i started thinking about lilo & stitch today and somehow i cant stop thinking about this
This topic is a little tricky, just because Tolkien really didn’t write much about “every day” life, or even “average” characters - his stories are about extraordinary people in extraordinary situations. That being said, I think that elvish men and women did have a great deal of gender equality.
The best source of information on gender relations is “Laws and Customs Among the Eldar”. Some relevant quotes include:
In all such things, not concerned with the bringing forth of children, the neri and nissi (that is, the men and women) of the Eldar are equal - unless it be in this (as they themselves say) that for the nissi the making of things new is for the most part shown in the forming of their children, so that invention and change is otherwise mostly brought about by the neri. There are, however, no matters which among the Eldar only a ner can think or do, or others which only a nis is concerned.
What Tolkien’s basically saying here is, while certain cultures may develop traditional roles for elvish men or women, there were no “laws” or strict rules that enforced these roles. For example, he says that generally men were warriors and women were healers. But there were plenty of men that studied to be healers instead of warriors, and sometimes women would fight in battles (and fought just as well as the men, by the way.) And other roles were specific to certain sub-cultures (for example, among the Noldor it was customary for women to make the lembas bread, but the men did all the other cooking. It’s likely that this didn’t hold true in other sub-cultures.) In fact, after listing the “traditional” gender roles among the Noldor, Tolkien concludes the section by saying:
But all these things, and other matters of labor and play, or of deeper knowledge concerning being and the life of the World, may at different times be pursued by any among the Noldor, be they neri or nissi.
Aside from “Laws and Customs Among the Eldar”, we don’t really see any examples of the independence of female elves being restricted by male elves. There wasn’t a strong cultural pressure for married couples to live together at all times, so we even see many husbands and wives making separate decisions that affected their relationships (I’m thinking, in particular, of the many Noldorin wives who decided to stay in Valinor instead of following their husbands into exile in Middle Earth.)
A case that really deserves some discussion, though, is Aredhel. She lived in Gondolin under the rule of her brother, King Turgon. When she got tired of being isolated in Gondolin, she convinced her brother to let her leave the city (normally nobody was allowed to leave the city, in order to keep its location secret from Morgoth.) The conversation between the two siblings was an interesting example of gender roles among the elves:
"Go then, if you will though it is against my wisdom, and I forebode that ill will come of it both to you and to me. But you shall go only to seek Fingon, our brother."
But Aredhel said: “I am your sister and not your servant, and beyond your bounds I will go as seems good to me. And if you begrudge me an escort, then I will go alone.”
Then Turgon answered: “I grudge you nothing that I have.”
I think it’s extremely important that Aredhel pointed out that whatever power Turgon had over her was political only, and outside his kingdom that power ended - and Turgon didn’t fight her on that. For me, this is strong support for a gender equal elvish society.
Of course, Aredhel had some terrible luck, and ended up married to probably the worst elf Tolkien ever introduces us to: Eol. And Eol is extremely controlling of Aredhel’s actions. But, honestly, I think that was more a personal characteristic of Eol’s than a cultural norm. Mainly because he treats his son the same way. This little speech of his is the best example of this (he’s speaking to Turgon, by the way):
I care nothing for your secrets and I came not to spy upon you, but to claim my own: my wife and my son. Yet if in Aredhel your sister you have some claim, then let her remain. But not so Maeglin. My son you shall not withhold from me. Come, Maeglin son of Eol! Your father commands you.
So I really think that Eol’s treatment of Aredhel should be considered the exception, not the rule. In general, Tolkien’s essays about the elves, and the examples he shows us, portray a society in which women had just as much freedom - and had the same rights and choices - as the men.
SOURCES: The Silmarillion, The Histories of Middle Earth vol. 10 (“Laws and Customs Among the Eldar”)
I’m noticing that on these ghost shows the most intense cases come from traditional families, or very religious people. I don’t think it means they aren’t experiencing anything. Just that the experiences mixed with the beliefs make it seem more intense of a retelling.
Like: Where are the agnostic gay men with ghosts in their house, yanno?
Is my fabulousness a natural ghost deterrent?
That the main storyline that I made for the blog is over. I seriously thought it wouldn’t get this far, and yet, here we are at the final stretch!
I went back to see how long I’ve had this idea, at least, and as I look back I noticed that it literally has been a two year thing.
Also- it’s changed a lot…
Also-Also- My illustrations in this style and on a computer are so much better than ever before.
That hurt Angry part of you that resents seeing someone else getting comfort and sympathy
You always had to go it alone. Why shouldn’t they? What makes them special?
Or rather what made you not worthy?
You know it’s an irrational response…or is it rational?
It’s complicated and confusing.
Not even the great Helix Fossil knows…. :’(