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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Chapters 27, 28, and 29


Always Sunny

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ETA: I'm just letting you all know that this is the blog post where I get really, really angry with a character (probably one of your favorites). Just so you know. Be prepared to get your hate on, too. I can take it.

 

 

Shelter from the Storm

 

Okay, I'm twenty-seven chapters into this book. How many more do I have left? Twenty-six?! I'm only halfway done. Well, let's get it on.

 

This chapter starts with a leaf icon and the first word is "Perrin" so I'm guess my favorite people are showing up. That's right: the Tinkers!

 

It doesn't take more than one paragraph for Perrin to start acting like a dickhole. One night he stumbles upon the Tinker camp and they share their food with him. They then offer to let him tag along as they make their way southeast. Sounds like they are doing him a favor, no? Too bad he seems to spend a lot of time trying to get them to move faster than they want to go. He complains that they are going too slow for him. Well, who gave him the right to command these people what to do, huh? Even that tightwad, Elyas, is taking it easy on this trip.

 

Note that "tightwad" is fine by my spellchecker but "dickhole" is not. That is all.

 

Perrin gushes about how gentle and fun-loving and zesty the Traveling People are. As much as I love 'em I can get tired of this kind of observation. Even worse is that it's coming from Perrin. I don't expect this kind of philosophical, poetic monologue from a hillbilly blacksmith. Seriously, I don't think Bubba the NASCAR fan deer hunter saying something like:

 

[T]heir walk [is a] stately dance no less exuberant for its dignity.

 

Is there a thesaurus in Emond's Field that Perrin liked to read in his spare time? Where did he learn big words like that? He's a blacksmith (and that's pretty much all we know about him; no idea about his family, his interests and hobbies, or anything) so why doesn't he notice blacksmith-related stuff? He's never shown any interest in music so how does he even know what dulcimers and zithers are?

 

Whatever. Perrin continues his preternaturally keen observations. He suspects that there is something dark underneath the cheery exterior. An entire community being content? That ain't right. And Elyas, the mad man who killed some state troopers and ran into the forest to live alone with the woodland creatures, agrees with Perrin that the Way of the Leaf leaves a nasty taste in his mouth.

 

Perrin is also worried that the Trollocs might come after them. It isn't as if Trollocs have ever been much of a threat but for the sake of the story let's pretend that they still are. If the Trollocs attack the camp, Perrin says, then three wolves and a caravan of pacifists isn't going to stop them. They need to get moving so that... so that there will be even fewer things available to stop the Trollocs. I dunno.

 

Elyas is eating pie given to him by a woman who doesn't like him. For free. Sure, Elyas doesn't like pacifism but eat a woman's pie. Anyway, the madman says that he's got a gut feeling that's telling him to stay with the Travelers. You know, the same gut feeling that tells him to wear tin foil hats and tells him that the government is putting chemicals in the water supply (he's got literature about that stuff if you want to sign up for his newsletter, "The Aes Sedai Conspiracy Watch Journal"). This is a stupid thing. The author couldn't come up with a good enough reason to have Perrin stay with the Tinkers so he does "just because". Elyas has a feeling in his gut and we should trust it. Let's hope it doesn't turn out to be gas.

 

At night he wandered among the rainbow wagons worrying, as much because no one else seemed to see anything to worry about as for any other reason.

 

First, the wagons are painted in bright rainbow colors. Contrast that with the spiked black armor that the Trollocs wear. I don't really enjoy the Black is Evil thing going on. Morality isn't color-coded. But at least the wagons are pretty. Second, look at Perrin! The crazy mountain man who has lived in the woods for who knows how long isn't worried. The pacifists whose religion says that they should flee from danger aren't worried. The wolves following behind him, wolves with superman-like senses, aren't worried. But Perrin is. There is something seriously wrong with this kid. He needs help. Maybe there are therapists in Tar Valon that can help him with his paranoia and buried anger problem. I'd suggest he get laid but that only brings to light is problems with women.

 

Whoa, speaking of problems with women, check out this next part. On the second night of his stay with the Tinkers, Perrin is treated to a Dance of the Seven Veils kinda dance with three girls. Not women. Girls. Several times it mentions that they are girls (it is only later that a woman shows up to dance). And Perrin is embarrassed because he doesn't know anything about women. Sure, he knows that he should want to be with one, as a man. But look at the way he treated Egwene. Constantly giving her the horse to ride, getting in front of her, telling her what to do, telling her to stay away from Aram.

 

He doesn't see women as a equal to be loved but as a thing to be protected (or as an authority to be obeyed, but even the male Village Council is responsible for the protection of the females in the village). He sees them, I think, as a prize to be won and kept. He's not going to let anyone steal his girl (like Aram) but beyond that? What's he going to do with a woman? And these three dancers don't need to be protected, no mean ex-boyfriends or Trollocs here, so he has no idea what to do with them.

 

Anyway, they dance for him and he's embarrassed. Can't they be modest like a good Light-fearing woman? It's bad enough that they speak without being spoken to. Freaked out beyond all measure, this man-child (would it even be fair to call him a "man"-child since he's only a teen?) breaks off into his own world, shutting his eyes and blocking out the women dancing around him. "I'm in my happy place. I'm in my happy place. I'm in my happy place," he's saying to himself (more or less) as he tries to escape reality. This, fellow readers, is the beginning of a mental illness.

 

After the whole incident Elyas creeps me out even further with this gem:

 

"I have to thank you," Elyas told him, his tone sober and solemn. "It's different with you young fellows, but at my age it takes more than a fire to warm my bones."

 

Ew. It turns out that being alone in the woods looking a thirty year-old copies of Playwolf isn't enough for Elyas to get it up anymore so he thanks Perrin for getting the teenage Tinker girls to dance half naked in front of the bonfire (to "warm his bone", so to speak). I don't think it is Elyas's violent nature that makes the Mahdi and other Tinkers wary of the wolfbrother. No, I think it is the way he looks at their young women with his lecherous yellow eyes.

 

Egwene starts to learn the dance and Perrin flips out. He doesn't say anything, of course, because he knows she'd ignore him (look how confronting her about Aram backfired). He may be turning into a psycho wolfbrother but he hasn't turned stupid. So she learns and Perrin seethes. When Aram gives Egwene a gift Perrin vows to keep an eye on that Tinker boy. Damn it, no one but Perrin (and Rand, when they finally get together and Perrin will have to revert back to being the Bitch of the Two Rivers Boys. But Rand isn't here now so Perrin is king) gives gifts to Egwene. She belongs to him, he has to protect her, and no pacifist Tinker pussy is going to take her away from him. No one is taking his girl from him!

 

Once he managed to get Egwene alone, beside a wagon painted in green and yellow. "Enjoying yourself, aren't you?" he said.

 

Can you imagine how creepy this must be for Egwene? Perrin gets her alone behind a wagon somewhere. Somewhere no one can see them. Then like a jealous boyfriend asks, "enjoying yourself, are you?" It's an accusation, a condemnation. How dare you enjoy yourself! We are on an Important Quest! I'm miserable about it and you should be, too! And notice that this quote said "once." In the days that they've been traveling this is the one time they've been alone together. Egwene is avoiding you, Perrin. Stay away from her.

 

Then Egwene shocks me:

 

"Whatever is going to happen will happen whether we leave today or next week. That's what I believe now. Enjoy yourself, Perrin. It may be the last chance we have."

 

One, I agree with this in principle. Carpe Diem, you know? But Two, Egwene has changed. I think she is trying to come to terms with the fact that Nynaeve, Mat, and Rand are probably dead. Moiraine, her ticket to becoming something more than a mafia princess in Emond's Field, is likely dead, too. She's stuck in the middle of the wilderness, hundreds of miles from home, with a "friend" from home with an unhealthy obsession with her. Her life, at this point, is shit. So screw it, you know? Screw her dreams of being an Aes Sedai, screw fighting the Dark One, screw going back to that stupid inn to be a stupid Wisdom in the stupid Women's Circle for the rest of her stupid life. Screw all that. She's going to dance like a Tinker girl and she's going to bang Aram like there is no tomorrow because face it: there may be no tomorrow. Okay? The Dark One has won. Game over, man. Game over.

