Msnowe's Blog

New Friday Postage: Lady-Rating

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on August 14, 2009

The fiction Lady-Rating.

Can your writing run with the big girls?

Can your writing run with the big girls?

“Yeah, she’s a 7, maybe an 8.”

Let’s turn this shit on it’s head. m.snowe was sadly subjected to, and heard stories of others subjected to the whole grade school, junior high, and high school ratings system. Oh yes, boys would rate the girls on a scale of one to ten, and sometimes there would be illustrations. Enough of that! Then what, might you ask, is the Fiction Lady-Rating? It’s the arbitrary name m.snowe has created in order to rate certain pieces of fiction in terms of their female characters, or the presence/lack of any type of feminist ideas. Obviously, this can’t help but be a bit subjective—but m.snowe will try her best to rate with fairness and insight. (obviously, a rating of 0 is absolutely horrid and represents either a complete lack of female characters or feminist ideas, 10 is the best, with strong female characters and/or feminist ideals.)

It’s m.snowe’s hope that at least one book, new or old, can be rated every Friday, and that any other posts going forward that necessitate a rating will have one appended to it at the bottom, holding down it’s skirt.

So here’s today’s Lady-Rating, for The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Quest? Not for Ladies.

Quest? Not for Ladies.

Rating: 1 out of 10.

Reasoning: Despite m.snowe’s love for this classic piece of literature, big J.R.R.T. was not exactly female-friendly fare. Even his Lord of the Rings books have female characters few and far between, and they almost always serve as love interests, or evil enchantresses. Tolkien, a renowned scholar, claimed Beowulf was his biggest influence when writing The Hobbit–and obviously, there is a lack of females or feminist themes in that (although, at least Grendel’s mum makes an appearance!). Clearly, for Tolkien, great adventures and fighting dragons was just not for women. To be fair Tolkien should be placed in his time–The Hobbit was written before 1936, and he was a staunchly religious man–both of these are factors in his works which make him less apt to have leading ladies. But perhaps because of his later works that do include some ladies who are slightly stronger than shrunken violets, m.snowe is wont to give him a rating of 1 instead of the old goose egg.