Molly was in the thick of it fighting and then of course she kicked Bella into touch with her inner self.


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  #751  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 11:52 am
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

I think it's also telling that while Lily is only described as 'pretty', and Ginny's looks aren't mentioned at all, Fleur and Bella are described as 'beautiful'. And Fleur is at least portayed as vapid and shallow and the least succesful contestant in the Tournament, and she's only cast in a better light after she gets Molly's 'approval'. While Bella is of course evil, and is decribed with femme fatale-ish looks (heavy-lidded eyes, long black hair).


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  #752  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 12:28 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Yes, but is this because she is jealous of Snape's seeming closeness to Voldemort or because she really doubts Snape.
Based on her questions which were quite pertinent it would seem that she did indeed suspect Snape of treason. Voldemort's sudden closeness to Snape may have been a contributing factor but that doesn't change the fact that she doubted his cover and apparently had a list of things which she considered suspicious.

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I think it is more his beliefs than anybody elses. When do we ever hear her say that her family would not stand for Mudblood contamination?
She says that neither she nor her sister have spoken to Andromeda since she married a "Mudblood" and that certainly didn't seem to have anything to do with Voldemort. It might have even happened before Bella joined his army.

Quote:
Yes the Order does kind of lose it's way after Dumbledore dies, what does that have to do with Bella's failing as a proactive leadre in the Death Eaters. Do we know she actually planned and executed a raid? It's hard for me to condemd the Order for failing to pick up the fight after Dumbledore's death and not notice that we never see Bella do anything but indulge her sadism and worship of Voldemort.
My point was that the Order never seemed to question Dumbledore's decision and in some cases they came across as rather brainwashed by him and, as you said, without any original thought. If they were capable of doubting Dumbledore then perhaps they wouldn't have brushed Harry's reasonable suspicions of Snape so lightly aside. Their only argument against Harry's suspicions is that Dumbledore trusted Snape and he must be right. Also I don't see anything wrong with admiring someone despite the fact that someone is evil. It is highly immoral and insensitive to admire someone who causes that much harm but I don't see this as a really gender related issue. Bellatrix certainly wasn't the only DE who admired Voldemort, nor was she the only DE who feared him and wanted to get into his good graces. The male Death Eaters act the same. Just for the record, I don't personally consider her to be a feminist icon but I think her portrayal in the books is important when it comes to feminism in the series because she is rather different from all the other characters and also because of her face off with Molly.


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  #753  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 1:58 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

[
Quote:
QUOTE=Trixa;5688353]Based on her questions which were quite pertinent it would seem that she did indeed suspect Snape of treason. Voldemort's sudden closeness to Snape may have been a contributing factor but that doesn't change the fact that she doubted his cover and apparently had a list of things which she considered suspicious.


She says that neither she nor her sister have spoken to Andromeda since she married a "Mudblood" and that certainly didn't seem to have anything to do with Voldemort. It might have even happened before Bella joined his army.
I take your points here, but I still think Bella was very whiny with Snape and her questions were more to do with why Snape was so well thought of and she wasn't. I will always think her nose was put out of joint by Snape and Voldemort's relationship.

Quote:
My point was that the Order never seemed to question Dumbledore's decision and in some cases they came across as rather brainwashed by him and, as you said, without any original thought. If they were capable of doubting Dumbledore then perhaps they wouldn't have brushed Harry's reasonable suspicions of Snape so lightly aside. Their only argument against Harry's suspicions is that Dumbledore trusted Snape and he must be right. Also I don't see anything wrong with admiring someone despite the fact that someone is evil. It is highly immoral and insensitive to admire someone who causes that much harm but I don't see this as a really gender related issue. Bellatrix certainly wasn't the only DE who admired Voldemort, nor was she the only DE who feared him and wanted to get into his good graces. The male Death Eaters act the same. Just for the record, I don't personally consider her to be a feminist icon but I think her portrayal in the books is important when it comes to feminism in the series because she is rather different from all the other characters and also because of her face off with Molly.

