Peeta shouldn't have put Katniss on the spot in the interviews (and the beach scene I guess) without telling her, and he shouldn't have pressured her to have kids, Real or not real? This is a legitimate question btw, someone asked me the same thing and I didn't know how to respond. You say such smart things about Everlark I thought I'd try to ask.
Oh thanks, I’m flattered! I guess what these arguments are trying to imply is Peeta took away Katniss’ agency from her in all of these instances and pressured her or manipulated her to do the things he wants her to. I, of course, would beg to disagree. I think it is important to consider what kind of relationship Katniss and Peeta have and what their circumstances were in each of these situations when Peeta allegedly put her “on the spot.”
With the first interview, I guess the argument is Peeta should have let Katniss in on what he is going to say in his interview, or at the very least hinted of his feelings so Katniss didn’t get caught off guard. But before the first interview, Peeta and Katniss weren’t friends yet and Katniss did not fully trust Peeta, especially after Peeta asked to be trained separately.
If I remember correctly, Peeta did hint of his feelings for her, particularly with the line “she has no idea, the effect she can have.” But God bless Katniss Everdeen, she does not pick up on social cues well. Then again, I think we can all relate to that, even if it’s blatantly obvious, it’s hard for girls to say, “oh yeah, that boy is totally crazy about me.”
Moreover, Katniss was going to be in the Games with him, at that point she was convinced Peeta was going to kill her. So even if Peeta Ted Mosby’d Katniss and told her he has a crush on her before the interviews, she will think he was just messing with her head.
After the first interview, we saw how Katniss reacted to Peeta’s confession on national TV, she was ready to murder him back in their quarters. When confronted, Peeta admitted that it was his idea and Haymitch helped him with it. Not that I’m passing the ball on Haymitch on this one, but the element of surprise worked in Katniss’ favor. Her reaction to Peeta’s confession was genuine, and when she realizes Haymitch was right, that Peeta has done her a favor in helping her get more sponsors by making her look desirable, she turned around and ask if she looked like she could be in love with him also.
It is also an important distinction to make, as Peeta pointed out, that he said that he loves her, not the other away around. For me, that’s not taking Katniss’ agency from her. Her reaction was hers, nobody told her to react that she might return his feelings also.
It’s absolutely key that after all of the drama surrounding the confession, in the actual arena Peeta did not seek her out and encourage her to play out the love story—at all. Instead he pretended to ally with her number one rivals, even though he had to know that such a move was unlikely to endear him to her. And then he planned to die without much further contact. That, people, is not forcing a romance. Was he somehow supposed to predict—not knowing anything that was going on outside of the arena—that there would be a rule change that never happened before in 73 years? And that there would be a way for the rule change to hold? (Remember, he always suspected that it would be overturned.) Sure, Peeta is savvy, but the idea that all of this is some kind of master plan to force Katniss to be with him basically attributes psychic powers to him. (Plus I think it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t actually want to be with Katniss if she doesn’t also want it.)
And that doesn’t even go into how he tried to throw Gale at her in the second Games. How very entitled of him.
Perfect explanations above!
And where is Peeta in this sentence: "It took five, ten, fifteen years for me to agree"? That’s right. Nowhere.
There is no mention of cajoling, or convincing, or guilting, or wittling her down. If you read a woman slowly changing her mind about the suitability of her world for child-rearing, after a decade and a half of consideration, as a renunciation of her self-determination, then I think you’re bringing some assumptions about women’s decision-making capabilities or personal projections about childbirth to the table that are best left at home.
PS. “But Peeta wanted them so badly.” - There is really nothing wrong with Katniss taking the wishes of her chosen partner in life into consideration when making decisions about their future. Would people really have rested easier if the sentence said, "I didn’t really notice or care about what Peeta’s feelings on the matter were?" I hope not, because that’s a lot more unsettling than what Collins wrote.