Katniss Everdeen is catching on fire. Why anger and defiance matter.

15 Apr


It’s here!  Squee!  The official trailer for the second movie in the Hunger Games trilogy, called Catching Fire.


Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of the Hunger Games, and of Katniss Everdeen in particular.  I’ll give you a quick summary of just what I think is so awesome about Katniss.

katniss and prim

First and foremost, she is motivated by the desire to protect her family.  She ends up in the games when she volunteers to replace her little sister, the only person whom she is absolutely certain she loves.  Katniss and her family live in a coal mining district, and they are the very poorest amongst a whole community of poor.  On the brink of starvation, the baker’s son tosses her some bread and saves her life and teaches her that survival is possible:  that she CAN live.


The baker’s son ends up in the games with her, and the turning point in the games comes when Katniss decides that Peeta is her family, too.  She would rather die than lose him.


Everything that Katniss does is motivated by her desire to protect her family:  her children (in the form of her sister Primrose and a 12 year old contestant in the games called Rue), and her husband.  Even though they are not married (they’re only 16!), the moment Katniss decides that Peeta is her family and under her protection, she becomes his wife.

saving peeta


The idea that a young woman’s life should center on her husband and her children is a story gone sadly missing from popular culture and from young adult culture in particular.  Katniss has some pretty amazing skills, but she acquired those skills in service to her family:  she hunts to feed her sister. She climbs trees to steal eggs from birds to feed her sister.  She sets snares to catch rabbits to feed her sister.


Those skills save her life.  And what does she do with her life?  She uses it to find Peeta and save him.  And then he saves her.

Back at home in District 12, Katniss has a relationship with Gale, who has helped her learn to hunt.  He is positioned as an alternate romantic possibility for Katniss, but he represents more the pressure on young women to discard husband and family than anything else.  There really is no possibility that Katniss will choose Gale.



In the Hunger Games, Peeta says “I wish I could think of some way to show them they don’t own me. That I’m not just another piece in their games.  If I’m going to die, I want to still be me.”

Together, Katniss and Peeta figure out just how to do that.  When the rules permitting two victors are rescinded at the last moment, Katniss defies the Capitol and she and Peeta agree to commit suicide.  They would rather die together than live apart.


The Capitol bends to their will, and allows both to be crowned victors, and in forcing the Capitol to bend, Katniss and Peeta have created a revolution.  The exploited, downtrodden districts, always on the brink of starvation, rebel against the Capitol. The whole society is in revolt.


And that is where Catching Fire begins.

In a previous post, a commenter wondered how it is that a nice pleasant middle-class white lady like myself could possibly love the anger and defiance of hip-hop music.


Judgy Bitch says she “loves” the “anger” and “defiance” of hip hop.

My question is – why is she so angry and what is she defying?

I was raised in the same general culture as she and I rejected it because I saw that many of the people were in fact angry and defiant for no reason. I believe this is what is also making American and British kids so depressed. They grow up surrounded by anger and defiance.

I’d like to know why Judgy Bitch holds anger and defiance in such high esteem.

Ayurvedic Yogi

I’m glad you asked, Yogi.

First of all, you seem to be confusing anger and defiance with cruelty and violence.  Here is one of the most angry, defiant people the world has ever seen:


He changed the course of a nation’s history because he was angry at how that society was treating his people, and he defied the forces of power and created a lasting change. He did so using non-violent techniques, but even Ghandi did not eschew necessary violence.

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.

Mahatma Gandhi

The short answer to your question, Yogi, is that anger gets shit done.  Defiance forces change.  Human history is one giant story about anger and defiance forcing through changes that needed to come.  Changes that benefit us all.  Changes that address injustice and turn wrongs into right.

And not coincidentally, anger and defiance expressed very publicly tends to be the domain of men.  There are women throughout history, of course, who have climbed on top of soap boxes and challenged the world to change, but they tend to be outliers.


Sojourner Truth comes to mind.  Ain’t I a woman?

I want to say a few words about this matter. I am a woman’s rights. I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal. I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that is now. As for intellect, all I can say is, if a woman have a pint, and a man a quart – why can’t she have her little pint full? You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much, – for we can’t take more than our pint’ll hold. The poor men seems to be all in confusion, and don’t know what to do. Why children, if you have woman’s rights, give it to her and you will feel better. You will have your own rights, and they won’t be so much trouble. I can’t read, but I can hear. I have heard the bible and have learned that Eve caused man to sin. Well, if woman upset the world, do give her a chance to set it right side up again. The Lady has spoken about Jesus, how he never spurned woman from him, and she was right. When Lazarus died, Mary and Martha came to him with faith and love and besought him to raise their brother. And Jesus wept and Lazarus came forth. And how came Jesus into the world? Through God who created him and the woman who bore him. Man, where was your part? But the women are coming up blessed be God and a few of the men are coming up with them. But man is in a tight place, the poor slave is on him, woman is coming on him, he is surely between a hawk and a buzzard.

Remember when women’s rights actually meant something?

Sometimes the role of anger and defiance is thrust upon women, which does not change the fact that anger and defiance is what brought forth change.


Rosa Parks got on a bus one day and decided she had just about enough of this black folks to the back of the bus shit, and she refused to move.

She changed the world.


Katniss Everdeen is halfway between Sojourner and Rosa.  She didn’t create the games, but she volunteered to go.  She was prepared to die, but defied the gamemakers until the last moment and she won!  Now she has sparked a rebellion that could change her whole world.

And she wants that change.  But not at the expense of Peeta or Prim.  Not at the expense of her family.

And that is how you understand what kinds of anger and defiance are productive.  When anger and defiance is in service to something greater than yourself, when it does not serve just your own ends, then you are looking at anger and defiance that can change the world.

group hug

The idea that we all should all just have a group hug and try to get along and take some Prozac to deal with the unpleasant side effects of injustice is part and parcel of feminist doctrine.  It’s part of a concerted effort to portray the feminine as always and axiomatically superior to the masculine.  Men get angry and defy authority?

The stupid, angry brutes.

The only acceptable challenge to feminist supremacy is to talk softly and address the leadership deferentially and couch your argument in terms that the ladies find acceptable.  And don’t make any dick jokes, you pigs.


At first blush, it seems pretty lovely.  Why of course, we should always try to have reasonable, civil disagreements where we both listen to one another and respectfully and politely come to some sort of compromise.

That’s fine when we’re disagreeing about whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher.


It’s a lot less effective when we are discussing some massive social injustice in which one group is benefitting from the mass exploitation of the other.  Here is Ruth Mason-Paull explicitly stating that a debate between feminists and men’s rights activists was going to be cancelled because the MRA folks just weren’t playing along with her rules of debate.

On Mason-Paull’s Facebook page, she said “I come from a middle class belief that people can discuss things and work it out through logic and reasoning. I understand that this is at best delusional when applied to certain members of our society.”


“Certain members of our society”.  Rather like saying “those people”.

“Work through logic and reasoning” is a code word for saying “neuter masculine debate”.


Men will be permitted to speak only if they agree to abide by the rules set by women, which assumes the feminine to be superior to the masculine.  That’s pretty fucking rich, when the entire debate is supposed to address the inequities faced by men in a culture that privileges women.

I’m sorry, men.  We can’t talk about how the culture privileges women because you won’t agree to our privilege to define the term of the debate thereby proving that WOMEN HAVE AT LEAST ONE PRIVILEGE.

Can we discuss the others?


At some point, polite debate is no longer possible.  At some point, your only option is anger and defiance. That doesn’t necessarily mean that violence is required.  But any reasonable person should be prepared for it.


I’m not going to ruin Catching Fire for those not familiar with the story, but the point of polite debate has long passed by the time Katniss and Peeta set out on their Victory Tour. Everything Katniss does is to protect her family.  She tries every strategy she can think of to protect them.  But at the end of the day, she picks up a bow and allows an ocean of anger and defiance to consume her.

katniss angry

Katniss is angry.  She is defiant.  She counts on Peeta to protect her while she carries out her mission to spark a revolution.

katniss and peeta

Sometimes the only way forward is through anger.  Sometimes the only defense is defiance.  As long as you are working in service to something greater than yourself, those qualities are virtues.  Typically masculine virtues, which is what makes it so easy to sneer at them, and wonder why on earth anyone would embrace them, let alone a woman.

It’s not that hard to figure out, Yogi.  You don’t have to be a man to care about universal human rights.  You just have to be human.


You don’t have to be a man to embrace masculine virtues, or see that they ARE masculine, or understand that those virtues are forces that can be used for tremendous good, as well as for evil.

And you don’t have to like or embrace violence to understand that sometimes violence is the only choice you have left.


President Snow says he is sending us a message? Well, I have one for him. You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground. Fire is catching. And if we burn, you burn with us!


Catching Fire and the whole Hunger Games series is all about sparking a revolution.  Making a change that has to come.  Addressing cruel injustice.  Righting wrongs.

