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  1. Blarg. You have all these interesting comments, and I’ve not yet completed this Firestarter! I apologize, but I don’t want to pull my train of thought away from completing it, by diverting brain cycles to giving you thoughtful answers. If you can hang on just a bit longer, please, so I can complete “What is the Heroine’s Journey?” then I promise to write good, thoughtful replies to all your good, thoughtful comments. Really! :)

    P.S. I thought you said Krinn (sp?) had a comment for the “Magic” series postings. If there was some technical problem with posting the comment here, please let me know and I’ll fix it soonest, ok? Cheers! :)

  2. Harry’s chivalry does mystify me, especially when he seems perfectly capable of viewing women as people. He does it all the time, and yet at the same time, manages to also sometimes treat them as people deserving of more protection than others, and less capacity for evilness than others. Does he just think of this huge succession of women that are clearly not victims as somehow strange mutants, and therefore the exception, rather than the rule?

    The problem here, of course, is the tendency to lump women right in there with children, as people that are not as able to protect themselves, are more immature, yaddayadda. Maybe, *maybe* this was a valid concern in the old days, where the idea of weak women was rigidly enforced by social mores, and strong women were called ‘witches’ and executed. (an interesting parallel to, in fact, one of Dresden’s books, where magic using women were singled out and killed. Putting Dresden in the position of him having to save them, rather than them being able to save themselves, except for the one female sorceress they had already hired to protect them that Harry viewed as a peer, yadda yadda…)

    The problem of course, is that stereotyping maturity/self-reliance by gender or age isn’t good for *anyone*. It’s not good for the women, who are more equal to men than they have been in a while, and deserve to keep going and reach true equality. It’s not good for the children, because if they are coddled and treated and raised with the automatic assumptions that they have to be protected from ideas, then of course they will behave immaturely! And it’s not good for the men, either, for someone to expect that they can protect themselves and support themselves without help from anyone! How ironic would it be to have Harry bust his ass trying to save a woman who had already managed to save herself, and meanwhile, a man who was cowering in fear gets diced by some Big Bad?

    My biggest concern with this post, though, is your assertion that Harry just ‘gives up’ in the last book, and lets an innocent man take the rap. That feels like a far more narrow view of what actually happened, and without revealing too much plot, but biggest difference between Mercy’s situation and Harry’s situation was this: in both cases, politics were heavy as part of the plot. In the case of Mercy’s sitch, though (IIRC) there was no political downside when the real killer was revealed. In Harry’s situation, though, if the truth had come out, it would have made a bad situation worse. And if Harry and the others chose to hide the truth, but protect the accused’s name, that *also* would have made a bad situation worse. The one accused knew this, and therefore sacrificed his reputation on the pyre, to keep everything else from going up in flames. As Harry himself quoted: “how can you do the right thing, when there is no right thing to do?” Any way you cut it, something bad was going to happen. All Harry could do was minimize the losses. And that didn’t mean he had to be happy about it: it just means he had to do it.

    Considering that’s the way the world is – more grey than black and white – I can’t fault Harry for that. And in a way, it makes the accused no longer a victim, and rather a hero in their own right. Protecting others through self-sacrifice.

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