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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:35 AM
Original message
Misogyny in Stephen King's writing.
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:13 PM by skypilot
I've thought this for quite some time but I was reminded of it a few nights ago after renting "Secret Window" a movie based on something that King wrote. Now, I haven't read any King is quite some time but I have read a few of his novels and have seen quite a few movies adapted from his writings and there is a really creepy misogyny in alot of this stuff. I know that alot (most?) of books and movies in the horror genre are thought to be misogynist thanks to the constant parade of women in peril and women as target of violence but there is something more personal about the misogyny in King's work. If I were his wife I'd be extremely wary. I've noticed that alot of his writings eventually involve a husband turning against his wife in a very violent way. We're all familiar with the rampage in "The Shining" but I've also noticed this tendency in "Thinner", "Secret Window" and "Storm of the Century". In "Pet Semetary" the mother is killed not by her husband but by her own son who is just a toddler. "Cujo" (at least the movie version, I didn't read the book) has a wife and mother trapped in a car being terrorized by a rabid St.Bernard after betraying her husband by having an affair. King's work just seems to crackle with resentment towards wives. Has anyone else noticed this in his work? Does it pop up in novels of his other than the ones I've mentioned?
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. Oh the humanity....
......he and his wife have stayed married and raised three children and have grandchildren now...they're still together after decades and he devotes most of his works to her and his children...so I don't think Tabitha has much to worry about where he's concerned....just sayin'....you need to read the entire Gunslinger series where he eventually praises her and degrades his sometimes *beastly* behaviors. :)
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
19. Yes, because no person who is married to a woman could be a misogynist.
As I posted below, I'm not sure I can call everything in his works or the examples cited by the OP as inherently misogynist, but--what does the fact that's he's been married a long time and dedicates his books to his wife have to do with whether or not the books exhibit misogyny?
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #19
39. I've enjoyed every book he's ever written....
...regardless of any misogynistic tendencies in them...most people don't even know the meaning of the word...much less how they fit the discription...life in and of itself...whether or not we approve of it's animalistic degradation toward women throughout history changes the fact that it's there more times than not....I refuse to nitpick on SK for it....when it's just simply a part of LIFE...love it or hate it.
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Tallison Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #39
118. Huh?!?
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 08:32 PM by Tallison
But the OP isn't talking about King's portrayal of misogynism; she's addressing the way she thinks his narrative perpetuates the phenomenon as a framework for his stories. That you can "enjoy" art "regardless of any misogynistic tendencies in them" is concerning.
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #118
119. I enjoy life most of the time too..even when there's misogyny in it..
...if you watch any form of entertainment in this world...it's there too...do I wish I could change it all in the blink of an eye...OF COURSE...but that isn't reality...much less fiction! :eyes:
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #119
120. BTW.....
....the OP can *think* whatever they want to...everyone perceives things to different degrees and *i think* the majority of people who've posted in this thread who've actually READ more of his work don't agree with the OP and have explained why...it's much more 'concerning' to me how some people can't accept the fact that people are NOT going to act or think the way we want them too...no matter how hard we try to tell them how wrong they are for thinking or acting against how we personally *feel* they should...as I said in my original post...oh the humanity.
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Tallison Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #120
121. Again...
It's the difference between documentation of misogyny vs. promulgation of it that concerns me. I'm not talking about Stephen King, I'm talking about instances of both in art in general. I wonder about anyone who could enjoy entertainment that incorporated qualities of the latter, whether because of or despite (which seems to describe your attitude).
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #121
123. and again I'll say....this world will never be a perfect place.....
....and realistically one has NO control over that fact in the grand scheme of things..if one lives their life viewing it through a microscope all the time..making issue of everything one disapproves of....one becomes a miserably depressed individual who enjoys nothing and might as well be dead...the Bible which is based on misogyny..is still the most popular book in history...go figure.
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Tallison Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #123
129. Eh, truce
At least you don't listen to Neil Young. :P
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #129
132. Accepted....
:hi:
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. I've never thought of his works as misogynistic.
:shrug:

If anything, he's lambasting men who are violent, IMHO.

Rose Madder is entirely about a woman who was smart enough and brave enough to escape her violent husband. The abusive man gets his in the end.

But yes, I've noticed that spousal abuse is a common theme in King's works. In the novel It, Beverly was abused by both her father and her husband. (Her husband gets the worst of it in the end, however.) I have read Cujo, but it's been a long time. I don't recall any affair, but it wasn't central to the plot, so I may have simply forgotten it. (The book does NOT have a happy ending.) Still, the abusive men tend to be the bogeymen, not the woman facing abuse.

I don't know why it's such a common theme in King's works unless he had some kind of personal experience. Who knows?
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Spousal abuse, spousal murder...
...and resentment. I'm sure it doesn't show up in all his work but when it does it gives me pause. Now, I didn't read "Storm of the Century" but the TV movie version ended with the husband despising his wife after she is forced to make an extremely difficult decision in order to save their town.
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. He was raised pretty much without a father
There may be some lingering memories of bad days when he was a child. Although I believe his father left pretty early.

I think a lot of people forget that writers make stuff up. Sure, there may be a thematic element that comes through time and again, but that doesn't have to mean anything. Almost everything the late author Jack Chalker wrote was about body changing. Far as I know he never morphed into anything else.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar after all.

To me, it makes for a satisfying story that these abusive men usually get theirs in the end. Kind of hard to root against the bad guy if he is sweet and pleasant.

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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. What would that have to do with whether there's misogyny in his writing?
I just--huh?
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #15
52. You're looking at it as misogyny
I see it as a plot device. Who are most easily frightened...no, make that TERRIFIED? Women and children. Sure we do some amazing things under harsh circumstances but we are smaller and weaker and the terror shows more easily.

Now, what would you think about a book about football linemen terrorized by a cat? Or even a rabid dog. It doesn't work as well for the genre.

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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
64. Did you read what I replied to
"I don't know why it's such a common theme in King's works unless he had some kind of personal experience. Who knows?"

So, I speculated that possibly he may have observed some spousal abuse by his father before he left.

Personally, I do not in the least think that he or his writing is misogynistic.

I don't think he ever could have had a pattern of abuse with his wife becuase he is a wealthy man and she could have left his ass and lived rich and happy without him. I think they have a fairly good marriage as it has lasted for a very long time.

If you don't think there is a causal link between men's attitudes towards women and their early childhood experiences with their mothers and fathers then I am not really sure what to say.



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Mad_Dem_X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
26. I agree - he's showing what monsters those men are
Most of King's work deals with everyday people, towns, and objects that look normal on the outside, but are dysfunctional (for want of a better word) in reality. I have been a fan of his for ages, and I don't look at it as misogynistic. He's tearing down the curtain between what we perceive and what is really going on under the surface. And almost always, the men who perpetrate the violent acts get theirs in the end.

Just my .02. :)
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #26
67. Except for "carrie," most of the true villains are men
Yes, there are some not-so-great women. But, the "baddies," both human and metaphysical, seem to usually be male (adults and children).

Oh! Annie from "Misery."
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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #67
128. I would not call Carrie the villain so much as the victim.
Remember, it's the popular girls who plot against her, basically pushing until she's left with no choice but to lash out. I consider Sue the villain in Carrie.

Annie is a baddie; Nadine in The Stand is the other evil female in his works, and hers we could say was caused by something she had no control over. There are hints that she was created or dedicated as an infant to her fate.
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #67
133. Yes, I was going to say Misery and Carrie.
In the movie (book) "Christine" it is a car that is evil and has a female persona (hence the name Christine).
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
48. well as far as Cujo goes
I remember that besides the wife, Cujo killed two other people - some guy living in a trailer faking disability, and the couple's son who was also trapped in the car. Also, he killed a male cop too, didn't he? I think it is a bit of a stretch to make the wife as THE victim, especially since she survives.
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #48
55. Cujo also killed his boy's father, who was an abusive
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:38 PM by Scout
controlling dickhead. Cujo's owner/boy and the boy's mother escape unharmed if I remember correctly.

ETA: the unfaithful wife is alive at the end of the book, Tad is dead, and the husband is alive.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. And the jealous girlfriend Christine?


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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
65. *snort*
:rofl:

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Tyrone Slothrop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
4. Haven't read much of his stuff
But the movie version of Dolores Claiborne seemed pro-woman to me.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. That stands out as an exception.
I didn't read the book but I loved the movie. That was a nice break from others of his work that I'd been exposed to.
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Aristus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
5. He just has a keen sense of what can be frightening.
What is more scary than the potential for violence by the person who lies next to you in bed?
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Left Is Write Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
7. The woman in Secret Window was the character's ex-wife.
However, I wouldn't read too much into King's works.

I have written two or three stories in which an abused wife winds up offing her husband in an unusual way. I've also written about a murderous prostitute, and another story in which a woman may or may not have caused the death of her lout of a husband.

I am neither an abused wife nor a prostitute, and I have no violent tendencies, let alone murderous ones. My husband likes my stories and does not appear to be worried.
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TheProphetess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
40. Excellent point, by the way!
:thumbsup:
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Aristus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
45. Off topic here, but
Left Is Write, you avatar is KILLING me! Those gorgeous lips! :wow:
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
8. It's balanced by some strong female characters
I think some if it was his own fears at losing wife and family.

The Shining; Well, if Jack goes crazy and he lives with his wife and son there really are only two choices for who he will go after. She gets away in the end after all. The only person he really hurt was Halloran who he seriously injured in the book.

Carrie, his first published novel centered around an abused female character. in fact it had a lot of female characters in it of all types. Some good, some bad, some almost evil.

In Thinner, he blamed his wife for the situation, but he was a prick. In the end it looks like they will all die including his daughter.

He is a married man. He writes stories about married people. If anything, he may be anti-male, as the men are usually the killers.

Read Gerald's Game, Delores Claborne (sp) and It and see if you still see the same trend.

As I was reading over your post I just caught the crack about his wife being wary. That was over the line. They have been fairly happily married for about 30 years. If he were a jerk she could have left him and laughed all the way to the bank. Like all couples they had ups and downs, I am sure. He had some major issues with drug abuse, but they seem happy and raised three kids who haven't been arrested yet.

