[DWJ] HP

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Tue May 15 14:38:36 EDT 2007


Farah:

>The mother in Conrad's Fate is a feminist because she's a feminist, but it
>turns out that she is a neglectful mother because she is under a spell. When
>the spell is broken, she is still a feminist but she stops neglecting her
>children.

But after she stops neglecting them and seems all sensible, she 
reverts pretty much to her former behaviour, so it can't have been 
just the spell surely?

>
>Mind you, there are lots of grounds to criticise Diana's treatments of
>mothers. Generally: girl children good, grannies good. Mothers, not so good.

I'd noticed. ;)  It would seem even more uncomfortable if it weren't 
for the generally good grandmothers - at least there's hope that 
we'll sort it out *eventually*, I guess.  And there are the nice 
mothers sprinkled in there for leaven.

Hallie

>
>Farah
>
>
>On 15/05/07, Hallie O'Donovan <hallieod at indigo.ie> wrote:
>>
>>Farah:
>>
>>>
>>>Stereotypes are something else: they are locked in characteristics which
>>>"automatically" go with certain attributes. So the fat kid will be greedy
>>>and a bit dumb; the red headed kid will have a hot temper; the black kid
>>>will be Cool and sporty (don't you just *love* Pratchet''s Yo-less?). In
>>>fantasy they lead to trite ideas that Jews/Ferengi are moneylenders who'd
>>>sell their grandma for a profit, That immigrants/gnomes infesting your
>>>street/garden can be evicted in interesting and creative ways.
>>>
>>>Avatars are powerful tools for children.  They damn well don't need to be
>>>taught stereotypes unless you are actively planning to encourage
>>playground
>>>bullying and life-long prejudice.
>>
>>This is very interesting, and it got me thinking about when a
>>stereotype becomes a stereotype and not just a sort of one-off thing.
>>Rowling and the fat = "nasty in a variety of ways" is pretty clearly
>>in the first category (though where were you all when I seemed to be
>>the only person in the universe complaining about it??).  This
>>particular stereotype seems to be one about which people are aware
>>enough these days that you'd expect not to get cheerful use of it,
>>unquestioned, and yet there are still far too many examples of it
>>floating around.  Case in point (those who read my LJ can look away
>>now, for fear of death-by-tedium) is Sally Gardner's *I, Coriander*:
>>it got love, brilliant reviews a major award and I have seen *one*
>>other person mentioning the fact that ugliness, specifically combined
>>with fatness in female characters, inevitably equates with evil in
>>it.  One. (That was a comment in response to Farah's unfavourable
>>review).
>>
>>However, it seems a bit OTT to think that one could never write a
>>character who happened to be fat and who was lazy, greedy or a bully
>>or whatever without being accused of pandering to stereotypes.
>>(Might be going in the opposite cause and effect direction, of
>>course, in a realistic treatment.)  My own lack of self-restraint
>>doesn't show with respect to food, but it's not because I'm admirably
>>restrained at all.  (Ask Charlie how hard I hyper-ventilated last
>>weekend when he took me to the *biggest* yarn shop in the UK!  And
>>how long he sat on the pink, pink sofa while I wandered around
>>fondling yarn...  Nor do we need to mention my glorious TBR pile and
>>my continued acquisition of more books.)  A 'normal' body weight
>>character without a shred of self-restraint would be fine, and even
>>funny or sympathetic if it was a lack of self-restraint you shared
>>with the character, but it becomes offensive if that's a fat person
>>without the same.   What's clear when there is a large weight of
>>stereotype built up in the past (no pun intended) might be less so if
>>there's less.
>>
>>Can you have a not-very-frequently-used but still stereotypical
>>stereotype? Looking at a specific of relevance here - I found the
>>feminist, neglectful mother in *Conrad's Fate* quite offensive.  But
>>is this warranted?  Does it make a difference that in over 40 books,
>>she's the only self-proclaimed feminist character?  I know it doesn't
>>make any difference that she was based on a real person.  But for all
>>the many, many times I've heard people dismiss feminists as merely
>>men-haters (sometimes bitter because unattractive ones at that), I
>>haven't come across that many saying that all feminists are rotten
>>mothers.  Only other one that comes to mind immediately is Mrs Banks
>>in the film version of Mary Poppins, and she's sweet and silly, which
>>isn't quite the same. Yet it still seems a very cheap use of
>>something *like* a stereotype.
>>
>>Just pausing for a moment of extreme admiration for John Green's *An
>>Abundance of Katherines* and the brilliant fat, Muslim hero's best
>>friend character.  (OT but not on the question of stereotypes!)
>>
>>Hallie
>>
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>
>
>
>--
>One day I want time to be bored.
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