Katniss Everdeen is the girl who lights the spark.

She does so in service to her family.

And in doing so, she finds herself.

There’s the long answer, Yogi.  I esteem anger and defiance because I understand how those things work to make the world a better place for everyone.  I defy the broader culture that would deny me the right to raise my own children.  I defy the story that my worth can only be measured in terms of economic production.  I defy the endless caveats that dependence on a man is dangerous and foolish.  I defy the relentless demands to  privilege everything feminine over everything masculine.

It makes me angry that those stories even exist.  Angry for my son, my brothers, my husband, my father, my friends, for every man who suffers under a regime that defines them as less than women.

That anger makes me speak.

And it makes me feel like myself.

And it really, really makes me want to take up archery.


The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lots of love,


28 Responses to “Katniss Everdeen is catching on fire. Why anger and defiance matter.”

  1. Rmaxd April 15, 2013 at 17:50 #

    “I can carry as much as any man, ” Bullshit

    Typical feminist retarded bitch, if you want a REAL woman who understood exactly how dangerous & useless the vast majority of women are, Florence Nightingale

    Goto ANY country, the VAST MAJORITY of women refuse to work, compared to the majority of men

    As for Rosa Parks, she refused to respect the rights of a country she was in, if anything she was a traitor to the country who gave her a home in the first place

    The hunger games, is typical feminist poisonous filth, women cant even serve in the military without turning into sluts & whores & getting knocked up to avoid active duty


  2. LostSailor April 15, 2013 at 18:35 #

    Great post!

    While there are a lot of people out there who like to be angry and defiant just to be angry and defiant, mostly on ginned up faux anger on the outrage de jure, I completely agree that righteous anger and defiance are indeed the prime motivators of real change. But they are motivators only, and how they are expressed and acted upon is what makes all the difference.

    I, too, am psyched about Catching Fire. Loved the books (I used to work in a peripheral part of the industry) and will be interested to see how they split the third one.

    Oh, and archery’s not hard to take up…


  3. sqt April 15, 2013 at 21:07 #

    There’s a big difference between entitlement-fueled anger and fighting against injustice. Modern feminism reeks strongly of entitlement.


  4. judgybitch April 15, 2013 at 22:54 #

    “I can carry as much as any man, ” Bullshit

    Agreed. Highly unlikely. If she can (which IS possible), she either an outlier, or worked in an aspect of production that did not require extreme strength to begin with.

    Typical feminist retarded bitch, if you want a REAL woman who understood exactly how dangerous & useless the vast majority of women are, Florence Nightingale

    The vast majority of women can carry healthy children to term, and ipso facto, are not useless.



    In modern culture, they are not physically dangerous, but they CAN be psychically dangerous, and that is just as important.

    Goto ANY country, the VAST MAJORITY of women refuse to work, compared to the majority of men

    Also true, but only if you consider economically productive work to be the only work that counts. I don’t work, in that I don’t earn a salary. But I make a productive man even more productive and I am raising three children.

    That’s work.

    Trust me.

    Not hard work, to be certain. Not even unpleasant work.

    But work nonetheless.

    As for Rosa Parks, she refused to respect the rights of a country she was in, if anything she was a traitor to the country who gave her a home in the first place

    Absolutely cannot agree with this. She was no traitor and the rules were fucking stupid. They NEEDED to be challenged, just as the rules NOW need to be challenged.

    The hunger games, is typical feminist poisonous filth, women cant even serve in the military without turning into sluts & whores & getting knocked up to avoid active duty

    They get knocked up once they realize the actual requirements of soldiering. Uterus pass.

    Katniss Everdeen doesn’t pretend to be excellent at combat, on par with the average guy. She can shoot an arrow because she has been HUNTING to provide for her family for years. Shooting birds doesn’t require much beyond patience, knowledge and good aim.

    When it comes to punches in the face, she would have DIED in about two seconds if it were not for Peeta. He saves her in the fight with Cato.

    I generally like you, Remaxd, but you are wrong, wrong, wrong about the Hunger Games.

    You should watch it.

    Katniss is a glorious role model. Her love for her sister and for Peeta is inspiring. She KNOWS she needs Peeta. It’s actually beautiful to watch her knowledge unfold.


  5. judgybitch April 15, 2013 at 22:58 #


    Exactly my point.

    Anger and defiance in service to your own selfish goals is destructive. Anger and defiance in service to others who are being treated unjustly is one of the most powerful forces for good that has ever existed.


  6. judgybitch April 15, 2013 at 23:05 #

    Spent my childhood with a bow in my hand. Mostly handmade. The arrows, too. Fire hardened hickory usually.

    I grew up on the open plains where gopher holes maimed many fine heifers and mares. And no, that’s not sexist. Stallions and bulls are too valuable to just let them wander around in open pasture.

    Steers, yes. Bulls, no.

    Spent hours and hours shooting the little furry rodent fuckers. Cute, but massive pests. There’s plenty of wilderness. No need to set up a gopher metropolis next to my farm.

    I wonder how good a shot I would be now.

    I sooooo want to try.


  7. Emma the Emo April 15, 2013 at 23:07 #

    Good case for anger. There are things in the world worth hating. It’s a noble feeling, when targeted appropriately, just like love. Of course, love and hate are not nearly as great if they are not backed up by action (no, violence is not the only action).


  8. LostSailor April 15, 2013 at 23:23 #

    As for Rosa Parks, she refused to respect the rights of a country she was in, if anything she was a traitor to the country who gave her a home in the first place

    This is just completely wrong from beginning to end.

    Rosa Parks had been seated in a section of the bus where she was allowed; when the “white” section filled, the driver moved a sign that marked the sections, but Parks refused to move. Legally, she was probably within her rights (it was never fully adjudicated). It’s called civil disobedience and she accepted the consequences of her action and was tried and found guilty of “disorderly conduct.” This is not disrespect of “the rights of the country” since racial discrimination on buses was found unconstitutional; she refused to respect an unjust law.

    She could not possibly be a traitor; you are ignorant about what constitutes treason. Perhaps read the Constitution.

    And the country didn’t “give her a home in the first place,” she was a native-born citizen.

    I know Rmaxd is just a common-variety troll, but most trolls aren’t this ignorant. And JB you deserve better quality trolls…


  9. Exfernal April 15, 2013 at 23:26 #

    Well, any comments about FEMEN, a radical “sextremist” group? SOO angry and defiant, cutting a memorial cross down with a chainsaw, “fighting” injustice by strutting half naked in public, wearing thought-terminating clichés written on their bodies. Some would just call it attention seeking behavior instead…


  10. LostSailor April 15, 2013 at 23:28 #

    I did some intramural competitive bow shooting in college. Wasn’t necessarily the best shot, though I did beat my instructor when I had to make up a gym credit to graduate (yes, we had a gym credit in college; I couldn’t believe the athletic director of the college was going to make me repeat a semester just for one gym credit.)

    Bow were much simpler then.

    But you should go for it. A wholesome family activity!


  11. judgybitch April 15, 2013 at 23:29 #

    But they’re angry and defiant trying to claim more rights for THEMSELVES.

    They are not working in service to anyone else.

    It’s absolutely attention-seeking behavior.

    If they were using those tactics to secure rights for anyone other than THEMSELVES, it would be valiant.

    Instead, they are just immature and entitled.


  12. pumpsix April 15, 2013 at 23:46 #

    The problem I have with the Hunger Games is that it gives women delusional thoughts. I am cool with self determination and all that, but the whole women partaking in combat to the death seem like a stupid idea.

    I wonder if there is a correlation between movies like Hunger Games, Disney’s Brave, Tomb Raider, etc. and increased violence against men.


  13. judgybitch April 16, 2013 at 00:17 #

    Winning the games isn’t always about brute strength though.

    In one of the games, they flooded the arena.

    All the non-swimmers drowned.

    And the winner was the one who could tread water and float the longest.

    That was a woman.

    Not that impossible to believe.

    Katniss kills Glimmer by dropping a bee’s nest on her.

    She CAN’T take on Cato (a trained fighter). She needs Peeta to set him up and then shoots him in the hand with an arrow.

    Even in a hand to hand fight with another girl, Katniss loses. A male tribute, Thresh, saves her by killing the other girl and then lets Katniss go because she tried so hard to save the little girl Rue.

    “Just this time, twelve. For Rue”.

    The arena is a perfect demonstration of the fact that there are few, if any women, who can take on men, physically.

    They need to use their other attributes.

    Femininity can be just as deadly.

    Ask any man who’s been through divorce court. He will likely attest to that.

    The Hunger Games deploys those qualities in service to family.

    It’s a gorgeous story!!!!


  14. Michael April 16, 2013 at 00:51 #

    Very well done two days in a row. I came to your blog months back through your YouTube as suggested through my ‘liking’ of MRA videos. I’m a middle aged white guy who manages. I build things, fix problems, and work hard on very tough jobs to get them done. I’m proud of what I do and sick of being told I’m a privileged misogynist rapist for it. Yes, I was divorced 15 years ago, my children taken to another province and my resources harvested by family court, so there are scars, now healed but still there for those who need to know.

    A funny thing happened with your last two posts. Rather than me cheering your articulate voice for men; they pointed me to my “partner.” She is my wife, of course, but we call each other that deliberately. She is like Proverbs [and I’m an Atheist] and she is like Katniss. Fierce and feminine. She would do anything for me and I will do anything for her. We’ve been through so much that way. Driving home tonight, I thought about your 2 posts and was so glad to walk in the door to see her. What a palace I have to come home to. Thanks!


  15. sqt April 16, 2013 at 01:07 #

    The Games aren’t about trying to prove equality between men and women (even in the context of a YA fantasy). They’re about intimidating and controlling a populace through fear. The Games are also a reminder that the government has so much control of your lives that they can (and will) take your children and force them into a gladiatorial fight to the death and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. They make it a spectacle because it makes it more palatable to accept the oppression.

    The Games are also managed to make them more television-ready and the game-makers have no problem interfering with the game to heighten the tension or keep a popular player in the game. The book is a pretty good commentary on our current state of politics and strange, voyeuristic culture.


  16. Jon April 16, 2013 at 02:09 #

    The Hunger Games is a sexist fairy tale and Katniss has about as much agency as Cinderella.

    Still think Katniss is a badass? Here, let me ruin that for you…



  17. Z April 16, 2013 at 03:28 #

    I watched the first movie, and then after I saw it… twice (and then pre-ordered it), I read all three books. Amazing! LOVE. A lot of people didn’t like Mockingjay, though. I really liked it. I felt like it was the only way it could have ended. What did you think of the ending of the series, JB?

    I can’t WAIT for Catching Fire to finally be on the big screen!


  18. Nicky April 16, 2013 at 06:59 #

    Standing ovation. Marvellous post defending anger and defiance.

    I think I need to get hold of those books!


  19. judgybitch April 16, 2013 at 11:31 #

    Hmmm, here is a surprise: Katniss never kills anyone


    Katniss kills Glimmer by dropping a nest of lethal wasps on her. She was trying to kill them all, but only Glimmer got a fatal number of stings.

    Katniss kills Marvel with an arrow to the chest

    Katniss tries her very best to kill Clove, but needs Thresh to do that for her

    Katniss kills Cato with an arrow to the face after Peeta sets him up

    Katniss indirectly kills Seneca Crane by making him look foolish

    And that is just the first book.

    Believe me, this is no fairtytale.

    It’s a Dystopian fantasy of the finest sort.

    Katniss is the very definition of badass.

    Sour grapes, Jon?


  20. Liz April 16, 2013 at 12:15 #


    I was thinking the same. The writeup was just bizarre. The person who wrote it has neither seen the movie nor read the books. Maybe they watched a short preview on Youtube.


  21. Luke April 16, 2013 at 12:48 #

    Not at all a bad piece in many aspects, JB, but I do quarrel with you on some parts of it:

    1) Hip-hop/rap is at its core a hate screed against whites, Western Civilization and its rules, Standard English, virtue, and cause & effect. It thus IMO has no net redeeming value.

    2) Look up the photos of modern Detroit by Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre to see if perhaps keeping Rosa Parks and her relatives at arm’s length might not have been the wiser policy after all: http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2011/02/07/captured-the-ruins-of-detroit/2672/
    (The intro page of “The Color of Crime” gives a pretty good summary of that group’s criminality, http://www.colorofcrime.com/colorofcrime2005.html, as this short piece does their culture: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/924795/posts .)

    3) Gandhi was a blatant racist himself (not much on whites OR blacks — see his writings about South Africa pre-WWII) whose thinking would have been horridly evil in its effects, if listened to more. For example, he counseled surrender to the British when under attack by the Nazis in the fall of 1940, saying that they should surrender, even at the permanent cost of being free, even if it meant that they were to all die. (This is a man who drank his own urine and commonly kept attractive, nubile young virgin girls to whom he was not married in his bed “to test his virtue”.)

    4) The chief heroine of “The Hunger Games” used what is practically a toy bow. A real longbow suitable for hunting large animals (such as humans) is one that many men and nearly women would have real trouble drawing and then shooting accurately. The famed English longbowmen commonly had twisted spines from the force needed for what they used.


  22. pumpsix April 16, 2013 at 23:37 #

    The books are fairly decent, but I do think the movie was done better. The story is pretty good, with the exception of one “fuck you” moment in the 3rd book. Plus Katniss and Gale should have gotten together, fuck Peeta (he is a nancy boy).


  23. Mark April 17, 2013 at 03:02 #

    “Nothing great is ever accomplished without passion,” said philosopher GWF Hegel. But Voltaire cautioned “no problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” (why say something original, if “someone else has already said it best.” I took that quote from American History X)

    I don’t know, indignation and anger have a way of tainting one’s judgment. They can be almost addictive. When I see a discussion happening, and people’s faces start to redden, their voices begin to get louder, that, in my opinion, is when the discussion begins to cease to be worth having. Of course, perhaps we’re talking about activism and not debate, but as I see it, the only kinds of activism that have much of a chance of success are those done with money or with bullets.

    It just seems to me that when people are angry and indignant they don’t get a lot done. Sure, they can destroy things, but have you ever seen anyone build or create something worthwhile while filled with rage. And knowing that most ‘issues’ supposedly worth caring about will not be settled till long after I’m dead or too old for it to matter, I guess it seems like an exercise in futility. I won’t lie, this is a major reason why I consider visiting blogs to be a ‘bad habit’ of mine, and not a good one. Feeding oneself reasons to be indignant, even if valid, can become worse than futile, but perhaps even unhealthy.


  24. Mark April 17, 2013 at 03:16 #

    “1) Hip-hop/rap is at its core a hate screed against whites, Western Civilization and its rules, Standard English, virtue, and cause & effect. It thus IMO has no net redeeming value.”
    Lol, I hate hip hop too, so I have to comment on 1). Personally, I never understood how so many people enjoy listening to an proclaimed ex-convict insult them virulently over the radio, talk about having sex with the listeners’ mothers and girlfriends, and proceed to talk about how great he is at everything. To each their own, I guess, but please don’t play it at 150 decibels from your car, as not everyone on the street likes terrible “music.”

    On 3), it is true that Gandhi had many faults. It is also of course true that Chruchill was a drunk, Roosevelt a philanderer, and by today’s standards George Patton would probably be called a fascist. These imperfections do note necessarily invalidate the value of their accomplishments, or the lessons thereof.

    On 4),.. Really? Hollywood inaccurately portraying weapons!!!? No way! I just don’t believe it. /sarcasm. If Bruce Willis gets unlimited ammo, Chuck Norris gets fists made of granite, and Steven Seagal gets to defy gravity, I think Evergreen’s bow can probably be forgiven. Granted, I’ve never seen the movie, but still.


  25. Nicky April 17, 2013 at 09:11 #

    The premise of that appears to be that since she is a fictional character, all her decisions and their consequences are under the control of the author, meaning she has no agency. And this is gendered how, exactly? This is simply the free will vs determinism argument: if a powerful being can control the consequences of our choices, and manipulate events to force us to make a particular choice, do we have agency? (I’d say that yes, we do. Just because a choice is limited – kill or be killed, for instance – and I may not WANT to choose either option, does not change the fact that it is still a choice. And someone coming along and preventing me from killing or being killed AFTER I have made that choice doesn’t negate the agency involved in making it.) The lack of agency, the defensive, reactive killing, the manipulation of the players in the game – um, that’s part of the point, surely? The contestants in the hunger games – ALL OF THEM – are being manipulated in the exact same way.

    And let’s look at agency in Cinderella. Are fairy tales really so sexist? Who has agency in the story?: the prince being forced into marriage by his parents?; the henpecked husband who can’t protect himself or his daughter?; the stepmother who schemes and plots to climb the social ladder by marriage (her own and later her daughters’)?; the fairy godmother? Cinderella herself – who, in many versions of the tale, performs several tasks for her step-mother/sisters in order to be permitted to attend the ball, (but is cheated out of the deal, and then rewarded by the fairy godmother instead). Cinderella is *not* just handed the dress and the prince for being pretty – she *earns* them as a reward for her virtue. It’s not really that different from any story where the hero wins the hand of the fair princess with a little magical help. The moral is that to live happily ever after you have to be good and virtuous – that may mean different things for men and women, but the moral is the same.


  26. Judah Hoover April 18, 2013 at 02:29 #

    I want to read this book, the book you are talking about, not the poorly writen tween book by the same name that I read. (Sarcasm now off) In all seriousness, I think this is why I hated the books so much, not since the Matrix has a trilogy so utterly failed to live up to what it could have been.



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