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The Hobbit is pretty great. But was anybody else a bit uncomfortable with the fact that there's only one named female character in the film (and none in the book, I think) and that she's written in a way that makes her main character trait 'being super beautiful'?

I know the film is based on a book that was written when there was no concern about women's representation in popular culture, so maybe that excuses the film? I don't know. It made me uncomfortable.

Otherwise, it's an excellent film, I think.
Nope, not uncomfortable in the slightest. The book itself was a great one, and altering it (any more than the producers already have) might mess up the movie's appeal to Tolkien purists.
Aisling Ink's avatar

Sparkling Bibliophile

I don't find it unconfortable at all especially if you think about the time it was written. Men where the ones who went to war during Tolkien's time and in other books like the Silmarillion there are planty of female chars (altough they see little action in it as well).
Yeah, I understand that Tolkein's time was a sexist one. But when creating a story in the 'high fantasy' genre (as Tolkein was), the author gets to include or exclude whatever he or she likes. Tolkein chose to include sexism. I guess I am asking: does the sexism of Tolkein's time excuse his shortsightedness when it came to female characters in his writing? And does the lack of female characters in his book excuse the lack of female characters in the film?
Wait a moment? There was a female character in a movie? Didn't notice that.
Thorin and his warrior drarfes were so cool and hot that I didn't even care about the women lol
*facepalm*
Imaginary Fox's avatar

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It doesn't bother me that much, its just the world Tolkien has created. He really introduced us to high fantasy, so I can forgive him for not also trying to make women have an equal role in his books. I think Peter Jackson has done his part to strengthen the role that the few women had in the book without changing a lot. There may not be many of them, but I like them. While I appreciate more equality for women, I don't demand they have an equal place in every story, and particularly not retroactively. I'm sure there are many other fantasy stories that are weighted more towards male or female characters.
SmallTownGuy's avatar

Beloved Elder

Lilla_Lee
Wait a moment? There was a female character in a movie? Didn't notice that.
Don't anyone spoil it for her! Let her watch the movie again, looking for the one woman. See if she can find her.
It never even occurred to me. Given the time frame the series is based off of, and that LotR had some strong females.... personally I don't see the sexism.
apriki's avatar

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          Seeing that the book was written in 1937 (I believe), the lack of female characters in books created by male authors shouldn't be that surprising. Personally, I don't find it sexist because I don't know if J.R.R Tolkien was sexist, nor did it bother me at all.

          Of course we know that he lacks female characters in his books, but as a person I have no idea. The films, however, really gave Arwen and Galadriel big roles that they didn't have in the books. If I can recall, Galadriel, had no role in The Hobbit only in the Fellowship of the Ring. As for Arwen, she was only announced briefly in Rivendell during a small dinner scene in the first book, yet in the film she had taken the roles of her twin brothers and just really had a bigger part than in the book. I feel like Tolkien doesn't write good female elfs so great...

          On the other hand he does write (in my opinion) at least one good female character with a lot of character; Eowyn. I adored her character development from this bird caged royal, to a battle field warrior, and then deciding to take a role of a healer.

          So in a way I really don't feel uncomfortable because at least Peter Jackson is giving them a role in the films whereas they lacked in the books.
Ramra the Destroyer's avatar

Aged Member

Try looking for the female Dwarves. They look and sound a lot like the Dwarf men.
(Hint: It's the beards)
Its not something I really noticed in the movies or the books. And to be honest, yes, I do forgive Tolkien for his lack of giving women a stronger role in his books. Art and literature is heavily influence by the current culture and society. Between the time the stories were written and now, there has been heavy women's movement, so it should come to no surprise that its something we would notice and add into our current art and literature.
The women's movement was still trying to gain some ground back then, and Tolkien, like most people, did come from a rather conservative back ground. So Peter Jackson did the best he could to give the female characters bigger roles without altering the stories too much and angering the Tolkien fans.
So, I wouldn't worry about it. Sit back, relax and enjoy the movie.

Besides, one of the posters did make a good point: Eowyn was a very strong character and I think, a thumbs up to the women's movement. And she was also one of my favorite character. I was like "YEAH!" when she defeated the lich king.
Aisling Ink's avatar

Sparkling Bibliophile

Atticus Gatsby
Yeah, I understand that Tolkein's time was a sexist one. But when creating a story in the 'high fantasy' genre (as Tolkein was), the author gets to include or exclude whatever he or she likes. Tolkein chose to include sexism. I guess I am asking: does the sexism of Tolkein's time excuse his shortsightedness when it came to female characters in his writing? And does the lack of female characters in his book excuse the lack of female characters in the film?


I don't think he was sexist, I just think his works reflect the times he was living into. Of course he could have added females because is a work of fantasy but an artist's work is often born through the reality the person lives in. Also he was really into medieval things where knights were the ones fighting and women were saved by dragons and all, so is not all that surprising.

If you were to write a book you would probably put both females and males characters and that again is because of the reality we live in, where women are (or should) equal to men.
Actually, there were female dwarves, which were not main characters (although there is some speculation that any of the dwarves might actually have been female dwarves, because dwarves are ambiguous sexually).

The elf woman wasn't in the book. so they did add her in, and she is like. queen of the world. she's so old and powerful that she's ******** telepathic. that's pretty strong, at least according to this movie, where they sucked out all of the wit in favor of stupid non-cannon action scenes.

I wouldn't have minded the addition of female characters, because the movie is already sooooo far from bookcanon. However, I WOULD mind if they add in romance.
Requiem ex Inferni's avatar

Eloquent Streaker

Ramra the Destroyer
Try looking for the female Dwarves. They look and sound a lot like the Dwarf men.
(Hint: It's the beards)
They showed at least one dwarf woman in the movie. She had no beard.

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