Dumbledore was a very strong leader, there is no doubt about that and I suppose that it could very reasonably be said that he did not prepare the Order for what would happen after his death. I think that there might have been stuff that we didn't see but that is not canon and is pure speculation on my part. Also I feel that Dumbledore was concentrating on training Harry for the all important Horcrux hunt and not paying enough attention to the Order. This is Dumbledore's real failing as a military leader, which let's face he really was not. But all that aside, what does it have to do with Bella and Molly's behaviour as pro or anti feminist?
You stated that in your view Bella was a strong leader, I ask who and what she led? Her behaviour in Malfoy Manor is best described as bullying. Bullying is not leading. Molly is not described as a leader, except in her family. But her family is strong, her sons at the forefront of the battle with her husband. The Weasley family could safely be said to be the base and heart of the Order. That is down in no small part to Molly's steadfast courage and conviction to the cause. Yes, she fears. We see that in the OOTP, but she never says, 'Let's leave the country.', and she never fails to bolster the cause. She worried about the Trio going off on their own, they were young children and it was a difficult situation. But she gives Harry her brother's watch and effectively her blessing. Molly is a tremendously strong woman who treads her own path, I admire her a lot.



Last edited by eliza101; January 22nd, 2011 at 2:01 pm.
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  #754  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 6:25 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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[
You stated that in your view Bella was a strong leader, I ask who and what she led? Her behaviour in Malfoy Manor is best described as bullying. Bullying is not leading. Molly is not described as a leader, except in her family. But her family is strong, her sons at the forefront of the battle with her husband. The Weasley family could safely be said to be the base and heart of the Order. That is down in no small part to Molly's steadfast courage and conviction to the cause. Yes, she fears. We see that in the OOTP, but she never says, 'Let's leave the country.', and she never fails to bolster the cause. She worried about the Trio going off on their own, they were young children and it was a difficult situation. But she gives Harry her brother's watch and effectively her blessing. Molly is a tremendously strong woman who treads her own path, I admire her a lot.
Bellatrix comands the raid against the Longbottoms, she tries to command the ministry raid in OotP, and tries to overpower Lucius in it despite of her Master's commands to let Lucius being in charge (so she does have a mind on her own, a mind that wants to succed) she also rules Malfoy manor, and I don't see her bullying Lucius, she only is stronger willed and stronger leader than he is. She interrogates Snape, and I think it is a very well thought interrogation, not something gotten out of jalousy, because something jaleousely driven interrogation would be much more in the spur of the moment, and much less planned, the only reason I think Bellatrix didn't go further in interogation was because she couldn't find any more points to get a go at Snape. About parroting her master, no, I think she was already a pro-active blood supremacist, so she woud have taken actions any way, she only found someone to follow, but the ideas were originally in her.

What Molly does: buiding and feeding an "army" and supporting them from the back (untill the moment she fights Bella on her own) could be considered very anti-feminist, because it is like saying that a woman cannot fight for herself, that she can only tell men to fight in her place. Of course there is much more about Molly than this, and also ther opinions count and so on. However it is not only about having oppinions, but about taking real actions, and we only see her taking actions at the end of the story, while Bellatrix is acting nearly all the time.
Plus Bellatrix marshalls people who are not her relatives (other DE) or not direct relatives (the political link between her and Lucius doesn't count, it is not affective) while Molly marshalls her own children and husband, whom, due to the affective bond, are more likely to obey her. Just look at the result when she tries to lead Sirius, who hasn't got a bond with her.


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  #755  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 8:05 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Bellatrix comands the raid against the Longbottoms, she tries to command the ministry raid in OotP, and tries to overpower Lucius in it despite of her Master's commands to let Lucius being in charge (so she does have a mind on her own, a mind that wants to succed) she also rules Malfoy manor, and I don't see her bullying Lucius, she only is stronger willed and stronger leader than he is.
Bella doesn't "command" a raid against the Longbottoms. Voldemort had disappeared, and some of them were looking for information on what happened, capturing & torturing and/or killing Order members/supporters. She simply participated in torture because she enjoys it and was loyal to Voldemort. No leadership there.

