(urth) Wolfe: Misogynist or Realist?

timothy fletcher ss4vegita_2000 at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 18 14:08:50 PDT 2006

First, I don't know if this is acceptable to others here, but I've always seen Wolfe's somewhat narrow and negative portrayal of women as a part of his being so ingrained in revisiting old science fiction cliches (I can't figure out how to do accents). In a lot of old science fiction and fantasy, at least that I've read, female characters are shallow and seem to be more of a outlet for the protagonist's sexual adventures and companionship needs than a realistic person. That may seem a narrow view of science fiction, but I think it's at least somewhat valid. In Lord of the Rings, for instance, the women are almost completely background characters (with some mild exceptions that were brought more to the foreground in the films). As someone said, he obviously is capable of creating deep and complex female characters, which makes me think he purposely does not, especially since I have seen him in interviews so heavily enforce the importance of characterization. 
 Second, and this is slightly off topic, but a response to b. sharp's statement:
Jack's observation of connection between identification with the Old 
Testament and mysogyny was interesting.  While the Middle East is generally 
known for being "misogynist" on the scale (regardless of faith) the early 
days of Christianity and Roman Catholicism show an even stronger vein, in my 
estimation.  In researching some of Wolfe's saint names I was really struck 
by how many of the early female saints were canonized for virtues of 
virginity, chastity, fighting off sexual advances, dressing as a man to 
avoid sex, etc.
If I may respectfully disagree (if you are saying, as it seems to me, that early Christianity was in some way misogynystic), having some background in the study of early christianity (2 relevent B.A.'s), early Christianity was a haven to women. In fact, there is some evidence that early Christianity actually raised the role of women. They were treated more as human beings. This is discussed in Stark's Rise of Christianity, I believe, but I've even seen it in some fundamentalist histories. I agree about the early female saints, but I'm not sure that's much sign of misogyny since chastity was important for both early males and females (interestingly enough, from what I remember, some early vains of gnosticism (well, some scholars would disagree in calling it true gnosticism), and possibly some later, believed that since the spirit was good and the body evil, and the spirit more important than flesh, they were free to follow there own sexual desires to the fullest, which is
 something Paul disputes in I Corinthians).

OK, you can flame me now.

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.urth.net/pipermail/urth-urth.net/attachments/20061018/2e7d5e59/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Urth mailing list