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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
well...
 
Poll: Who is your favourite Wizard? (The Istari are NOT included)
Harry Potter
Dumbledore (Richard Harris)
Dumbledore (Michael Gambon)
Prospero (From Shakespeare's "The Tempest")
Merlin (From the BBC Series)
Merlin (Nicol Williamson in "Excalibur")
Merlin (From Disney's "The Sword and The Stone"
Other (feel free to specify who via a reply)
View Results (40 votes)
 

Magpie
Immortal


Sep 28 2012, 2:35pm


Views: 446
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well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I hesitate entering into this territory because it can start to look political and I don't want to hijack the light hearted intentions of this poll or to create the basis for a potentially contentious discussion.

But, generally, the word wizard is used for men. The comparable word, in a way, for women is witch.

Whereas wizard often means someone wise and powerful, the name/label witch has - culturally and colloquially - a more sinister and ugly context on it.

There are a lot of reasons for this and it's complicated, but I think it's evidence of a long history of bias against women having power. Especially power that the average male might not have.

The list that DanielLB provided - I would wager (without checking them all) - are all/mostly witches. And there is a wikipedia page for lists of witches but not a comparable one of wizards that could let us check which female characters might be called a wizard.

If we asked people - quick - to name the first 5 wizards that came to mind, I bet all would be characters we would consider 'good'. If we asked people to do the same with witches, I'm not so sure we'd get 'good' characters.

I don't try to get too political with pop culture. Pop culture, for the most part, serves to entertain and we allow ourselves to set aside some standards to do that (otherwise, how could we 'enjoy' violent movies, for example).

But pop culture is rooted in history. Both in history that happened (like the Salem witch trials) and history of what what functioned as contemporary culture throughout different eras and ages.

And pop culture perpetuates stereotypes and beliefs and biases. The way we look at magical, powerful men is quite different from the way we look at magical, powerful women. If we call someone a witch, it's almost always a pejorative. One that is completely gender based.

So, I'm looking forward to voting on my favorite witch but I'm eager to see what list is presented and whether the characters are as likeable as the wizard list (I hope it's not a list of only HP characters). And I had a little moment of dismay when I realized that this poll would be male only. This is a list of intriguing and powerful and commanding people. But women couldn't be part of it. I don't take any offense at the poll in any manner. It's just a personal sigh moment.

It also made me think of four young women I used to teach. I'm going to call them young women even though they were in first grade. They were bright and quick and intelligent and humorous. I was reading books about pumpkins, and talked about jack o'lanterns. They, amongst themselves, started calling them jill o'lanterns. That just tickled me to no end. They took one of many gender specific titles and made it something they could relate to. :-)

and... just in case it looks like I was boycotting this poll, I wasn't, really. It's just that my favorite wizard is really the persona of Merlin. Not the depiction of Merlin but the actual root of who this person might have been. (since I've done some reading on this) I enjoy many depictions of him but my favorite would be the potential 'man' himself. My favorite depiction.. or perhaps the one of which I'm most fond... is the one that appears in the Mary Stewart books. I also like the whole Arthur/Merlin/etc stories as told in Mists of Avalon.

Subject User Time
Who is your favourite Wizard? (The Istari are NOT included) Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Sep 27 2012, 6:42pm
    Obi-Wan Kenobi // Arwen's daughter Send a private message to Arwen's daughter Sep 27 2012, 7:24pm
        Good choice. I suppose he could technically count as a wizard Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Sep 27 2012, 7:26pm
    Well, obviously Gandalf. macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Sep 27 2012, 7:25pm
        Agreed about Harris' Dumbledore Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Sep 27 2012, 7:30pm
    The Sorcerer's Apprentice DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Sep 27 2012, 7:28pm
        Mickey Mouse? macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Sep 27 2012, 7:29pm
            Absolutely! DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Sep 27 2012, 7:31pm
    Schmendrick (spoiler) Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Sep 27 2012, 7:32pm
        I'll go along with Schmendrick sevilodorf Send a private message to sevilodorf Sep 27 2012, 11:24pm
    this is a male only club. we need to work on a female version // Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Sep 27 2012, 8:22pm
        I am going to do a female (witch version) as well Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Sep 27 2012, 8:23pm
            thanks // Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Sep 27 2012, 8:36pm
            Bewitched JWPlatt Sep 27 2012, 10:24pm
    Ulrich Otaku-sempai Send a private message to Otaku-sempai Sep 27 2012, 8:30pm
        Nice choice, will have to try and watch that film Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Sep 27 2012, 8:34pm
    Oz the Great and Terrible Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Sep 27 2012, 11:05pm
    Would Dresden count sevilodorf Send a private message to sevilodorf Sep 27 2012, 11:25pm
        Good choice! Arwen's daughter Send a private message to Arwen's daughter Sep 28 2012, 12:13am
            I like the tv version of Dresden a lot // Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Sep 28 2012, 12:53am
    Harry Dresden. Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Sep 28 2012, 12:43am
    Richard Harris.... Donry Send a private message to Donry Sep 28 2012, 1:20am
    Ged of Earthsea Annael Send a private message to Annael Sep 28 2012, 1:32am
    Female Wizards macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Sep 28 2012, 6:55am
        Some suggestions DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Sep 28 2012, 7:22am
            No wonder I did not know macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Sep 28 2012, 7:31am
                Hmmm, wikipedia has quite a good list DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Sep 28 2012, 7:41am
                    Magica de Spell macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Sep 28 2012, 7:45am
                        Or at least read the book Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Sep 28 2012, 8:30pm
                I voted for Richard Harris... Misto Send a private message to Misto Sep 29 2012, 9:20am
        well... Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Sep 28 2012, 2:35pm
            Where's my "I agree with Magpie" stamp? Arwen's daughter Send a private message to Arwen's daughter Sep 28 2012, 3:42pm
                some versions of the Arthur stories Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Sep 28 2012, 4:21pm
                    In the earliest Welsh stories Annael Send a private message to Annael Oct 1 2012, 3:40pm
            Good Witch JWPlatt Sep 28 2012, 6:02pm
            Excellent points. All sad but true...but also slowly changing (hopefully) // zarabia Send a private message to zarabia Sep 30 2012, 2:04am
    I can't decide- all of the above... FaramirAndEowynMorningStar Send a private message to FaramirAndEowynMorningStar Sep 28 2012, 8:06pm
    What would have been amazing... zarabia Send a private message to zarabia Sep 30 2012, 2:13am
        In actual fact, Ian McKellen was offered the role of Dumbledore Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Sep 30 2012, 7:16am

 
 
 

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