Trying to push aside someone (Lucius) whom was chosen by your accepted Leader (Voldemort), is not leadership. Bella was trying to protect her "favorite" status with Voldy, nothing more. And with her choice to follow Voldemort, she is a follower, not a leader -- and not a very good follower either, since she is ignoring Voldy's orders.

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Originally Posted by sekhmetlion
She interrogates Snape, and I think it is a very well thought interrogation, not something gotten out of jalousy, because something jaleousely driven interrogation would be much more in the spur of the moment, and much less planned, the only reason I think Bellatrix didn't go further in interogation was because she couldn't find any more points to get a go at Snape.
The reason Bella was at Snape's at all was because she followed her sister there, and she disagreed with Narcissa's purpose. She admits to Snape that she didn't know Voldy confides in Snape, and stumbles around trying to explain she's on the outs with Voldy a bit without actually saying so. Her questioning is out of jealousy and mistrust of Snape because he's gained higher status with Voldemort than she has. Trying to be the top dog of the DE's isn't leadership, it is self-centered behavior.

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Originally Posted by sekhmetlion
What Molly does: buiding and feeding an "army" and supporting them from the back (untill the moment she fights Bella on her own) could be considered very anti-feminist, because it is like saying that a woman cannot fight for herself, that she can only tell men to fight in her place. Of course there is much more about Molly than this, and also ther opinions count and so on. However it is not only about having oppinions, but about taking real actions, and we only see her taking actions at the end of the story, while Bellatrix is acting nearly all the time.
In my view, saying that a woman choosing to take care of her family is anti-feminist, is by definition anti-feminist; it's saying that caretaking is not worth much, especially compared to a "traditionally male" activity, like fighting and warfare. We see that Molly can fight for herself, both as a member of the Order (she takes guard duty at the DOM just like the guys), and in the battle with Bella. That she does not choose to do that as a career as an auror is merely a choice on her part; it is no less valuable or valid than Tonks' choice.

Bella's actions are largely as a loyal supporter of Voldemort. Having opinions and taking actions are not by themselves an indication of a feminist view. They have to be taken in context. And Bella's context is dedication to someone else's directions - Voldemort's.

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Originally Posted by sekhmetlion
Plus Bellatrix marshalls people who are not her relatives (other DE) or not direct relatives (the political link between her and Lucius doesn't count, it is not affective) while Molly marshalls her own children and husband, whom, due to the affective bond, are more likely to obey her. Just look at the result when she tries to lead Sirius, who hasn't got a bond with her.
Bella may marshall DE's, but it is at Voldemort's direction. She's following orders of someone else.

Molly is not trying to "lead" Sirius. She's trying to convince him that his view is wrong. It's Lupin who takes the lead during that discourse, and once he makes his decision (which agreed with Molly's view about Harry by the way), Sirius yields.

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Originally Posted by Chrysalis
I think it's also telling that while Lily is only described as 'pretty', and Ginny's looks aren't mentioned at all, Fleur and Bella are described as 'beautiful'. And Fleur is at least portayed as vapid and shallow and the least succesful contestant in the Tournament, and she's only cast in a better light after she gets Molly's 'approval'. While Bella is of course evil, and is decribed with femme fatale-ish looks (heavy-lidded eyes, long black hair).
There is nothing anti-feminist about describing someone as pretty or attractive, or average or plain. That someone is "average looking" or "beautiful" has nothing to do with character, just appearance. Fleur is a bit critical and aloof when we first she her, and it's not anti-feminist to say that, either. We see other people's opinions/judgements of her, which is not the same thing as the author's characterization.