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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. I wasn't meant to be a crack at his wife.
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 11:55 AM by skypilot
I meant it as in if I were married to him and saw his work I'd be wary. Didn't necessarily mean that she should be. I know that they've been married for quite some time and it was she who fished "Carrie" out of the trash bin.
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
12. You're looking too hard for something that isn't there.
As a horror writer, his books often feature all sorts of people in peril, not just women. And as a male, most (not all) of his books are written with a male protagonist/point of view. That's natural.
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
13. I have issues with the misogyny exhibited by the anti-choice characters
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:01 PM by BlueIris
he's written about. In the infamous "The Breathing Method," GP Emlyn McCarron makes a special point of expressing his disdain for women in the 1970s who "use a scrape to get out of a scrape," (as opposed to what women dealing with unintended pregnancy did in McCarron's time, when they had to go to back alleys, endure public humiliation and unhappy marriages). In "Pet Semetary," King goes out of his way to refer to Louis Creed's behavior at one point not as that of a caring physician, but as that of "an abortionist" (a person who is also a kind of physician, as freepers and some contributors on DU are to ignorant to recognize). In "Everything's Eventual," the premise of one of the stories is a woman literally going to hell, which King describes in the intro to the story as whatever we're most afraid hell is going to be, a condemnation which is connected to the woman's own guilt over having ended a pregnancy. At first, I let it go as a "he's written the characters as anti-choice, there's no other indication that King, Original Maine Liberal, is, himself, critical of those who excercise their right to choose or of abortion rights generally." Then, I started to wonder. That one piece in "Everything's Eventual" really pisses me off. The woman describes herself and her experiences in extremely misogynist terms. Yes, I get that he was writing her as self-hating, but the kind of terminology used is that which I most associate with a male perspective, not even a self-hating female one (in one paragraph, the women reflects on the times she waited for "her gynecologist to 'go prospecting' up her fifty-year-old 'twat'"). And I noticed that there aren't exactly any convincingly pro-choice themes in any of his novels, which could have easily been placed in the books for the same reasons the anti-choice shit is (character development, exploration of certain themes).

I'm not sure that I can see the victimized women and wives in King's work as evidence, in and of themselves, of misogyny. But, then again, see above. King has written that he writes about what is most terrifying to adults--misogyny is, or should be, terrifying to us all. He's also written that when he can't scare you with descriptions of things that are horrifying in terms of imagery, mood or theme, he'll "go for the 'gross out'" effect to freak out his readers. Again, see above.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
37. king is pro-choice
the books & stories are supposed to horrify you & indeed they have succeeded from the sound of it

they are not supposed to justify being self-hating or anti-choice but to show the horror of those emotions!
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TheProphetess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #13
38. Your point is a good one - that these are CHARACTERS
This is fiction we are talking about. By the way, see the post by Left Is Write above...

If an author writes about a character who happens to murder someone, that doesn't make the author pro-murder. I think that King's horror novels are being over-analyzed in this thread. Of course, that's my humble opinion. Imagination is what it is.
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CanuckAmok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
115. And he has an obvious anti-server bias.
When you cited "Everything's Eventual", it made me think of that story where the waiter goes absolutely batshit crazy for no reason and tears around the restaurant on a homicidal spree.

:wtf: ?
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Susang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
125. If you don't understand that those are characters
Edited on Sun Oct-02-05 12:16 PM by Susang
That King created to make the novels seem more realistic, then you may lack imagination.

His books are not misogynistic, but society is. Therefore, he's going to include some characters that may hold views you may not like, just like in real life. That makes the fake world of his novel seem all that more real. It's what writers do. It doesn't mean they advocate or hold those views themselves, it just means they understand their craft.

I can't believe I'm even writing about this, I'm not even a fan of King's. But he's far from being a misogynist. Every novel of his that I can think of has strong, independent female characters. I think this thread is really barking up the wrong tree.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
14. Read "Danse Macabre"
for an insight on Stephen King, especially the last chapter.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Why the last chapter particularly?
*
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
61. Because he explains why he writes the way he does. n/t
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soleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
16. Forget wives - it's kids he hates
It - Little boy dragged into the sewer and killed

Stand by Me - dead kid in the woods

Cujo - I think the kid dies in the book

Pet Semetary - kid run over by a semi

Delores Claiborne - girl molested by her father


Maybe King just hates everyone

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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. SPOILER!!!!
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Son handed over to a demon by the mother in order to save the rest of the town. Husband hates her from that moment on.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. The Shining made me resent "creepy kids" for the rest of my life
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. The Shining made me resent violent men for the rest of my life. n/t
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
43. Yeah, that too. Espeically those who drink with their invisible friend
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ronnykmarshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. That's because it touched
your hidden anti-child feelings.

:sarcasm:
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #27
41. It did. Especially since I was a young child when I saw it.
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qnr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
116. I doubt that (kids), with all that he and Tabitha have contributed to the
children of the Bangor area. :) Actually, contributed to everyone, what with the parks, library, university, etc.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
18. I don't think he's a misogynist.
Not by a long shot.

I do think he may be anti-choice, though. I remember seeing another example besides the ones BlueIris mentioned... can't recall the exact details right now, though.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. I'm going to change the subject heading...
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:14 PM by skypilot
...to reflect more clearly what I meant.

