Simeon's Reviews > The Wise Man's Fear

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
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Jan 13, 14

bookshelves: fantasy, utter-shite
Read from February 16 to March 19, 2011

** spoiler alert **
I'm going to have to be the sole voice of dissent.

I found Kvothe profoundly annoying.
Here's an excerpt of his typical storytelling, word for word:

"I managed very little sleep that night, and Losi came closer to killing me than Felurian ever had."

(Post-coital thoughts on the second girl in 20 pages. He's 16.)

"She was a delightful partner, every bit as wonderful as Felurian had been. But how could that be? I hear you ask. How could any mortal woman compare with Felurian?"

Felurian is a ghost/fairy from the "Fey" where we wasted a hundred pages of Kvothe having sex with her over and over to no discernible end. He escapes finally by singing with his beautiful singsong voice that he brags about constantly.
"It is easier to understand if you think of it in terms of music. Sometimes a man enjoys a symphony." [Talking about sex.] "Elsetimes he finds a jig more suited to his taste. The same holds true of lovemaking."


Haha, right, so by now it's getting hilarious, because this little twirp who, at age 16, manages to find two women willing to sleep with him (one of whom is imaginary), decides that he's become The God of Sex, and must now spend the rest of the book acting like an effeminate man-whore.

Kvothe speaking again:
"One type [of sex] is suited to the deep cushions of a twilight forest glade. Another comes quite naturally tangled in the sheets of narrow beds upstairs in inns."

"in inns" is typical of the writing; "at inns" might sound better, eh

Kvothe's insights on women:

"Each woman is like an instrument, waiting to be learned, and finely played [fucked], to have at least her own true music made."

That's right guys, women are like instruments, and they exist for your use and pleasure.

Realizing that what he just said is sophomoric, sexist, and a little insane, Kvothe clarifies:
"Some might take offense at this way of seeing things. They might think I degrade women."

Well, in defense of anyone thinking that, you do degrade women. Before the book ends, your skinny little ass has sex with half the village by the university. I don't feel like transcribing any more of it.

Kvothe prances around with the approximate wisdom and subtlety of a slightly below average modern-day teenager. A musician with a delicate disposition more at home at a pedicurist than a fantasy novel, he's best described as a weakling, a coward, and a fool.

At one point he actually loses a fight to a 10 year old girl.

Someone responded to this earlier by saying: "But she was a really badass little girl." Haha. Ok.



______________________________


Criticisms:


"His primary personalty traits are wit, charm and intelligence."

Mark Twain is witty. Locke Lamora is charming. Kvothe is a self-absorbed brat with the emotional depth of a teaspoon. The narrator insists on his intelligence and success at the university, but every time Kvothe speaks, it's an eyeroll-fest.


"Kvothe is the furthest thing from a coward."

A girl he's been pining over since almost the beginning of the last book admits that she is being beaten bloody on a daily basis. What does Kvothe do? He says some dumb things and abandons her to go on a pointless expedition into the woods; stumbles over the Fey, where he loses his virginity; screws 5 more women that we're told about - this in the space of a couple of months; and finally returns to the university by the end of the book, only to reveal that he is not in love with the original girl anymore.

Stay classy, Kvothe, buddy.


Here's what he has to say about love:

Kvothe: "Love is a subtle concept. But it can be defined."
Vashet: "Do so then. Tell me of love."
Kvothe: "Love is the willingness to do anything for someone."
Vashet: "Then how is love different from duty or loyalty?"
Kvothe: "It is also combined with physical attraction."
[Well, you're an expert on that, you little man-whore, you.]
Vashet: "Even a mother's love?"
Kvothe: "Combined with extreme fondness then."
Vashet: "And what exactly do you mean by fondness?"
Kvothe: "It is..." [He] trailed off, racking [his] brain...

At least that shouldn't take long.

Listen, Kvothe, love is the condition wherein the happiness of another person is essential to your own. It's not rocket science. And it does not require physical attraction. It also comes in different varieties.

"Combined with extreme fondness"? Wtf are you, 16? Oh yeah, that's right, you are. Seriously, half the time Kvothe opens his mouth, I want to punch him in the face. 1000 pages of him speaking... come on.



And look, I completely understand that the author had a purpose in making a typical teenager his main character. I get it. I just don't find him compelling in any way whatsoever.


And I pre-ordered this. Donating to the library.
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Comments (showing 101-150 of 314) (314 new)


message 101: by Joel (new)

Joel take him at his word, as when he says "no no no, i am not comparing women to a book, i am just comparing two different types of infatuation, both of which objectify a woman, defining her as either fitting into my preordained idea of appropriate fetish-object behavior."

i have already told you multiple times why i found the post questionable. so have several other people in this here comment thread. if it didn't cross a line for you, congratulations, continue enjoying him guilt-free (and plot-free too, but that's a whole different argument). i never said i saw this as part of a pattern of behavior, and i didn't mention the bits of book 2 where the narrator compares women to instruments that just need to be plucked in the right way because that's a book, and i don't presume an author believes everything his characters do.

that said, kvothe would totally write the same blog about denna.


Valerie Also, Kalbear wrote a fantastic reply in the comments: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2012/...


Valerie Joel wrote: "that said, kvothe would totally write the same blog about denna."

This is what really got me -- while I was reading it, it struck me, "Wait, this is something that Kvothe would say..." and then it hit me and honestly made me like the book less.


message 104: by Joel (new)

Joel Valerie wrote: "Also, Kalbear wrote a fantastic reply in the comments: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2012/..."

agreed, thanks for pointing it out. when i looked, most of the comments were "best metaphor ever man!" or simply went off on lord of the rings or adaptations in general.


message 105: by Jacob (new) - added it

Jacob Thanks for finding that, Valerie. I didn't managed to make it that far through the comments :/

Joel wrote: "that said, kvothe would totally write the same blog about denna."

Oh, you have no idea. About halfway through the second book, Kvothe finds out that Denna is a high-priced courtesan of sorts (after stalking her through the city and eavesdropping on a private conversation, no less), and despite hearing her justify every single reason for why she does what she does, he's still devastated that the girl he idolized does something less-than-savory to earn a living, and he treats her with complete disrespect the next time they meet.


message 106: by Jacqie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jacqie There is a pattern. To find it,read Wise Man's Fear. We have theungettable prostitute, the ageless sex fairy who agrees with whatever Kvothe wants, and the entire culture of strong, independent women who nonetheless don't understand how having babies works and who all want to have sex with this rather arrogant teenager. Is there a woman in the book who hasn't just been raped who doesn't want to have sex with this kid?

To me, this portrayal of women does not show a strong feminist viewpoint.


message 107: by Hitandmiss (last edited Feb 20, 2012 05:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hitandmiss @Valerie Felurian - is Fey and non human, and basically a succubus, it’s not too surprising she is a little unbelievable. I don't think this strays too far from the ethos of the novels, or the general lore of fairies/nymphs.

"Screwing anything" - CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED FORTY-NINE is the chap you’re talking about, while he’s by no means a monk, It’s clear that the women who are after him consider him a celebrity and they know that he is not the kind of guy who is looking for a long term stable relationship. Its also pretty clear that unless a women makes it clear she wants him he doesn’t push. It’s also stated that he considers himself as little more than an object as no one could possibly love him as he doesn’t feel like he has much to offer,
"By contrast, what did I have to offer? Nothing really. Less now. I was more like a curious stone that is picked up, carried a while, and finally dropped again with the realization that for all its interesting look, it is nothing more than hardened earth."

I would not expect much better from a teenage boy. Would you of preferred that Pat kept him Chase till he married Denna? Would this be more realistic? Or are holding him to some mythical fairy tale value here?

Comparing women to instruments – The context of that quote is hes answering a question.
“But how could that be? I hear you ask. How could any mortal woman compare with Felurian?
It is easier to understand if you think of it in terms of music. Sometimes a man enjoys a symphony. Elsetimes he finds a jig more suited to his taste. The same holds true for lovemaking. One type is suited to the deep cushions of a twilight forest glade. Another comes quite naturally tangled in the sheets of narrow beds upstairs in inns. Each woman is like an instrument, waiting to be learned, loved, and finely played, to have at last her own true music made.
Some might take offense at this way of seeing things, not understanding how a trouper views his music. They might think I degrade women. They might consider me callous, or boorish, or crude.
But those people do not understand love, or music, or me.”

He is trying to compare the almost incomparable. “You have done X with a God/legend, how does doing X with a Human/someone else compare?” I guess you might find the comparison offensive. I don’t think it’s too far a stretch to imagine that any women who’s been with Male Celeb has been asked by her friends how he matches up against someone else. Also as I said, he’s comparing them to the highest thing he values. It would be like comparing a women/man to the most beautiful thing you know.


message 108: by JK (new) - rated it 4 stars

JK Joel wrote: " i would be interested in hearing more reaction from women, because the two in
this thread and my wife all got the vibe
from the blog loud and clear. "



I'm a lady, but you already have my opinion. Just want it out there that not every woman is offended,by the blog.


message 109: by Joel (new)

Joel Gotcha. It wasn't obvious from your name or profile.


message 110: by DMS (new)

DMS Valerie wrote: "Also, Kalbear wrote a fantastic reply in the comments: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2012/..."

Thanks for linking to that response. It is fantastic.


message 111: by JK (last edited Feb 20, 2012 07:28PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

JK Joel wrote: "Gotcha. It wasn't obvious from your name or profile."

That's how I like it. The less personalizing traits the better, I think. Keeps people from making silly assumptions about the way I think or write here.


message 112: by DMS (last edited Feb 20, 2012 07:55PM) (new)

DMS On the subject of the specific analogy, if one want to talk about Peter Jackson screwing with a beloved childhood memory, why not go with Meet the Feebles?

Also,

"Give me 2/3 times where someone is racist/sexist/anyothertag either openly or subversively and we can start to judge."

Ok.

1. "He’s comparing them to the things he loves most in the world, and he’s using an analogy."

2. "Also as I said, he’s comparing them to the highest thing he values."

3. "Really? he was describing how let down he feels when he sees something so treasured destroyed by the need to make money."

The things in each of those quotes are women. And in case it isn't clear, here, the someone I am referring to isn't Rothfuss.


message 113: by Sean (new)

Sean O'Hara Hitandmiss wrote: "
I'm going to quote him now,

"That’s the girl you fell in love with in high school. You didn’t have a crush on her because she was some simmering pool of molten sex. You loved her because she was subtle and sweet and smart and special."

You can try to spin the next paragraph into some hate, but is just a description. He’s clearly hating on the system that knows exactly what you want and will pay to see, He’s breaking down how what was special will be lost and what is just eye candy will be added."


Except in his argument, the girl was eye-candy to begin with -- she existed as his special fantasy girl that no one else appreciated, and now that she's changed into everyone's fantasy girl it sucks, as though she had some obligation to remain true to his idealized image of her as a nerd-virgin-goddess he could deflower without her complaining that he's an inept n00b. His attitude reminds me of the way Japanese otaku react when they discover an anime voice actress has actually had sex with a man.


message 114: by Joel (new)

Joel Sean wrote: "His attitude reminds me of the way Japanese otaku react when they discover an anime voice actress has actually had sex with a man. "

holy shit, dude. that is fucked up.


message 115: by Hitandmiss (last edited Feb 21, 2012 03:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hitandmiss DMS wrote: "
1. "He’s comparing them to the things he loves most in the world, and he’s using an analogy."

2. "Also as I said, he’s comparing them to the highest thing he values."


Ok, Do you consider Shakespeare sonnet 18 to be sexist? The bard is literaly comparing women to nice days? If you are going to go so far down this path where comparing someone to something you concider to be of high value is wrong, then where does this end?
I'd understand your point if he was comparing women to something of low value.

3. "Really? he was describing how let down he feels when he sees something so treasured destroyed by the need to make money."

I would agree with you if the girl was real and he named her and looked down on porn, then he would be telling a girl that he is disapointed in her life choices without considering her views. However this is not the case, he is describing an imaginary girl who he loved for good reasons then gets turned into a male fantasy.

The things in each of those quotes are women. And in case it isn't clear, here, the someone I am referring to isn't Rothfuss. "

Now I'm a sexist? I'll say it again, Trying too hard...


message 116: by Hitandmiss (last edited Feb 21, 2012 03:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hitandmiss @Sean Are you reading the same blog as me?
“the girl was eye-candy to begin with”
He clearly says “You didn’t have a crush on her because she was some simmering pool of molten sex. You loved her because she was subtle and sweet and smart and special." The girl he chooses to make an example of was a nerdy girl like him who is smart and sweet. There is no description of her being beautiful for her looks. She was beautiful for her mind.

“she existed as his special fantasy girl that no one else appreciated, and now that she's changed into everyone's fantasy girl it sucks, as though she had some obligation to remain true to his idealized image of her”
You are implying feelings/thoughts that are never stated in the blog, He never said she had to remain true, or that she should not go into porn. That’s your values at play! Else quote the disparaging remark! Give me the comment when he looks down on the girl or her chosen vocation. He is looking down on the system of values that places looks above her mind. He even says that there is no problem with her chosen career.

“But in other ways the problem is blindingly obvious. This girl has nothing in common with your high-school crush except for her social security number. Everything you loved about her is gone.”

He is disappointed that the girl he knew is no more; the girl has been turned into a generic male fantasy.

Tell me would you have a problem if he wrote the analogy the same except the girl turned into a beauty queen instead?

Comparing him to a stalker? honestly be reasonable! Still it fits perfectly into the "Trying too hard" theme, So thanks I guess.


message 117: by DMS (new)

DMS " I'd understand your point if he was comparing women to something of low value."

Thank you for illustrating my point.


Hitandmiss DMS wrote: "" I'd understand your point if he was comparing women to something of low value."

Thank you for illustrating my point."


And thank you for illustrating my point, That it is never done and your constructing a narative that has no factual basis.


message 119: by Jacqie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jacqie Hitandmiss wrote: "@Sean Are you reading the same blog as me?
“the girl was eye-candy to begin with”
He clearly says “You didn’t have a crush on her because she was some simmering pool of molten sex. You loved her be..."


You see, he never knew this girl. She was always a fantasy to him. He was disappointed when the real girl turned out to have made choices that his fantasy girl shouldn't have made. That's the problem. He has no rigth to be disappointed in this woman's choices. He obviously doesn't even know her. It's none of his business how she chooses to dress or what she chooses to do.

Someone else posted "she's still the same girl!" The only thing that's changed is how strangers feel they can know her now.


message 120: by Jacqie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jacqie Hitandmiss wrote: "DMS wrote: "" I'd understand your point if he was comparing women to something of low value."

Thank you for illustrating my point."

And thank you for illustrating my point, That it is never done ..."


If you'd just stop comparing women to things you'd have a lot better shot at making the point that you aren't objectifying women. That kind of phrasing does matter. Good things, bad things, still things, not a person.

We're not talking about Shakespeare here, we're talking about women not being things, not metaphor. Women being used as metaphor in the particular example we're talking about was a poor, sexist choice.


Hitandmiss @Jacqie "It’s going to be like wandering onto an internet porn site and seeing a video of a girl I had a crush on in high school. You probably knew someone like her. The smart girl. The shy girl. The one who wore glasses and was a little socially awkward. The one who screwed up the curve in chemistry so you got an A- instead of an A."

The girl in the analogy is supposed to have been a real girl turned into a facade of the girl he once knew. She was not a fantasy to him, (In the analogy, not in real life).

Again! This "He was disappointed when the real girl turned out to have made choices that his fantasy girl shouldn't have made." is never stated or implied, He is disappointed that the attraction is now based purely on looks when her personality was the attraction before.
Else find me where he looks down on her choices or career!

The point of all of this is that the feelings he held for the book based on several special personal areas which will be unique to the individual will not be displayed when he sees it in another format. A format designed to create a generic product, based on commonly held beliefs. (IE how a girl should look) the film would have to appeal to everyone so it will not cater to the areas of the book he especially valued.

I'll say it again, He’s not looking down on the girl, he is looking down on the system.


Hitandmiss @Jacqie

"If you'd just stop comparing women to things you'd have a lot better shot at making the point that you aren't objectifying women."

I'm not/nor is kwothe comapring women to object to give them a value, I'm/kwothe is comparing feelings/situations/love to things to give a sense of value.

Shakespear severd as a Rorschach test, either you saw shakespear compare a women to a object, (the day/scenery) or you understood that he is trying to compare the impossible. Alot like kwothe was doing, "Loving a God, Vs Loving a Human"

There is no sexism here he did not "Prejudge, stereotype, or discriminate" the girl based on her sex, He was disapointed that the area for his admiration was not on display. The counter would be;

IE if he found out that the girl on the internet turned out to be an author and he then reads and loves her books.

Would the analogy be sexist if, He found out that the girl is now a beauty queen?


message 123: by DMS (new)

DMS "I'm not/nor is kwothe comapring women to object to give them a value, I'm/kwothe is comparing feelings/situations/love to things to give a sense of value."

His love is like a fine instrument?

My love is a building. Which is on fire.


message 124: by Jacqie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jacqie Would the analogy be sexist if, He found out that the girl is now a beauty queen?

Yes.

My love is a building. Which is on fire.

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire! :)


Hitandmiss @DMS Would it be sexist if you compared a women to a Diamond?

and is Shakespears sonnet 18 sexist where he compares a women to a summers day?


Hitandmiss @Jacqie So if he loved a girl for her personality and later finds out that she became a beauty queen and he was unable to see anything of the personality he loved, becomes disapointed that the subject of his infatuation is gone. This is sexist?


message 127: by DMS (new)

DMS Yes, please, keep looking for the object it is okay to compare women to. It's really helping.


Valerie Thanks for posting the full quote. It's actually more horrid than I remembered, especially considering that the narrator himself asked the question (by presuming that the reader would ask it). Also, the word you're looking for is chaste. And I wouldn't want that, either -- I have no idea where you got that from.

Hitandmiss wrote: "@Jacqie So if he loved a girl for her personality and later finds out that she became a beauty queen and he was unable to see anything of the personality he loved, becomes disapointed that the subj..."

Uhhh. Yes? Why would becoming a "beauty queen" mean that her personality's automatically changed? Now he's writing her off just because she's prettier. :|

I don't think it's us who are "trying too hard," just saying. Also, you're a dude trying to tell women what they should or shouldn't find sexist, which is pretty lol.


message 129: by Joel (last edited Feb 21, 2012 03:12PM) (new)

Joel Hitandmiss wrote: "@Jacqie So if he loved a girl for her personality and later finds out that she became a beauty queen and he was unable to see anything of the personality he loved, becomes disapointed that the the subject of his infatuation is gone."

i would probably have said "object" of his infatuation. more accurate.

look at it this way: in both of his examples, the woman herself has no apparent agency. in the first, she is his fantasy ideal of what a geek girl is like (though he never actually seems to have spoken with her). in the other, she is this purely sexual display object. in both cases, he is passing a judgement -- "that's the kind of girl i'd like! now i'm sad, because she no longer seems like the girl i once liked!" in neither of these instances does the actual person -- the girl he is in both examples objectifying -- given any say or personality or anything that isn't filtered through his perception of her as purely an object to be admired/viewed.

also, you say he isn't passing judgement on the later version of the woman, just saying that she is "different." his choice of portraying her "difference" as a transition from "safe" geeky sexuality to a tarted-up overt sexuality is a sexist choice in itself, because it is reducing the person solely to her status as worthy of his affection.


message 130: by Joel (new)

Joel Valerie wrote: "I don't think it's us who are "trying too hard," just saying."

i was just going to say that... you can try too hard to give someone a pass for something too.


Hitandmiss DMS wrote: "Yes, please, keep looking for the object it is okay to compare women to. It's really helping."

I am honestly trying to learn and understand you here. I am asking if you concider these comparisons to be sexist. I myself don't and I've never spoke to anyone who concidered Shakespear sexist. When someone calls me a sexist I try to learn and better myself.

So help me out, Could you describe someone you love without comparing them to anything or anyone else? could you explain how good they make you feel without sounding generic,
"I love them alot" "How much?" "more then air itself"
Doesnt sound sexist to me, But by your standards this is sexist.


message 132: by Jacqie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jacqie You see, according to Pat's analogy, he never knew the girl in the first place. He just saw her and made a lot of assumptions based on how she looked. Had a lot of fantasies about her. Assumed he could "maybe steal third" if he ever got together with her because she was a Good Girl.

This is all his fantasy (and yes, I know, Pat doesn't ever actually say he knew anyone like this; it's an analogy). But it has nothing to do with how this girl actually thinks. Maybe she wished she could be more self-confident about her sexuality but was too shy/it wasn't safe in high school to do that. Maybe she's a beauty queen/ stripper now because that's who she wanted to be. Then again, maybe she's doing porn because that's how she can make ends meet. Maybe she was shy and "geeky" in high school because she was being abused at home and the shy cover was protective camoflage, an effort to not be seen as sexual so she wouldn't be abused any more.

