Jack at Wonkette points us to this hilarious article Christine O’Donnell wrote in 2003 about how much she loves the ladies in The Lord of the Rings, but not Peter Jackson’s version, or something or other. Let’s look at it, but first, here’s Christine’s bio on this website, “Catholic Exchange”:
Christine O’Donnell serves as Director of Communications for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. She has been described as sassy, stubborn and sweet, and by those who disagree with her as “the girl you hate to love.” This young woman who National Review Magazine says “blends the flare of the Bible with Cosmopolitan,” shatters the stereotype about her generation.
The “flare of the Bible.” Awesome. Okay, here’s what Christine thinks about the LOTR trilogy, and the ladies therein:
Tolkien’s portrayal of women in Lord of The Rings is bold and courageous. The bittersweet complexities of true womanhood are daringly depicted in each of the female characters. If these women are such fascinating and rich characters, why weren’t they given more page time? Brad Birzer, author of Sanctifying Myth, Understanding Middle Earth (ISI Books), points out that Lord of the Rings was written from a hobbit’s perspective. Saying that the lack of women in Lord of the Rings makes it anti-woman is like saying that Rob Reiner is a chauvinist for the lack of women in the film “Stand by Me.” To toss in a female character simply to appease the misguided demands of moviegoers would severely take away from the film’s legitimacy.
The women in Tolkien’s trilogy possess such an authentic depth that even the little we do see of them has a profound impact on the whole adventure. Through his female characters, Tolkien offers insight into what it means to be a woman. He strikes a delicate balance between the extreme attitudes of feminism. His female characters, although drastically different from each other in personality, manifest at their core, true womanly femininity.
Code: Not big abortion-y feminists!
In the battle for Gondor, the Witch-King, chief of Sauron’s minions, attacks a disguised Eowyn and her King. As she bravely draws her sword in defense of her wounded companion, the Witch-King scoffs, “Thou Fool. No living man may hinder me!”
Eowyn laughs and retorts, “…No living man am I. You look upon a woman…You stand between me and my lord and my kin…I will smite you if you touch him.” After centuries of conquering male warriors, the Witch-King is ultimately vanquished by a woman.
Awesome. Hey Christine, do Twilight next.
Perhaps Tolkien is showing us that all types of femininity are valid. Obliterating one in favor of the other is destructive to all. Each type of woman is crucial to the wellbeing of a healthy community.
You can be any kind of lady you want, as long as you’re not masturbating.
Some critics claim that Tolkien’s serene version of femininity is offensive to the modern female viewer. As a modern female viewer, I find the assumption itself offensive. Just because women can be warriors doesn’t mean they have to be. Everything about Tolkien’s Arwen is tranquil, serene, calming. These qualities are part of the charm of the womanhood she expresses. There are many types of women in the world. Arwen represents one of them. She represents a pillar of calm that is a source of strength for her man. Her great contribution to the war is the strength she provides to the future King.
Peter Jackson’s adaptation is contradictory to this image. In Jackson’s introduction of Arwen, there is an out of place sauciness that goes against the meekness of her character. It’s unnecessary, too much embellishment. It’s like putting cheesecake on a lobster tail. Both are great foods, but they do not belong together. Nor is one better than the other.
“Cheesecake on a lobster tail”?
And Christine thinks WE’RE being gross.