Original heading: "Stephen King's misogyny"

New heading: "Misogyny in Stephen King's writing"
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #23
31. I really don't think it's misogyny, though.
I think it's more just his exploration of the dark side that we all have.
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
21. He has a lot of different points of view. Several of his books
involve a strong pro women view point. Rose Madder, Delores Claiborne, The Gunslinger Series, Carrie, Firestarter. Women getting revenge or justice for the wrongs they have endured. He is not misogynistic at all, imo.
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Mad_Dem_X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. Exactly - Dolores Claiborne is a great example
as is the heroine of "Gerald's Game" and many other books.
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #21
36. Let's not forget the Stand and Mother Abigail . . . she was a kick
ass female character (as were most of the other women in the book).
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #36
62. Right, there are plenty of women in his books who are major
strong characters. He just gets into the minds of the different characters and writes from all perspectives. That's a gift. I wish I had it like he does.
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ronnykmarshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
24. Oh. My. God!
:wow:
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
28. Nah. I can't buy that.
I believe it's called "character development."

Women are victims in our culture, plain and simple. We are targets and we are objects. We don't like it, and we want to change it, but it hasn't happened. We are at the same time worshipped and condemmed for our womanhood.

I in no way can fault King for accurately reflecting this cultural dichotomy in his work. If anything, he is to be lauded for his balanced portrayals.

Have you read the Dark Tower series? If not, try reading those, especially the later ones, and then reconsider your thesis.
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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. ....
:applause:
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StopTheMorans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. .
:thumbsup: sometimes, you really CAN overthink some things...
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
32. king is one of the good guys
he's on our team as an anti-war pro-choice democrat & is well known for his loyalty to his wife of many yrs, the same wife who had to work in a donut shop when he was struggling, most men w. his $$$ trade in their 40 for two 20s as the saying goes, this is not stephen king

he is well-known for his uninhibited stream of consciousness of all the awful thoughts that come into our heads, including the racist & misogynist thoughts, but he is not a racist or a misogynist

horror is abt picking up the rocks & looking under them at the ugly side of the unconscious mind, which is a selfish 2 yr old that never grows up

horror is not abt a pretty hallmark card

king is not a misogynist & tabitha would likely punch you for making such a remark

he is however v. accurate at describing the garbage hidden in the human mind & getting it out into the open where it can be exposed to light of day

would you call tabitha king misogynist because of the goings-on in her novel small world or would you accept that she's just shedding some light on the weirdness of human behavior



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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #32
81. So glad to hear he's pro choice...
some of those characters he writes... yoiks!
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #32
106. "he is well-known for his uninhibited stream of consciousness...
of all the awful thoughts that come into our heads..."

No kidding!

King has insight into human nature and he's not afraid to put it down on paper. Even the very best of us have an occasional passing thought that is not respectable. It takes courage for someone to expose human nature for what it really is.

I once remarked to my mother, "Stephen King knows human nature so well it's almost scary." Of course, my mother wouldn't be caught with a Stephen King book in her house. Reading one would "shock" her, but deep down she would know that King is simply revealing the truth that lurks within all of us. Recognizing evil in ourselves is the first step to defeating it.
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
34. You've never read Rose Madder in which an abused wife takes
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:19 PM by ET Awful
revenge on her husband have you? (Dolores Claiborne has already been mentioned).
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #34
58. Rose Madder was the book that
finally got through to my middle son what I lived through with his father. For that I will always be grateful to King.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #34
74. she does not really take revenge
all she does is leave, but he feels the need to track her down at which point she defends herself and they become symbols of some sort of ancient goddess vs. Minotaur conflict.
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #74
76. And she works with the "lady" to lure her husband into the clutches
of the Minotaur, thus having her revenge (and eliminating future problems)
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
35. Furthermore, why did he give a killer car a female name?
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:21 PM by Fenris
"Christine" was effectively owned by Arnie Cunningham but the car controlled Arnie more than he controlled her. Is this King's way of saying that while men may exert some sort of "ownership" of their wives/girlfriends, women essentially are the controllers of men? I call misogyny.

And don't get me started on "Silver Bullet"...
Oh my God I am so being sarcastic. Jesus, lighten up!
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #35
42. oh come ON
killer cars in the 70s always have female names, who are you kidding, this was a story set in time & capturing the music of an earlier time

it would be as false to have the car have a male name, set in that time, as it would be to have a hurricane w. a male name, set in the 1960s

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ronnykmarshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #42
51. I call my car Catfish .
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:31 PM by ronnykmarshall


:crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #35
46. And yet LeBay represented the patriarchy--controlling Christine himself
So really, even when there is -finally- a strong female demon car character, a male always has to be pulling the strings. Why, Steve? Why are you so devious a misogynist? :cry:
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terrya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #35
56. .
:rofl:
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ronnykmarshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #35
57. Mouth drops .....
:spray: :rofl: :applause: :woohoo:
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #57
63. You've really highlighted Fenris's post, Ronny
:D
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ronnykmarshall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #63
66. mmmmmm hmmmm!
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #35
70. Plus, cars are merely for men to 'get inside' where it's warm & comfy & ..
...BRB.
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
44. obviously Stephen King is a serial abuser
based on your facts
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. Why the snottiness?
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:28 PM by skypilot
What "facts" are you claiming that I gave. I expressed an opinion. Jesus, is a civil discussion possible on this board anymore, even in the Lounge?
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #44
50. Next we'll be asking when he stopped beating his wife. n/t
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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
49. As some here who knows Stephen, you better be kidding
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #49
54. yeah, it may well be a leg pull
it would be a hard sell to me that anyone seriously believes king is a misogynist who knows much abt the horror genre or abt king himself

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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #49
79. Seriously?
Geez - would you please tell him that a blocked poet in Austin thinks he's the biggest thing in American letters since nobody else? His immense body of work is one thing - many writers are prolific, and some probably shouldn't be - but I think his grip on our culture and its fears is not just laudable, but damn prescient.