That's her business. And some guy who never had the guts to find out who she really was in high school should not judge that.

Now, I know I've taken what was a metaphor and fictional originally way out there. This is Pat's fantasy, and because it's his that geeky girl gets to be exactly what he wants her to be. And Pat can fantasize about whatever he wants. That's not my business. But putting it out on the blog does imply that it is now for public consumption, and there are going to be people uncomfortable with it. I'm not slamming Pat on his own blog, but I am expressing that it makes me uncomfortable and why.

You're not going to change my mind, and I'm guessing I'm not going to change yours, since you seem to be deliberating not engaging with any point I make. So maybe this isn't the discussion for us.


Valerie @Jacqui, great post.


message 134: by Jacqie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jacqie Valerie wrote: "@Jacqui, great post."
Thanks. :)


Hitandmiss @Jacqie I think your being disingenuous, you are saying "he never knew the girl in the first place... it has nothing to do with how this girl actually thinks." When in the analogy he says;

"You liked her because she was funny. And she was smart. And you could actually talk to her. And she read books."
"You loved her because she was subtle and sweet and smart and special."

He describes her personality, and sharing convo, your break down is incorrect. If he was creating a personality for a girl he saw at school and was giving her values then your point might be valid, but he clearly isn't.

"That's her business. And some guy who never had the guts to find out who she really was in high school should not judge that."

At no point does he devalue her because of her choices. He devalues the system that chooses how she should look for a porno/strip join. He is comparing the values he holds to the values of the porno strip join. It’s not implied that she enjoys her job or looks like this in her personal life; he is not casting aspersions of her choices. He is talking about the general norm, I.E a porno should have perfect breast and good make up. He is comparing this to turning a fantasy novel into a general action movie.

If your example is what he actually wrote I would agree with you that it is sexist. He has no right to denounce her choices, but that’s not what he wrote.

Else please help me here,
Quote where he denounces her choice,
Quote where he slanders her job,
Quote where he says she should have done better,
Quote where he says he now hates her,

I don’t expect to change your mind; I said it earlier, If you want to chalk this up as a bad blog, fine. I can agree maybe the analogy could have been better, but I don’t sense any malicious intent here. What I draw the line at is people saying this 1 blog, plus a factious character makes the guy a sexist.


message 136: by DMS (new)

DMS @Jacquie, great post. You're making me feel bad about not engaging Ham in such a straightforward manner.

Well, not that bad.

"When someone calls me a sexist I try to learn and better myself."

Step 1. Stop objectifying women.


message 137: by Hitandmiss (last edited Feb 21, 2012 08:12AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hitandmiss @DMS

If you wish to have a polite convo try to counter all of my point, don't cut part of it out and just answer that. Follow through with your convictions, and denounce Shakespear, Defend your beliefs at the best and worst of examples.

Tell me that Sonnets are sexist.

Could you describe someone you love without comparing them to anything or anyone else? could you explain how good they make you feel without sounding generic?


message 138: by Joel (new)

Joel there was this girl i really liked in high school. the perfect geek girl. i imagined we'd be able to quote monty python and the simpsons all day long, and maybe one day, we'd even go on a date. she was the best, probably.

a few weeks ago, i looked her up on facebook and it turns out that now she's dating a black guy. that wasn't the girl i remembered. i mean, black guys are fine and all, but i wanted her to date a white guy like me.

is that racist?


Hitandmiss Joel wrote: "there was this girl i really liked in high school. the perfect geek girl. i imagined we'd be able to quote monty python and the simpsons all day long, and maybe one day, we'd even go on a date. she..."

I'd agree with you analogy up till the end.

"i mean, black guys are fine and all, but i wanted her to date a white guy like me."

This is slighly questionable. However seeing as you never actualy say white are superior or infring on blacks, I dont think its racist in of itself, I'd give you the benifit of the doubt that you are not racist and didnt phrase yourself very well. If you had said "I mean come on she could totaly do better then a black guy. Someone white like me." Then yes thats racist.

