dresden_kink_mods: black and white crescent moon and stars, sort of a burn out affect (Default)
dresden_kink_mods ([personal profile] dresden_kink_mods) wrote in [community profile] dresden_kink2011-03-21 09:37 pm
Entry tags:

Discussion Post

Meta goes here! Questions of a non-modly manner go here! Everything that isn't a prompt, fill or feedback goes here! Beware of potential spoilers. Please warn for spoilers, especially Cold Days spoilers. Do not put spoilers in your subject lines.

"Meaner than Men"

(Anonymous) 2011-07-02 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
I'm going through Storm Front again, and I've hit the part where Harry's talking to Murphy and Carmichael about who Tommy Tomm and Jennifer Stanton's killer might be. Harry is utterly convinced that it's a woman, because, as he says, "Women are better at hating than men. They can focus it better, let it go better. Hell, witches are just plain meaner than wizards" (21, paperback).

My question: given what we know of Harry now (Harry's life has been filled with men from both sides of the fence, from manipulative and abusive Justin to his loving father Malcolm, and from the super-strict Morgan to laid-back Bob), where did this ideology come from? If you consider that most of the powerful men in his life have either abused him physically/emotionally/magically or had the potential to (as I don't remember anything canon-specific about Eb being so), where are the "mean" women in his life? Lea, as I see her, isn't so much mean as she is manipulative - and she appears to have had very little of a "mean" impact on Harry's life after Justin, since she's still waiting for him to fulfill his end of the bargain.

The idea that women are meaner than men (given his experience with men - only one, possibly two, "good" father figures) had to originate somewhere. The women I remember in canon only showed their "hate" potential after Harry gives the above statement (in Chapter TWO).

And, final note, is this why Harry is so insistent on treating a woman "like a lady"? I.e., is he afraid if he doesn't they are somehow going to exact revenge?

Please note, I'm aware of the inconsistencies of Harry's logic - he does not, for example, treat Bianca "like a lady". Perhaps because she isn't technically human? On that note, most of the women who show their "mean" potential around him are not vanilla mortals - they're from the magical side of the world.

Re: "Meaner than Men"

(Anonymous) 2011-07-04 02:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I can't really say if Harry's had personal experience with it or it its even justified, but there are plenty of old sayings about the cruelty of women. It's pretty much a commonly accepted idea that females can, and will, be the meanest thing in your life. I mostly think of it as "Mean Girls" hyped up to a major crimes unit, but what have you.

Yeah, it's not a good opinion, but its one that's been shown with more and more frequency in media and awareness. I can see how Harry would (stupidly) pick it up.

Re: "Meaner than Men"

(Anonymous) 2011-07-06 02:57 am (UTC)(link)
Different Anon here. Even by the first book Harry's been a PI (or working for a PI) for a while, and it's entirely possible he's gotten a lot of very bitchy clients. I mean, there's probably a reason he refuses to do divorce work. >>;

Re: "Meaner than Men"

(Anonymous) 2011-07-07 10:58 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't know. I didn't stumble over it at first, mostly because it was the first book and yeah, there are a lot of cliches about women being meaner than men are - and better at "hating" the way Harry says it. It's fairly common to find that sort of cliche. Even after I read through a few times, it didn't even blip. This time, though, it suddenly struck me that Harry's *very* insistent on the fact that it's a woman because - in his mind - only a woman could hurt someone like that.

Which to me says that he's either experienced a woman who behaved so cruelly or he's very deep in denial about a man who's acted that way. It's possible it's just the cliche and Harry's just being sexist, but it seems to me like he very much wants to believe that a man's just not capable of hating the same way a woman does.

I'm on the fence as to what I think (if you can't tell). As we go on in the books we find out that Harry's dealt with his fair share of "bitchy" men, probably just as often as the women. And one of his comments is specifically about "witches" - I believe it went something along the lines of "Hell, witches are just plain meaner than wizards." Which got me thinking about which witches (pardon the pun) he knew/knows that he's thinking of. Aside from Ancient Mai and Elaine, all the other witches I can think of are minor characters, and aren't particularly mean or cruel. Bianca isn't a witch, but she is a vampire and she does fit the "mean" category to match Harry's idea, however Morgan can also be said to be mean in a similar manner - Bianca's looking to punish Harry (with death) for a crime he didn't commit, and Morgan's looking to punish Harry (with death!) for self defense (a "crime" he had to commit).

And I can't see a witch going to Harry Dresden, thorn in the butt of the White Council and one who wears the Doom, for a little wizardly PI work.

Re: "Meaner than Men"

(Anonymous) 2011-07-07 10:59 pm (UTC)(link)
and yeah, the witches line was quoted above. silly me for not going back to look.