He's simply Dickensian, in so many ways. Someday, Dickensian won't be the word for it, because King will be it.
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
53. you need to read more King...
try Rose Madder, Dolores Claiborne, Gerald's Game, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Bag of Bones.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #53
59. That may very well be it.
But the works I've mentioned did strike my as having a misogynist streak. Despite what some on this thread might think, I didn't go looking for it. I rented "Secret Window" because I wanted to see a horror movie that I hadn't seen yet and there it was again: the husband (or, as someone pointing out, the ex-husband in this case) going after the wife. And he doesn't "get his" in the end.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #59
69. Was Johnny Depp in that?
I don't remember if I saw that or not. I guess that's irrelevant.

If the movie seemed misogynistic, that's quite possibly a fault of the screenwriter or the director. It would be interesting to find out if King wrote the screenplay for Secret Window, or if somebody else wrote after it was optioned. As well, some directors are horribly misogynistic, and it's obvious in all their work.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #59
73. I think he gets his
His dog's dead, his career's ruined, his nice guy reputation's ruined and the whole town knows he's killed people... the cops just can't get enough evidence to charge him with him. But they're watching him, And sooner or later they'll get him...

He's not yet behind bars or strapped in the chair, but he also didn't get away with it.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #73
77. You're right.
However, that smug voice-over and the close-up shot of him biting satisfyingly into that corn just kinda wiped all those things you mentioned out of my head. But you are right.
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #59
86. Judging King's work by the movies is a big mistake
You lose all of the characters thoughts for one thing. I don't believe he has ever adapted a novel for the screen. Yes, he did a version of The Shining for TV and he has written original screenplays, but by and large someone else writes the screenplays.


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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #86
88. I have considered that.
But the recurrence, even in the movies, of what I perceived to be a certain misogynist streak made me wonder about the source material. But I'm unlikely to read a King book that I've already seen the movie version of.
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #88
92. Well then I am sorry
but I see no reason to try to have a literary discussion if you aren't going to read.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #92
94. I have read some of King's work.
Not all of it or enough of it apparently. And I didn't say that I am not going to read. I said I'm not likely to read the books that I've seen the movie versions of.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #53
109. Bag of Bones is one of my favorite. n/t
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
60. What??? A rare male writer with strong female characters
Sure, some are nuts, but VERY few are victims. The little girl (can't think of name!) in "It," for example. You mentioned Wendy in "The Shining." SHE'S the real hero of the book -- she has the shining, and she is truly brave. Salem's Lot? Susan is brave but naive. etc.

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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
68. I think he's actually much more "abusive" to men
And I don't know that mysogyny is all that present in the horror genre. In the end even the silly horror movies end up with the female character as the hero, the one who survives, who thinks on her feet and overcomes the, usually, male aggressor. If anything it's somewhat feminist, I'd say. Though, of course she has to have her clothes all but ripped off in the process.

If you look at most of King's writings (or at least many), you *will* find, as you point out, the woman dealing with an abusive man, but almost always, she comes out on top. Gerald's Game and Dolores Claiborne very blatantly deal very directly with abuse of women, and how, ultimately, the women are the survivors. They have to deal with their issues, but in the end they come out ahead.

Mrs. Todd's Shortcut is one of my favorite of his short stories, and again there it's a woman who teaches the man something about living life. Great, great story. Coulda only come from someone who lived in Maine (or the Pacific Northwest).

david
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #68
72. Thanks.
I must just be stumbling across everything on the opposite side of King's spectrum. I didn't read Dolores Claiborne but I did see the movie--and loved it. I'll be the first to admit that my opinion was formed by a exposure to a limited amount of King's work. But what I perceived as misogyny and a seething resentment towards a principle female character by a male character happened to appear in almost all of them.
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Felix Mala Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
71. I've pretty much given up reading Stephen King. I've been
sucker punched to many times with set ups that didn't pan out or required me to read yet another book to "get it." That being said, I think King's chief literary contribution is the Mother/Daughter relationship in Carrie. I can see how he may have drawn from his own childhood as well. I think he will be remembered for that. Sadly, as a literary snob, there's little else I can recommend. If you bar any of his novels that end with great big explosions, you're not left with much. I hate long complicated stories the go for the Little-House-on-the-Prairie ending...
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #71
75. "Carrie" is my favorite work by King...
...and though some posters here thought that I was making a crack about his wife Tabitha, I am eternally grateful to her for fishing his draft of that novel out of the trash bin.
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Felix Mala Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #75
78. I wish more of his stuff was of that quality. I guess what I dislike
is the moral incertitude of his work. Good people, bad people, they all get harmed seemingly for nothing more than the narrow exigencies of the plotting.
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #78
89. Wow, that sounds a lot like
LIFE.

Guess he could be more like Horatio Alger, rags to riches, good prevail.