Still can you show the comparison where Pat says that he wished the girl didnt turn to porn?


message 140: by DMS (new)

DMS "Follow through with your convictions, and denounce Shakespear, Defend your beliefs at the best and worst of examples."

Step 2. Stop telling women what they believe and how they should think and act.


message 141: by Hitandmiss (last edited Feb 21, 2012 10:18AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hitandmiss DMS wrote: "Step 2. Stop telling women what they believe and how they should think and act."

My comments were not based on your sex or your views; they were based on the fact that you keep refusing to meet me half way. You call me a sexist then refuse to define or prove on what ground you call me a sexist. My comments are universal, as a mark of respect to all who have dissented from my opinion and view here, I've tried to answer every single post aimed at me, I haven’t shirked away from a question because I didn’t like where it lead.

At no point was your sexuality brought up and I remained gender neutral in my comment to you.


message 142: by Jacqie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jacqie Hitandmiss:

"But in other ways the problem is blindingly obvious. This girl has nothing in common with your high-school crush except for her social security number. Everything you loved about her is gone."

Pat's a great writer. Are you really saying that he's making no judgement here, just describing the facts? If it's just the facts, then why is there a problem? I'm not going to paste more direct quotes in here, but he talks about a crush, and fantasies about what could happen if he ever got together with her. Not an actual relationship. Because he said he _could_ talk to her doesn't mean that he _did_ talk to her.

If you don't see this as making a judgement, just description, then you've been drawn in by a great author manipulating words to create a desired effect without realizing that this is what he's done.

I didn't appreciate the desired effect by this effort of writing.

"It’s not implied that she enjoys her job or looks like this in her personal life; he is not casting aspersions of her choices."

What if she does enjoy her job? What if she does look like this in her personal life? Do you see that you are making judgements about this fictional person too? The judgements that Pat wanted you to make?

I know what Pat was doing- he was going for an effect. I think the example he chose was one of the worst possible ones. If he'd said something like:

Think of the beautiful rolling prairie that you used to be able to drive out to and hike on without seeing sign of civilization for miles. Now think about that prairie with billboards plastered all over it...

I would have been okay with that. Land is inanimate (at least I think it is), it has no agency, makes no decisions, cannot choose to have billboards plastered all over it. Pat was trying to make an analogy about commercialism- something like this might work.

A woman is not a landscape. If she looks a certain way, she has a reason for it. She has made a choice. Treating her like a spoiled landscape devalues her choices and her personhood. And if you think that Pat was not implying that this woman is "spoiled", then I think you are deliberately missing something.


message 143: by Sean (last edited Feb 21, 2012 10:41AM) (new)

Sean O'Hara Hitandmiss wrote: "@Sean Are you reading the same blog as me?
“the girl was eye-candy to begin with”
He clearly says “You didn’t have a crush on her because she was some simmering pool of molten sex. You loved her be..."


Yes, he's fetishizing her geekiness -- the sweet, demure shrinking violet who needs the right guy to understand her so she'll open up, is just as much a sexist stereotype as the "simmering pool of molten sex". Someone elsenet drew my attention to this bit:

You probably knew someone like her. The smart girl. The shy girl. The one who wore glasses and was a little socially awkward. The one who screwed up the curve in chemistry so you got an A- instead of an A.


Notice how he defines her in terms of himself -- she isn't notable as a super-smart girl who exists as her own person, but as a person who affects his grades. Also note the implicit assumption in his phrasing -- "You probably knew someone like her" -- that his audience does not include anyone who was like her. This is exclusive language that signals this discussion is from the hetero-male perspective. Of course, if he did use inclusive language, he'd run the risk of the object talking back and making herself into the subject by saying something like, "Sorry I didn't live up to your adolescent fantasies, but you know I'm my own person with my own life who makes my own choices."

Ok, Do you consider Shakespeare sonnet 18 to be sexist? The bard is literaly comparing women to nice days? If you are going to go so far down this path where comparing someone to something you concider to be of high value is wrong, then where does this end?

First of all, the objection isn't that he's comparing women to something, but that he's comparing something to women in a way that treats women as objects to be valued based upon how men view them.

Secondly, sexism isn't just, "Eww, girls are icky!" It's a way of viewing the world that's deeply entrenched in Western culture (and, indeed, many cultures around the world). Most classic works of Western literature are sexist, and that applies not just to Shakespeare but Austen and the Brontes -- they were products of sexist societies, so how could that not be reflected in their works. When reading older literature, it's important to understand how sexism molded the writer, just as it's important to understand arete and themis when reading Ancient Greek literature. With modern literature, we need to draw attention to the sexism so people become aware of how it shapes their own way of looking at the world.


message 144: by DMS (last edited Feb 21, 2012 10:44AM) (new)

DMS We obviously have different definitions of a lot of words. Including half way. Half way doesn't mean you get to define all the terms and terminology and tell me what I think.

"You call me a sexist then refuse to define or prove on what ground you call me a sexist."

You set the rules for the test. You supplied the data set. I just formatted the list.

Incidentally, you could learn a lot from that sonnet you keep insisting what I think of. Shakespeare starts by asking if he should make the comparison and then immediately suggests that it is inadequate. He seems to have already grasped what is eluding you.


message 145: by Jacqie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jacqie Sean wrote: "Hitandmiss wrote: "@Sean Are you reading the same blog as me?
“the girl was eye-candy to begin with”
He clearly says “You didn’t have a crush on her because she was some simmering pool of molten se..."



Sean, where was this elsenet? That's quite good- thanks for mentioning it.


message 146: by Joel (last edited Feb 21, 2012 11:15AM) (new)

Joel shall i compare thee to a cinematic adaptation of one of my favorite books?
thou art more genuine and less mass marketable.
rough cgi does shake my sense of disbelief,
and the movie's adaptation hath all too short a running time.
sometimes too overemphasized the plot and action sequences,
and often the depth of character dimmed.
and every sequel from prequel's quality declines,
by chance, or budgets allowed to expand, untrimmed.
but thy entertainment value shall not fade
nor be compromised by translation from one medium to anoth'r.
nor shall bloggers brag that the original was better
when in eternal lines to time thou ares't original
so long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
so long lives this: the book was better, and so are thee.


Hitandmiss @Jacqie "Everything you loved about her is gone." this is the core line to me, The disappointment he is feeling is not from finding out she does porn or anything else, It’s that the format he is seeing her in now doesn’t value the qualities he found attractive in her in the first place,

If the analogy was that she now drives nascar. It would still hold, if he met her in real life and she was now totally into fashion and joked about what a nerd she used to be and couldn’t believe how lame that was. The analogy still holds. If he had seen her on the internet as a Top model on the runways of Paris. The analogy still holds.

The inverse also holds too, He found her online doing star wars reviews. He found her online doing a deep break down of the history of porn and sex. If he found her online doing the geekiest sub topic of science nearly no one cares about, where her mind was on show. His infatuation would still be true.

It has nothing to do with the why she made a change; at no point does he denigrate porn or her choice. This is the linchpin of your argument that she has lost respect/value due to her choices, that he considers her less than she was before. The analogy holds that it’s not the story/girl who has changed, The scenario he is seeing her in, book form vs. a reimagined story movie studios demographically create / Real sex vs. Staged Porn sex.
I agree it might not have been the best of analogies, I don’t doubt he could of kept everyone happy by talking about scenery or cars or something. I doubt they would get the message across as to how strongly he loved that book and story (He is an author he would value them highly) and likened it to something everyone can relate too, A first crush. As I said before, I have no problem with people disliking this blog post, Where I draw the line is with people thinking 1 blog post which at best might be regarded as slightly sexist and 1 character in a book (which is set in a historic fantasy setting in which the author in no way makes the hero out to be an ideal role model) and labelling him a sexist.


message 148: by Jacqie (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jacqie Joel wrote: "shall i compare thee to a cinematic adaptation of one of my favorite books?
thou art more genuine and less mass marketable.
rough cgi does shake my sense of disbelief,
and the movie's adaptation h..."


Like!


message 149: by DMS (new)

DMS Joel wrote: "shall i compare thee to a cinematic adaptation of one of my favorite books?
thou art more genuine and less mass marketable.
rough cgi does shake my sense of disbelief,
and the movie's adaptation h..."


<3


message 150: by Richard (new)

Richard Joel wrote: "shall i compare thee to a cinematic adaptation of one of my favorite books?
thou art more genuine and less mass marketable.
rough cgi does shake my sense of disbelief,
and the movie's adaptation h..."


Hilarity, thy name is Joel.


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