Friday, May 13, 2011

Women and fantasy

When Game of Thrones hit HBO a couple of weeks ago, a reviewer at the NY Times asserted that fantasy is all boy-fiction, closed to women. Alyssa Rosenberg explains for The Atlantic why this may just be a bunch of hooey, and cites some examples worth checking out.

"It's true that the early fairy tales that influenced fantasy giants like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis may not resonate with modern women, with their tales of maidens saved by their patience and virtue from forced marriages, accusations of monster births, and devilish mothers-in-law. And Tolkien and Lewis didn't exactly write inspiring female heroines. But as fantasy matured as a 20th-century genre, authors began to use stories about magic and chivalry not as a way to reconcile women to waiting for better outcomes, but to imagine claiming kinds of power that were previously off-limits to them. Bravery and initiative shattered class barriers in early fantasy stories, turning poor boys and hobbits into knights of the realm and saviors of their worlds. It's only natural that fantastical settings should, at some point, apply those same meritocratic principles to gender."

Read the whole article, Why Women Love Fantasy Literature.

No comments: