Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Christine O'Donnell explains dating history using 'Lord of the Rings'

By Emi Kolawole
Christine O'Donnell's victory on Tuesday has many digging through archives to find footage of the Republican Senate nominee. This digging has produced a 2003 C-SPAN recording in which O'Donnell delivers her assessment of gender roles in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien

"You see Tolkien's wisdom applied to just about everything: Tolkien and communism, Tolkien and industrialization," said O'Donnell, while leading a December 2003 discussion at the Heritage Foundation as communications director for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI). "In researching this topic I even found a book with a chapter on Tolkien and sexual fetishes."

The discussion centered on Bradley Birzer's book "J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth," which was published by ISI in 2003.

"It's so surprising, then, especially in today's very hyper-sensitive, post-Gloria Steinem world, that there's such a lack of commentary on Tolkien and women. While we were researching this topic, the only writings that we could find on this subject were on those freebie high school essays, you know, budding feminists who were saying what a chauvinist Tolkien was," O'Donnell said. "Is it that people assume that women don't have an interest in Tolkien? ... Whatever the reason why this topic hasn't been explored, it's an excellent topic that when you do dive into it it can provide very fun insight and amusement into the creature that we call the woman."

O'Donnell, alongside her intern and niece, Jenna Murray, continued at length on Tolkien's treatment of women, taking on his individual female characters one by one. "To throw in a female just to appease the misguided demands of today's moviegoers would severely take away from the film's legitimacy," she said.

At one point in her remarks, O'Donnell attempted to determine which of Tolkien's characters she most resembled: "Look at the significance that he gives to Eowyn, the Lady of Rohan. She was a warrior spirit and, to me, that's who I love. I mean, I aspire to be soft and gentle like Arwen, but realistically, I'm a fighter, like Eowyn."

Later O'Donnell links Tolkien to her personal life, saying that, while Tolkien "strikes a very good balance between men and women and the extreme attitudes of femininity. On one hand, there's the attitude that's normally on the conservative side -- as a conservative woman, I feel I can say this -- that stifles women. There's almost the stereotypical attitude of, to be a true woman, you have to stay at home. And I've actually had people say to me, 'Why do you choose a career over marriage?' Honestly, I've had only a few significant relationships, and they've broken up with me. And one of the things I've been told is, 'If you weren't so strong, you'd be married by now.' So there's the one stereotypical attitude and then there's the extreme that says I don't need to be married. ... And what Tolkien shows, he strikes a very delicate balance between the two."

The video was first found by Politico.

By Emi Kolawole  | September 15, 2010; 3:45 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What is the tea party? A primer
Next: Ad of the Day: MoveOn goes after Ayotte and Paul

Comments

O'Donnell knows witch craft...cool..have a symbol of ALL of these CAREER politicians..
can I make them go away...?
Everyone--pass this on ---
Google >> taxes we pay
eye opening...now you can get mad...

Posted by: rw62827 | September 18, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

O'Donnell knows witch craft...cool..have a symbol of ALL of these CAREER politicians..
can I make them go away...?
Everyone--pass this on ---
Google >> taxes we pay
eye opening...now you can get mad...

Posted by: rw62827 | September 18, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

What I would like to know is anyone following the points raised by her former campaign mgr...that she used campaign money for her living expense, and since she has not had a job in 15 years she used it as her personal piggy bank.

These are very serious charges, and we all know if a Demo was facing the same claims the Repub/teabaggers would be all over this issue 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

There are very strong laws on the books that cover the miss using campaign assets and then there is the IRS to deal with the not reporting the taxes on it.

Posted by: meyer390 | September 17, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Garbage? Looks like the Tea Bags are hypersensitive. I thought the article showed her in a good light as being intelligent and leading a discussion. Besides, once in office her staff will do the heavy lifting, and she'll do the up front stuff. So lighten up Tea Baggers and remember you're only good for one brew, then you get soggy and dunped.

Posted by: seadoc777 | September 17, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

O'Donnell is certainly a strange bird.

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | September 17, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Yippee, And Jimmy Carter saw flying saucers and Clinton plays a Saxophone and Obama loves vacations and to top it all off I bet they have all masturbated at sometime in their life. So let's get real, quit dumping on O'Donnell, she is going to win cause everyone is sick of the Demo liberal bulls--t.

Posted by: 2012anewstart | September 17, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

What's the point of this article? She's on a panel that is discussing a book about Tolkien. Good gosh, is this the best that the Post can do to try to smear a tea party candidate? Don't you think readers can see through this kind of desperation? This kind of reporting is one of the reasons the tea party is thriving.

Posted by: juliadee | September 17, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

First question is: Did she READ Tolkien or just go to the movies??
Elect Aragorn ;-)

Posted by: Tartan58 | September 16, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

First question is: Did she READ Tolkien or just go to the movies??
Elect Aragorn ;-)

Posted by: Tartan58 | September 16, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

First question is: Did she READ Tolkien or just go to the movies??

Posted by: Tartan58 | September 16, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow -

Here we have a full article, with an anti slant, about a person who has interests other than just self elective, self serving greed and posturing.

What the "reporter" shared showed someone who was capable of consecutive and creative thought.

And this woman is viewed as a problem?

Sorry - but, based on my observations and the classic "reporting", this woman is a step above the cognizance abilities of our current congressional leaders.

Too bad that being supported by one or the other party is an immediate "kiss of death" by small minded people who only see life by the letter behind the last name.

Perhaps the thinking, rational voter population can regain control of our government from the rabid "anti D", "anti R" and "anti TEA" crowds who are swayed by the media, and it's self serving, advertising revenue focused commentary.

What is saddening is that reporting no longer deals in the who, what, where, why and what's so of the story, but in fact brings more of reporter's personal agenda and leanings, left right or center.

Please - take a page from Joe Friday - Just The Facts, Just The Facts -

Posted by: JohnSpek | September 16, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

So the journolist cabal has decided the issues have got to be kept out of the election process. What to do!! How about insinuation and smearing. It's what they do best. I've got news for you, it hasn't worked in the past and won't work now.

Posted by: dcharlson | September 16, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with and dislike much of McDonnell's political viewpoint, what little I have actually heard of it, but much of the criticism here is unfounded and unfair, if they are based on no more than this article. She actually sounds to me like a fairly bright, interesting woman.

That doesn't make her right, politically, and it isn't necessary to pretend that she is an arrogant, uncultured barbarian in order to demonstrate the weaknesses of her policy positions.

Posted by: Observer44 | September 16, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

What is telling about O'Donnell from this piece is she appears to have delusions of grandeur, considering the comparison she made between herself and Tokien's fantasy female characters, going so far as to use it as a rationalization for her failed relationships. Megalomania may be a trait Satah Palin is seeking out in making recommendations of who Tea Smokers should vote for, however the electorate at large will be rightly wary of any candidate exhibiting megalomaniacal tendencies.

Sorry about all the posters who could not figure that out. Maybe you are not as intellectual as you might view yourself being.

Posted by: TheghostofLennyBruce | September 16, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I believe she's an orc in disguise.

Posted by: bluecollarbluejeans | September 16, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Not sure how reading and commenting on LOTR has any bearing on a political campaign. Plenty of LOTR fans in the boomer generation though. Her comments were well thought out. Also I know plenty of female LOTR fans.

Posted by: perkins2 | September 16, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The more I read dribble like this, the more I want to contribute to Christine O'Donnell's campaign. Yesterday, her website was swamped but today it may be fixed. Can you imagine the pandimonium if the Washington Post had done a similar piece on St. Barack and turned up his Rev. Wright connections? Hah! Thanks, Post for energizing us Tea Partyers. I voted for Obama but that was then and this is now. I've had enough of the propaganda and lies. It's time for real change. Obama is too wedded to special interests and unions.

Posted by: Narquan | September 16, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

The more I read dribble like this, the more I want to contribute to Christine O'Donnell's campaign. Yesterday, her website was swamped but today it may be fixed. Can you imagine the pandimonium if the Washington Post had done a similar piece on St. Barack and turned up his Rev. Wright connections? Hah! Thanks, Post for energizing us Tea Partyers. I voted for Obama but that was then and this is now. I've had enough of the propaganda and lies. It's time for real change. Obama is too wedded to special interests and unions.

Posted by: Narquan | September 16, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I appreciate a senate candidate who has other interests besides collecting money from ethanol lobbyists.

Posted by: JBaustian | September 15, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

The Post is just helping us appreciate the more nuanced character of Christine O'Donnell in order to help sway a few folks. Sweet, simple folks who might say say, "hey, she sounds like a sweet kid. She can't be THAT bad." And, they
ll say, she really loves her Christian faith.

Hmm... is it 2000 or 2010?

Posted by: tfburke19 | September 15, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

How old is she? anyway I would like to see what her view is on foreign affairs, the economy, housing market, other domestic issues, what does she plan to do, if she becomes elected.
http://dimensionbuildlv.com

Posted by: remodeling | September 15, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I just heard this woman's name yesterday for the first time and people say she is a kook. But I thought her LOTR comments were right on. Good for her.

Posted by: nancybolt | September 15, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree. You can intellectualize almost anything if you put your mind to it.

What I find most puzzling is that Republicans, and Tea Partiers in particular, love to talk about Democrats as being too intellectual and therefore too far removed from the people - they did that when V.P. Al Gore ran in 2000 and when Sen. John Kerry ran in 2004, and now they're doing it to Pres. Obama.

So what I find absolutely fascinating is this woman who is a Republican and backed by the Tea Partiers, discussing a subject that one can only describe as intellectual with a conservative think tank!

So, who are the intellectuals? Sounds more like the Republicans are beginning to reveal their true colors and how they're trying to bamboozle Americans by portraying themselves as "just one of the guys or gals."

Right. Like a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Posted by: kentuckywoman2 | September 15, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

As a political junkie who finds almost anything with the slighest political implications intersting, I am totally mystified as to why the Post believes that this has any implications for her suitabiliy as a candidate.

Of course, as a Tolkien fan for 44 years since I first read the LOR trilogy, I an glas she has thought about it and has spent her time very wisely relative to sthe majority of our policians. my uniformed opinion of her just went up, could that have been the Post's goal?

Posted by: TuckerAndersen1 | September 15, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I know we should all do constructive critiques but give me a break. She's looney. I read those novels and that's all they are I suppose there's some weird undercurrent but honestly they were just fantasy not exactly Albert Camus.

This sounds like a movie playbook written by John Waters.

Hey if she can reference Tolkien...

Posted by: davidbronx | September 15, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

As a Tolkien fan, I found Ms O'Donnell's comments reasonable, balanced, and insightful. Based on this small sample of her thinking, she comes across as sane, smart, objective, and good-humored -- obviously far from the wingnut fringe. Amidst the dearth of alternative footage, that's a good enough reason for the Post to print this thing, though their actual reason might have been to present evidence that she is a flake for wasting brain cells on Tolkien. I am reassured that, should she happen to win election to the Senate, we could do much worse and probably will in many other states.

Posted by: sharonegan | September 15, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Easy puzzle: the men she dated were probably all closeted Log Cabin Reeps.

Posted by: tmorgan2008 | September 15, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

She actually has a very poignant view of Jean Luc Picard's management style as well.

Posted by: cadam72 | September 15, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

So?
As in: So What?

Posted by: JimHale1 | September 15, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Just keeps getting better.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | September 15, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

While I actually do see a similarity to the Brownshirts that 'you-know-who' mobilized 75 years ago, I am trying to take a more comical view of this negative and trully crass movement. How about we call them the Tea-Tard Movement..it fits really well and it will take them a while to realize it's not a compliment. And they can wear helmets so they don't hurt themselves when they goosestep...ooppps..I mean march.

Posted by: DriveDaLane | September 15, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

..yawn..

This is news? A 7-year old neutral discussion of Tolkien [fantasy] writings? You're kidding, right? Somebody at the WaPo actually approved this garbage for the PostPolitics web page? You guys must really be stumped looking for dirt on O'Donnell. Maybe the extremely passionate Tolkien-reading generation will step up and have debative comment and the Post will use that to rate her leadership abilities or speculate as to her sexual orientation? As if anyone cared? What is this garbage?

I'm predicting (betting on) the complete demise of the Wapo by the end of 2012. Any takers?

Posted by: flintston | September 15, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

What's more telling than this quote is that somebody thought it was somehow newsworthy.

Posted by: postfan1 | September 15, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company