Read any Dickens? The good suffer often in his work. Just ask Sydney Carlton. He was the most "noble" character in the book and look at what happens to him.
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MISSDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #89
99. Yes! You took the words right out of my mouth.
Don't mess with Stephen King.
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Felix Mala Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #89
105. Yeah yeah yeah, big bugs dressed like clowns are always after me....
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #105
111. Hey!
You made a comment about not liking his moral uncertitude.

I replied it was like life and you come back with a smartass comment like that.

Great debate skills there.

Come back when you learn how to carry on a conversation.



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Felix Mala Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #111
113. Sorry, couldn't help myself... Devil made me do it...
I should learn my lesson and not discuss my views on King with the faithful. I don't mean to piss you off, really.
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #113
114. That's Ok
I can understand the temptation. The non sequiter was just a bit jarring that's all.

And BTW, I am not sure there aren't some clowns that want to eat me. :-)
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MISSDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #71
97. It is sad to see someone deprive themself of great pleasure
in order to show how "cultured" he is. You're missing some great reads. Lighten up!
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
80. So you are saying he portrays males as evil usually?
Now I am offended :)
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #80
87. Just in the works that I've been exposed to.
And I haven't been exposed to all of it directly through his writing. Some of what I've perceived has--to be fair--come through in screen treatments of his work. Apparently, there is alot out there that I haven't read by him but the books I've read and movies based on his books that I've seen did leave me with the impression that I expressed in my original post.
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #87
91. But that's your biggest mistake right there
I am certainly not trying to be snotty but you must realize that critiquing a writer by watching movies he did not adapt and your not having a real sense of the man's work will garner you some criticism.

There are some really crappy movies made from Philip K. Dick's work too. Doesn't change the fact that he was a very imaginative writer one bit.

Really, read some of the books that people have mentioned here, come back in a month (He writes such huge novels) and let us know what you think.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #91
93. I'm not taken aback by the criticism...
...or the disagreeing. What's bothering me about some of the post on this thread is just how snotty and rude some of them are. Some here have simply suggested other things I should read or noted that they don't perceive the same thing in his writing but then some others...
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #93
103. Well, there will always be a few.
What can you do?

I usually try to maintain civility and I have failed many a time. You never know what will set some people off.

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matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
82. this REALLY isn't a SERIOUS post is it?
naw, can't be.

right?
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
83. Sorry his work offends you - I guess all writings should be cleared
Through the bureau of cultural control.

Damn, and I hate Stephen King... skypilot, you're making me defend stephen king here!
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #83
85. Another needlessly snotty post.
I'm sorry I shared an opinion that you apparently don't agree with. Maybe I should run my opinions through the bureau of cultural control as well.
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #85
98. Speaking of snotty posts
Wow man, chill out
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #98
101. Wow man, chill out
You first.
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #101
102. Hey, I'm chilled
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #102
104. I'm chilled too!
Oh. You guys weren't talking to me, were you?
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
84. If writers can not write about things
Then it limits them just a bit.

One thing that people may not understand is he is usually a writer who practices "deep penetration" of character thoughts. In other words, the narrative prose in his books is from the viewpoint of his characters.

So, of course, a misogynistic character would result in prose that could be read as misogynistic.

Since you changed the name of your thread, which I don't think is right since we were discussing if King himself is misogynistic I will offer a new opinion.

Yes, his writing is at times misogynistic. That is because of the character's thoughts and speech patterns. I find absolutely nothing wrong with that. His work is by and large written for adults who should be able to discern the author's own values and opinions about the characters he creates.

There are very few men who can write good female characters. More often than not, he does a good job. Better than a lot of men.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #84
108. Agreed.
And because he is able to delve into the thoughts of all his characters, his books are not repetitive. He's one of the few popular authors whose works don't seem repetitive. Am I being repetitive by multiple usage of the term "competitive"?
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El Fuego Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
90. I think Stephen King is no animal lover
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 02:18 PM by El Fuego
Look at "Pet Cemetery" and "Cujo".

What is really creepy is that a dog caused Stephen King to have his car accident a few years ago, which really fucked him up physically for a long time. So it's like his hatred of pets was like a premonition he had that came out in his writing.
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MISSDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #90
96. What makes you say "his hatred of pets"?
Think of the lovingly told of dogs such as Cujo, The dog Formerly Known as Prince and the dog in The Stand, for example. He obviously cares about animals.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #96
110. Bad things happen to both good people and good pets in King's
stories. The character of Cujo was balanced. He was the ultimate "good dog" until bitten by a rabid bat. I felt sorry for him even as he tore out the throats of people who didn't deserve to die. A good writer can engender mixed feelings in the hearts of his readers.

King doesn't always follow the "happy ending" formula, so he's unpredictable. Good dogs as well as good boys can wind up dead at the end of his tales--and through no fault of their own.
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El Fuego Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #96
117. I actually read a interview with Stephen King
where he said he did he personally did not like pets.
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #117
134. At least he was honest about it.
It is hard for me to see how someone couldn't like pets, but it is a fact that some people are not animal people. That is certainly his prerogative.
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MISSDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
95. Aah, Stephen King. What hours of sheer bliss he has given me.
I can reread The Stand even today and enjoy it once again. What a writer.
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
100. My final comment in this matter
Was Herman Melville anti-Sea Captain?

