Sunday, October 25, 2009

Maid Marian

The story of Robin Hood, his band of men and his lady Marian, is one that has been retold many times, with many different twists and turns. And while each character varys in each portrayal of it, there are key characteristics that remain consistent.
Marian is one that has always intrigued me. Her feminine, and graceful side, and her strong, fighting one. While there are certainly many flaws to her character, she has been a picture for me of a young woman that has been able to achieve being feminine without being what many consider weak.
Feminism is huge in our culture, most women of today are reaching for "freedom" as they call it. This for them involves being away from the home, having a career and no room for a husband or children. In many ways Marian could be an example for them. She wasn't the kind of woman that would sit at home and do housework, she wanted to be out fighting along with the men. Doing something for her king and nation. And while I can appreciate her strength and desire to help, this something that I have always had a difficult time with as far as her character. It is very appealing and I enjoy seeing women who can fight and are out doing something. But is it right?
As women we are called to be keepers at home, to be under our husbands or fathers authority. And while it is commendable that Marian wanted to do something to help, was it truly the best course of action? When women seek to take control of a situation, or even just try to help in a way that is really the place of the men to do, we often see disastrous results, not to mention that is it going against the standard that God has placed for us in Scripture.
It is difficult for me to accept this in my own life. I myself enjoy the more "strong" side over the feminine one. But I have discovered that really it takes a lot of strength to be feminine in today's culture. Being a wife and stay at home mother is a very difficult task, not simply of itself but also in the fact that it in every way goes against what the world tells us women we are supposed to do. Strength is not merely something that enables the fighting attitude but also what it takes to stay at home and "do nothing".
Guess I rather strayed from the Marian thing, but this is just what thoughts I had her character.

1 comment:

Amanda Flynn said...

Some good thoughts. But I wonder if Marian really IS portrayed as a "fighting woman" in most older accounts and tales. To me, she has always been seen as a lady who simply did what she had to do. I think she usually only dons a man's clothes and takes to forest when her own life or dignity are in danger, and she does not fight unless necessity requires it (in self defence and et cetera).

In more modern adaptations I know she is portrayed as more of a warrior, as in the BBC TV show. Obviously that one had some issues and neither she or her father handled the situations properly. And there was no one else to stand up for the poor until Robin Hood returned - and he was a bit of a jerk. ;)

Regardless, the legend definitely leaves us with lots to think about. Thanks for sharing! :)