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  #756  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 8:19 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by Chrysalis View Post
I think it's also telling that while Lily is only described as 'pretty', and Ginny's looks aren't mentioned at all, Fleur and Bella are described as 'beautiful'. And Fleur is at least portayed as vapid and shallow and the least succesful contestant in the Tournament, and she's only cast in a better light after she gets Molly's 'approval'. While Bella is of course evil, and is decribed with femme fatale-ish looks (heavy-lidded eyes, long black hair).
While I think the character of Fleur is problematic from a feminist point of view, I can't agree that she was portrayed positively only after she got Molly's approval - I think it was the other way around: she had to prove herself worthy/not shallow in order to gain Molly's approval. Which is just as problematic actually, because Molly seemed to distrust her merely because she was beautiful and knew it.


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  #757  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 8:20 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by sekhmetlion View Post
Bellatrix comands the raid against the Longbottoms, she tries to command the ministry raid in OotP, and tries to overpower Lucius in it despite of her Master's commands to let Lucius being in charge (so she does have a mind on her own, a mind that wants to succed) she also rules Malfoy manor, and I don't see her bullying Lucius, she only is stronger willed and stronger leader than he is. She interrogates Snape, and I think it is a very well thought interrogation, not something gotten out of jalousy, because something jaleousely driven interrogation would be much more in the spur of the moment, and much less planned, the only reason I think Bellatrix didn't go further in interogation was because she couldn't find any more points to get a go at Snape. About parroting her master, no, I think she was already a pro-active blood supremacist, so she woud have taken actions any way, she only found someone to follow, but the ideas were originally in her.

What Molly does: buiding and feeding an "army" and supporting them from the back (untill the moment she fights Bella on her own) could be considered very anti-feminist, because it is like saying that a woman cannot fight for herself, that she can only tell men to fight in her place. Of course there is much more about Molly than this, and also ther opinions count and so on. However it is not only about having oppinions, but about taking real actions, and we only see her taking actions at the end of the story, while Bellatrix is acting nearly all the time.
Plus Bellatrix marshalls people who are not her relatives (other DE) or not direct relatives (the political link between her and Lucius doesn't count, it is not affective) while Molly marshalls her own children and husband, whom, due to the affective bond, are more likely to obey her. Just look at the result when she tries to lead Sirius, who hasn't got a bond with her.
Hedwig Owl said it all so much better than I. Sucking up is not leadership, bullying is not leadership, sadism is not leadership. Bella IMO, had about as much leadersip as a thimble. Perhaps a thimble has more. olly did not want to lead people into battle, but she was, again IMO much more capable of leading than Bella. For one thing she would have been wanting to win the battle rather than showing Voldemort how good she was at killing.


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  #758  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 8:37 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
Bella doesn't "command" a raid against the Longbottoms. Voldemort had disappeared, and some of them were looking for information on what happened, capturing & torturing and/or killing Order members/supporters. She simply participated in torture because she enjoys it and was loyal to Voldemort. No leadership there.
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So how would you call the action of going on your own will to somebody's house and torture them in order to get information, and the fact that she was known to take the main voice usually, why not in that situation?

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Trying to push aside someone (Lucius) whom was chosen by your accepted Leader (Voldemort), is not leadership. Bella was trying to protect her "favorite" status with Voldy, nothing more. And with her choice to follow Voldemort, she is a follower, not a leader -- and not a very good follower either, since she is ignoring Voldy's orders.
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So McGonagall is not a leader either, because she does what she does in order to keep Dumbledore's task. Or how would you see Molly as a leader if she never leads anyone. Her kids are fighting in their own wills. And usually, Voldemort's favourites lead, as we see with Lucius in OotP, so why is Lucius considered to be "in charge" in that situation, and Bellatrix not considered to be "in charge" at Malfoy Manor? I am not saying that Bella considers herself better than Voldemort, I am saying that he loves and enjoys power, as most of DE do, and she is better at achieving it. If bullying is not leadership, then Voldemort is not leader either, as he bullies his servants.