Was Mark Twain a racist?

Was Robert A. Heinlein anti bug-eyed alien?

Did Harry Chapin advocate going into a tower and shooting people?


Writers explore humanity. The best explore all aspects of humanity. Including the uglier side of it.

This includes the work of Stephen King. Of all the male writers I have read I believe him to be one of the most sympathetic towards women. He has created some great heroines. He has also created some great female villains. And yes, he has created men who are not worthy of the women they are married to.

Quite often, his work is tragedy. Jack Torrence was not a particularly bad man. He had a drinking problem he overcame and he and his wife and son were going to start a new life. But shit got in the way and brought out the worst that may sadly be buried in all of us.

Whether we want to admit it or not.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
107. I've met him. He was a very nice guy.
I met him two years ago. He was very kind to my son and me.

He was one of my favorite authors when I was a teen.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
112. You know, I've been thinking about this
and I remember after reading Gerald's Game and Rose Madder that my reaction was one of astonishment that here was a MAN who truly understood a woman's terror.

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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
122. Anyone else trashes Stephen and I'm gonna start kicking ass.
Even tho he may think this entire thread is funny.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
124. This is (perhaps unintentionally) one of the funniest threads ever!
BTW, did you know his real name was Stephen Queen and he changed it to Stephen King? Things that make you go hmmmmm.... :scared:
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Susang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #124
126. I had no idea!
So that's why he hates women! :P
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Tallison Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #124
130. Well, slap some cotton on my ass and call me a rabbit
Edited on Sun Oct-02-05 06:12 PM by Tallison
No shit, eh?
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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
127. All of the works you reference are early work, IIRC.
When the guy was still coked up, on pain pills and booze and whatever else it was he was cruising on. Man lived in a chemical trail that would have killed most. His later work, while clean and sober, is more functional.

I think he was fighting some major demons in the process - not the least of which was a difficult relationship with his chronically underemployed and frustrated single mother and the legacy of a childhood of poverty. Breeds some resentment? Sure. All of the works you mention are from the early part of his career, when his psyche was still messing with his place in the world.

Now, as a writer myself, I can assure you that just because you write it, doesn't mean you do it or even think it's a good idea. I write a lot about monarchy in a positive light, but I'm no monarchist. I write about war, but in my life I'm 98% anti-war. I've written about orgies and group marriages, but I'm not about to go out and recruit a couple of extra wives for my husband. I write about magic, but no amount of drawing symbols on the floor and reciting incantations has ever done anything but give me a dirty floor and a talent for tongue twisters. I'd say that in the stories mentioned above, he was working with some of the basic fears and issues of our society - that women are often weaker physically and more vulnerable to violence; that we react more strongly to the image of a woman in danger than to a man in danger; that the idea of a child killing its mother is a universal taboo and a strong symbol for societal ills.

However... He's written some incredibly strong, believable women, and I am kind of ambivalent about SK. I like his stories, but the man's got a tin ear for prose. Try Dolores Claiborne, or It (Beverly is an absolute survivor). Try Black House - Judy and her Twinner are both incredible. All of the women in The Green Mile are self-possessed and strong; even Melinda while ill is vital in a way that the men really aren't (Except John Coffey). Susannah Dean in the Dark Tower Series is about the least terrorized and resented creation he ever made. Hell, even Rose Madder - which is not a great book by any stretch of the imagination - is centered really on strong, stable women who survive. And the women of the Stand are real people who are no more terrorized than anyone in a world of the dead would be.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-02-05 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
131. Victims are women
Edited on Sun Oct-02-05 07:49 PM by Sarah Ibarruri
I don't know that Stephen King's work is any more misogynist than any other creative work nowadays. Look at the plethora of books, short stories, TV shows, and movies which involve sadistic serial killer male murderers raping, locking up, torturing, and ultimately killing women. The latest fad is programs in which detectives hunt down the perp in such ghastly crimes. Sure, once in a blue moon the victim will be male, but seldom. Almost always the victim is a female.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
135. I Don't Think The Guy Who Invented "Fran" in the Stand
Could possibly be a misogynist. Nor the Shining's "Wendy" for that matter.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #135
136. I was away for the weekend...
Edited on Mon Oct-03-05 11:00 AM by skypilot
...so I have not been responding to this thread and I am surprised that it is still this high on the board. Let me make something clear that I don't think is clear to most of you. I am not calling King a misogynist. I am not saying that his wife should be in fear for her life. I specifically changed the original subject heading of the thread (Stephen King's Misogyny) because I realized that that it was tantamount to actually calling him a misogynist. I was referring to what I perceived as some misogyny in his writing, specifically in the works I mentioned. I wasn't trying to judge his entire body of work since I haven't read all of it. The line in my post about being wary if I were his wife was meant as a jokey aside and as I tried to clarify in one post referred to me, not Tabitha King. In other words, if I were married to him and read the works I cited I'd be wary. Like I said, it was a jokey aside but obviously the joke fell flat and I apologize for offending anyone with it.

