Men and women : difference feminism in the Wheel of Time

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-8' started by Adhara Jehanne, May 10, 2013.

  1. Ahmyra al'Ruley

    Ahmyra al'Ruley Mistress of Foretelling Aes Sedai Head of the White Ajah

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    There are some women like that out there *cough cough* me *cough*

    This!!! Parallel's the Adam and Eve story for Christianity today and the whole "men are the head of the household" nonsense ;)

    This!!
     
  2. Leira Galene

    Leira Galene Mafia Admin Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    Earlier in the thread someone mentioned Nynaeve ignoring Thom and Juilin in TSR and FOH... when I reread those books, it made me super angry because I sympathize a lot with her. Every time she brings something up, they talk down to her and roll their eyes at her suggestions, generally acting like they know better than that silly woman. As someone who runs into that sort of attitude way more often than I'd like, it's incredibly irritating and as a result, you overcompensate because you're mad. I mean, sure Nynaeve obviously doesn't know everything, but she expects to at least be taken seriously and she is acting how she thinks a leader should, because that's the only way she's ever been able to lead. In the Two Rivers, if she took someone's advice, they'd think less of her, so she developed a persona that she didn't need any help.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I get her. :lol It's interesting to me that, despite having so many women in power, that particular situation is so similar to real life examples of sexism. Particularly the kind of sexism that exists in male-dominated fields. It's really hard to keep your cool in situations like that, and she hasn't learned to control her anger (at all) at this point, and even actively encourages it, because it allows her to channel. I think people are way too hard on her, in general. :cheese

    I guess what's interesting to me is that, while there is definitely a feminist aspect to WoT, there's also sexism in it as well. Even with women in power-- as soon as they lose their power, it frequently returns to a power balance more similar to what you would see here. The example in particular I'm thinking of it with Morgase and Tallanvor, who basically starts seeing her as a love interest to boss around when she loses her throne, even though she has more life experience than him (that romance bothered me a lot). Culturally, going off of what Aran said, I wonder if this would fit in because mean are basically claiming power when they can because they frequently don't get to? Interesting things to think about.

    Especially because I just finished The Left Hand of Darkness, which is making me think all sorts of interesting things about gender duality and the cultural effects of it. :lol
     
  3. Aran Cherubim

    Aran Cherubim Resident Citizen

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    I have to admit, when I read the parts I think you're referring to here, I didn't factor gender in, I just assumed it was because her personality and attitude just rubbed them the wrong way. In contrast, the Malesome Threesome (Rand, Mat, Perrin) are initially really reluctant to take any kind of leading position. Of the three, it's Rand that later goes into "takes-himself-too-seriously" territory, and the Maidens work relentlessy to knock him down a few pegs. In addition... Well, Thom... He seemed submissive to Moiraine, although pretty reluctant to have anything to do with her, so the issue with Nynaeve might just as well be an age thing. He's been around the block a few hundred times more than her. A lot of the inner drama with Nynaeve is invisible to most other characters anyways, so they wouldn't know her motivations, just her actions (which are, in all fairness, often inexplicably brusque). But then I guess you could argue that I'm just mansplaining away gender problems. :p

    As for Morgse... honestly, Tallanvor always struck me as being a bit... over the top. In comparison though, the Aes Sedai aren't exactly super-nice to the women they see knocked from power either, whether it be Aes Sedai or former heads of state. I have no problem envisioning men wanting to throw their weight around if they see some fallen female authorities though -- the Children of Light seem to have this as part of their motivation, however indirectly from their hatred of the Aes Sedai (ie. Amadicia has no female healers, nearby Ghealdan and Altara's female heads of state are pressured heavily by the Children, etc.)
     
  4. Leira Galene

    Leira Galene Mafia Admin Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    Yeah, I mean, I'm probably a lot more likely to view things in light of her gender, because I identify with it. It's possible it's age related as well. My thinking was mainly because Thom and Juilin have some reactions very similar to ones I've gotten from (admittedly older, although older here tends to translate to sexist, not ageist) men that I tend to not get from other women. So I'm definitely projecting. :cheese

    I never thought about the Children in that manner. It's interesting that the Children, an all-male group, are just as disparaging to women as the Aes Sedai are to women. Why are they all male? I'm guessing they probably are too ingrained in the woman=witch idea, much as the Aes Sedai (well, the Reds, at least) are obsessed with the man=monster idea. Interesting counterpart there.