Ender's Game (mild spoilers)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Mar 17 13:09:00 EST 2003


On Sun, 16 Mar 2003 21:49:38 -0000, Dorian E. Gray wrote:

>Well, I wasn't trying to judge Mr. Card (whom I have met, and he is a really
>really nice man, btw); my intent was a sort of half-assed attempt to explain
>a percieved misogyny in "Ender's Game".  I'm not myself entirely certain
>that that misogyny exists (see my previous post about paranoia in book
>recommendations), but I was aiming at trying to see how a writer's own
>background can inform and colour his/her writing.  We all have our own
>conscious and unconscious assumptions about how the world works, and that's
>bound to come out to some extent in our fiction.

While I agree with you about unconscious assumptions, I think the point is
that unless you understand how Mormon culture really works, it's not
possible to accurately judge what those assumptions are.  In this specific
instance, while it is certainly possible to have a Mormon writer operating
from the idea that women should be gentle homemakers and thus not good
soldiers, it's not a universal enough belief to be a given.  Because I know
how Card fits into our church in general, and his specific objections to
certain annoying assumptions of our culture, I know that's not where it's
coming from.  But as you say below:

>And while I'm not saying it's true in OSC's case, it's certainly possible
>that someone whose society encourages women to be mothers, and mothers to be
>primary caregivers, might assume that women are no use as soldiers

I could TOTALLY see this happening with certain Mormon writers and you're
absolutely right.  The difference is that Mormon culture is not as
monolithic as people think; because the ward unit is autonomous, and there
are many people who live in the same ward with the same people their whole
lives, interpretations of doctrine and culture vary widely.  So a person
whose novels arose from the above assumptions would not just be a product of
the religion, but also of the culture--two VERY different things.  Having
lived all over the United States (of AMERICA :) I have seen how very
different "the Church" appears depending on where you are.  So you could
just as well say that a Mormon who writes about strong women and generous,
kind-hearted men is influenced by his/her religion, because we have that
tradition too.

(I personally have only had two LDS men make misogynistic remarks to me.
One was our bishop and he was trying to be sweet, so I let it go.  The other
was a confirmed nutter who believed all sorts of crackpot notions, most of
which were doctrinally unsound.  The advantage to appearing brilliant and
well-versed in scripture (get it?) is that only a very few people are
willing to go ten rounds with you on any religious subject.)

>(note I'm
>also not saying that Mormons encourage women to be mothers; I don't know
>whether they do or not.  This here is hypothesis).

Well, if you count all those older women making personal comments about
"when are you going to get pregnant, dear?"....

The family is the most important unit of our faith.  We are encouraged to
marry and have children, but we are not condemned if we don't or can't.
That's the official line.  In some parts *coughUtahcough* there can be
extraordinary pressure to marry and have children, regardless of whether or
not you're ready for it.  There's more to this, but it's not really germane
to the discussion.

Melissa Proffitt
buzz buzz

-----------------
If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.

--
To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/



More information about the Dwj mailing list