Gender and The Hobbit


It’s time to come out of the closet. I love The Hobbit. I love it so much that I love the movie too. And while I usually agree with articles that deplore the absence of women in popular media and stories, in this one case I have to make a rebuttal to those who say The Hobbit has too few women.

Bilbo Baggins is a woman. Yes he is. Here is an official list of the incontrovertible evidence:
1. Smaller than a man.
2. Quieter than a man.
3. Uses wits and intelligence to solve problems, as opposed to brute force.
4. His body hair is gently ridiculed.
5. Frequently underestimated.

I won’t go into degrading stereotypes such as he is a good cook. The evidence is clear enough for me. I read The Hobbit every year or so when I was young, to go on Bilbo’s journey and shake my head at the coarseness of dwarves and men. And to celebrate the hidden power of the small, smart, and underestimated.

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