Ender's Game (mild spoilers)

Ian W. Riddell iwriddell at charter.net
Mon Mar 17 13:33:23 EST 2003


Melissa (and Jacob),

Thanks so much for bringing your perspective on these issues to this group.

I appreciate your comments about not generalizing about Mormon 
beliefs and practices - that Mormonism is a complex faith and 
culture. You've given me, anyway, new perspective and a deeper 
understanding.

thanks

ian

>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.
>
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The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two 
opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the 
ability to function
F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Ian W. Riddell
iwriddell at charter.net
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