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The reason Bella was at Snape's at all was because she followed her sister there, and she disagreed with Narcissa's purpose. She admits to Snape that she didn't know Voldy confides in Snape, and stumbles around trying to explain she's on the outs with Voldy a bit without actually saying so. Her questioning is out of jealousy and mistrust of Snape because he's gained higher status with Voldemort than she has. Trying to be the top dog of the DE's isn't leadership, it is self-centered behavior.

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So Bella, who hasn't got a mind on her own disagrees with Narcissa, and with Voldemort, How can this be, if Bellatrix hasn't got a thought of her own? If she is only jaleouse, why not trying to make Snape look bad in front of Voldemort? why confronting him? But, despite the jaleouseness, she believed something was wrong with Snape, and despite everyone else's oppinions, she went there and made research, she didn't yielded at Snape stupidly, she acted with brains.

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In my view, saying that a woman choosing to take care of her family is anti-feminist, is by definition anti-feminist; it's saying that caretaking is not worth much, especially compared to a "traditionally male" activity, like fighting and warfare. We see that Molly can fight for herself, both as a member of the Order (she takes guard duty at the DOM just like the guys), and in the battle with Bella. That she does not choose to do that as a career as an auror is merely a choice on her part; it is no less valuable or valid than Tonks' choice.
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That is very good theoretically, it matches perfectly, however, taken to the real life, some of the women who choose the stay at home mum would be very happy, but some others would find themselves in a very dependent situation. Of course everyone is free to choose, and it should be like that, being a mother is an important and very hard job, but the thing is that it somehow show girls to rely their finances on a man, and that is what I have a problem with. You can be lucky and have a good man or you can be not, it all depends on how wise and clever you are when you choose, and how well do you really know the man. It is not a theoretical problem, it is a practical problem. Real woman cannot invocate food with magic for them and their kids.

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Bella's actions are largely as a loyal supporter of Voldemort. Having opinions and taking actions are not by themselves an indication of a feminist view. They have to be taken in context. And Bella's context is dedication to someone else's directions - Voldemort's.

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Voldemort or the cause he represents, because I think there are two separate reasons for Bella being a DE, one is her love for Voldemort himself, but the other is her belief in blood supremacy and her liking of power and torture.
How is taking actions and having opinions not feminist, I thought that not feminist was Not taking actions and Not having opinions. And Bella chooses who to follow. She was not forced by any man to become a DE, she choosed it by herself. How is her choice not feminist and Mollys choice feminist? Molly chose to dedicate to her family, Bella choose to dedicate to killing.

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Bella may marshall DE's, but it is at Voldemort's direction. She's following orders of someone else.
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When she mistrusts Snape; is it also in Voldemort's direction? When she doesn't call him when they get Harry in Malfoy Manor despite of his orders, is it also in Voldemort's direction?

I used to regard Bellatrix as a brainwashed fanatic during OotP, but after her actions in the later two books I think she is as power hungry and active as any other men. Plus her love for Voldemort is in some sense a choice too, the same way Snape's love for Lily is a choice in itself too.

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Molly is not trying to "lead" Sirius. She's trying to convince him that his view is wrong. It's Lupin who takes the lead during that discourse, and once he makes his decision (which agreed with Molly's view about Harry by the way), Sirius yields.

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No, she is trying to "lead" Harry's life, and to interfere with the bond between Sirius and Harry, and to impose her opinion to Sirius, in other words, make people do what she wants: so leading, or commanding. And Sirius doesn't yesld when Lupin cuts him, and agrees with Molly to stop telling Harry; Sirius yields when Molly disrespect or dismiss his authority over Harry, and his responsibility, considering "Harry has no one" so Sirius would be "no one". She is trying to dominate Sirius and Harry, or Harry and Sirius authority over him. In other words, she is trying to step over Sirius responsibilities. And Lupin doesn't totally agree with Molly, he takes an intermediate position, allowing Harry to know a part of the information, although not all. Actually I see Lupin's attitude closer to Sirius than to Molly, because he, unlike Molly, was watchful and knew about the extendable ears, and understood the psicology of teenangers, something Molly seems to have forgoten in her role as the all-people's mother.