Having said that, I must say that I am still a bit baffled by some of the responses here. I realize that misogyny exists in the world. It exists in the world because it exists, to one extent or another, in men.
One of the more recent post on this thread informed me that when King wrote the works I mentioned that he was grappling with substance abuse and personal demons. I'm not trying to make a case against King or convince anyone that he is a bad person but for the sake of argument I must ask: Is it entirely impossible that one of the personal demons he was grappling with was misogyny? Now don't bust a gut. Like I said, I'm not trying to "make the case" that King is an unrepentant misogynist but I'm wondering now why it is OK to mention that he was grappling with personal demons but it's not OK to speculate specifically about what one of them might have been, based on some of his writing. Again, I am not trying to convince anyone that King is/was a misogynist. In my original post I was simply offering an opinion about something that I perceived in some of his writing. People do that all the time about books, movies, music, etc. And they often disagree. I don't mind the fact that people disagree with me but the posts in this thread took on a really nasty tone.

One post accuses me of trying to show how cultured I am. I really don't understand this post at all. If I were trying to show off how "cultured" I am I would have picked a writer much more esoteric than King.

On edit: I was also NOT trying to advocate for a ban or boycott of King's work or for any kind of censoring of it.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #136
137. Okay. Fair Enough.
I get your point about referring to the writing more than the person. I'll look at that.

Up until say, Tommyknockers, I was a huge King buff. So let's look at his stuff, particularly the earlier.

Carrie: freak mom afraid of freak daughter. If you want to you can view it as a metaphor for young female sexuality (gotta keep her locked in a closet, you know ...). Look at it that way and the novel seems to imply that keeping it locked up and messing with its head is a bad idea. Ultimately, young Miss triumphs but at an amazing loss of her humanity (she turns killer).

Salem's Lot - I don't recall much about the women and treatment of them in that novel.

The Shining: another oppressed woman. This one has a little more forgiveness (she gives Jack a second chance) in her, but ultimately chooses to protect herself and her child - nearly dying for that choice.

The Stand: the main woman under pressure there is Nadine. Her problem is a fate she can't overcome. All of the other women (except for the chick from the drug store) are very strong heroines.

It: Here's another oppressed woman, only this one saves the day in both her youth and her prime years.

Most of the books you mentioned in your first post are the ones that came out after I stopped reading King very much. (Got a little too formulaic for my taste.)

My point is: no, I don't think his writings and his treatment of women are misogynist. I think they're quite varied. He's a horror writer. Writing about things we fear is his stock in trade.

Now, if you want to talk about Dean Koontz ...
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
138. Whoa
This is still going? :o
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #138
139. Yep.
I clicked on the Lounge this morning and there is was. Still.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #139
143. Heh... oh well.
:hi:

How's your day otherwise?
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #143
144. Oops.
I wasn't ignoring you. I left shortly after we both posted here yesterday. Anyway, my day went fine. I have a bit of a sinus headache right now, though. They've been pestering me this season. How are you?
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
140. Personally I think you're way off
Interesting, but way off.

Unless of course you are venturing to say all of western lit is sexist, which it is simply by the fact that it is all written from a patriarchial perspective.

But that's not something anyone can help.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
141. Female heroes/strong female characters in King's writing
Odetta in The Gunslinger.

The young girl/young woman (can't recall character's name) in It.

Charlie in Firestarter.

The wife in The Shining (read the book, ignore the movie).

A half-dozen badass female characters in The Stand, including Frannie.

Mrs. Todd.

The girl who loved Tom Gordon.

The young lady with the wolf from Eyes of the Dragon (another character I can't recall.

Dolores Claireborne, period.

Many more. Read more King.

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ismnotwasm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-03-05 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
142. I don't think it's misogyny
I quit reading him a few years back, but I've read quite a few. I avoid the horrible movies they make of his books at all costs. (except the original "Shining")
He just creates insane characters. In "The Stand" a male character is raped by a gun by another male character. Male rape is rarely dealt with.
I wasn't too impressed with the multiple partner sex scene in "It" needed to save the world from a demon (female recipient) But I understood what he was trying to say, I guess.
In "Thinner" the whole story is about a male cursed by "gypsy" and grows thinner, and thinner, until he looks like a horror character. The original reason he was cursed however, is that his wife was performing a sex act on him when he was driving, (shades of adam and eve?) and he killed someone. Don't want to spoil the end but it's definitely not misogynist.
He always creates a psychological background for his characters that give insight into why they do what they do, which is why I find him interesting. Or used too, I'm addicted to sci-fi now.
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #142
145. Difference of opinion/perception
It's interesting that you mention "Thinner" because that was the book that first caused me to look a little askance at King. I admit that it's been almost 20 years since I read it but it was the ending of that book that kind of rubbed me wrong. I don't think I picked up on shades of Adam and Eve in the car scene at the beginning but it is interesting that Adam and Eve would be mentioned in a thread that talks about misogyny given that some men's--at least some religious men's--attitudes about women are formed from the belief that Eve tempted Adam and caused The Fall. Like I said in a post yesterday, I'm not trying to make a case against King and I wasn't addressing all of his work but your post showed me that a discussion could still be had on the matter. Thanks.
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newportdadde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
146. Misogyny? I don't think so.. but the end of the Gunslinger has pretty
much done King in for me. Somthing just happened in those last 3 books of the serious, the magic just fell away. Maybe it was his accident I'm not sure.

Misogyny though.. well I think he has too many strong women characters to fall under that tag.
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El Fuego Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
147. The Stephen King thead WON'T DIE!
It is like something out of a horror novel...

:scared:
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