All people except for other women, specially if they are pretty. I consider this attitude one of the most antifeminin, because many times, the reason why women are abused, is because other women don't support them or because other women allow men's disrespectful behaviour. In other words, many times are women who put the burden over other women shouders.


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  #759  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 9:49 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Bellas is admired for being slavish in her devotion to Voldemort and for not having a real thought of her own.
Who admires a person for being slavish and thoughtless? This is a viewpoint I have never seen. I've seen people admire Bellatrix for her skill as a fighter, for sticking to her convictions, and for being unapologetic. Since people interpret characters differently, it's safe to assume that someone who admires a character you dislike does not admire the qualities you dislike.
_

People admire characters who have traits they find desirable or who live the lives they want to live. The reason that I don't admire Molly is because the life she lives is not one I want to live. In fact, it would make me feel suffocated. I don't aspire to be a stay-at-home mom with 7 kids. I don't feel inclined to accept the role that has traditionally been given to women. Am I wrong for not admiring a woman whose aspirations are not my own? Is it wrong that I think being able to defend oneself is a more important skill than cooking a great dinner? I'm not trying to demean Molly or women like her but there are all kinds of women in the world and we do not all want the same thing. It's a shame that there wasn't a character like Bellatrix on the good side, but there are other books in the world.


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  #760  
Old January 22nd, 2011, 10:02 pm
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Re: Feminism in Deathly Hallows - or the lack thereof v.3

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
While I think the character of Fleur is problematic from a feminist point of view, I can't agree that she was portrayed positively only after she got Molly's approval - I think it was the other way around: she had to prove herself worthy/not shallow in order to gain Molly's approval. Which is just as problematic actually, because Molly seemed to distrust her merely because she was beautiful and knew it.
I think we agree, actually. Fleur was shown to have to prove herself to Molly, who had automatically assumed she was vapid and shallow based on her looks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HedwigOwl
There is nothing anti-feminist about describing someone as pretty or attractive, or average or plain. That someone is "average looking" or "beautiful" has nothing to do with character, just appearance. Fleur is a bit critical and aloof when we first she her, and it's not anti-feminist to say that, either. We see other people's opinions/judgements of her, which is not the same thing as the author's characterization.
What are you talking about? I said that the two examples of stunningly beautiful women in the book are portrayed VERY problematically from a feminist POV. OTOH, the women who are elevated as 'good women' are merely described as 'pretty' or not at all described through their looks - even Lily, who was supposed to be 'quite a catch'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven
People admire characters who have traits they find desirable or who live the lives they want to live. The reason that I don't admire Molly is because the life she lives is not one I want to live. In fact, it would make me feel suffocated. I don't aspire to be a stay-at-home mom with 7 kids. I don't feel inclined to accept the role that has traditionally been given to women. Am I wrong for not admiring a woman whose aspirations are not my own? Is it wrong that I think being able to defend oneself is a more important skill than cooking a great dinner? I'm not trying to demean Molly or women like her but there are all kinds of women in the world and we do not all want the same thing. It's a shame that there wasn't a character like Bellatrix on the good side, but there are other books in the world.
I completely agree. People can choose who they want to admire. Women like Molly are elevated by society because they know their place in the patriarchal society. They don't step out of the boundaries of the home. That's not what I want for myself either, even though women like her are put on a pedestal in the culture where I'm from. OTOH I admire characters like McGonagall, Tonks (before she was weeping over Lupin), Hermione, Luna and yes, Bellatrix, because she kicks butt, even though she's evil. I like Lily, but I don't admire her either. I'm sorry, but I don't think that getting married straight out of secondary school and having a baby, without considering future career options, is an admirable way to live life.

Sekhmetlion, I see Molly as somebody who is rather insensitive to other people's emotional needs. Harry needed Sirius more in a way than he needed Molly, because he never had a father-figure. But Molly couldn't understand that.


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