 

She's in a dark point in her life, just like Perrin. Only she's not going batshit insane about it. Or maybe she is going nuts. It's just that her form of crazy is to forget who she is, to lose herself in a world of carefree fun (in a modern setting she'd be going to the clubs, dropping some E, and making out with what's-his-face with the cute beard in the bathroom). Perrin's form of crazy is to cling to who he was, a simple blacksmith from a simple world with simple rules. He's cutting off everything on the outside and trying to maintain what he knew. And he knew old Egwene, not this dancing stranger-Egwene. This new Egwene needs to stop. Or be stopped.

 

Perrin doesn't come to this conclusion, though. He blames the Tinkers. It's their Way of the Leaf that is seeping into their minds. Other people and their funny religions are ruining Good Decent Folk like him and Egwene. Look at that dance she's learning to do! That isn't right. That's not what the Light intended a proper young lady to do. She's supposed to have braided hair, you know, and dance sensible square dances to sensible music. Those damn Tinkers are corrupting her!

 

To fight back against those goddamn hippies, Perrin constantly wears his axe right out there in the open. It's like going to a modern day political rally here in the USA with an assault rifle across your back. It's intentionally provocative. Perrin's showing the Tinkers that, unlike them, he's got a dick with a pair of hairy balls right next to 'em and he's not afraid who knows. Maybe then, Egwene will stop acting like a... you know.

 

Perrin has more dreams and they are boring to read about. I finally (I can be really slow, sometimes. Well, most of the time. Okay, I'm always slow. I admit.) got the dog metaphor. The wolves are to the dogs the way Perrin is to the Tinkers. Perrin and the wolves are hunters, killers, vicious beasts that take from others. The Tinkers and their dogs, on the other hand, are companions, safety, friendly brothers that share with you. It took me a handful of chapters but I got it. I'd still like to be a dogbrother more than a wolfbrother. Yes I would. Yes I wouldy woody wood. Yes I would! Who's a good boy?

 

That's my talking-to-dogs voice.

 

Moving on. Some time ago Elyas said that Dapple was the pack leader. I assumed that means Elyas was in the pack and followed Dapple's commands. But, no, that would have been cool. Instead, Elyas is somehow in charge of Dapple and the pack. Otherwise, what self-respecting pack alpha would reluctantly go along with an underling's plan when she didn't want any part of that plan? And Dapple doesn't want any part of Elyas's plan. So even though Dapple is pack alpha, Elyas is in charge. Or something. It doesn't matter. Wolves are stupid.

 

Stupid though they may be, we've got a couple paragraphs of the internal politics of the wolf pack. Now, this could be very interesting. If you compared it to human politics, with packs competing against packs for territory and resources. That'd be neat. But that's not what this is. This is just three wolves bitching about food. Are wolves people or are they animals? If they are people then are other animals? This needs to be asked because it has profound moral implications. One can't look at Trollocs as monsters for eating human-people if humans eat cow-people.

 

Whatever. More dreams. The only important thing is that Ba'alzamon seems to have overcome Perrin's Lone Wolf Dream Defense System. How? He set fire to the wolf! Poor figment of Perrin's imagination. I wonder, though. Ba'alzamon broke the back of a single rat in Rand's dream a few weeks ago. When Rand woke up there were a dozen rats with broken backs. When Perrin wakes up will Hopper, Dapple, and Wind be piles of bone and ash blowing in the wind? One can hope.

 

But one can't hope for too long because Perrin wakes up (after the Dark One's Number Two "marked him" or something; a bird plucked his eye out) and finds that the wolves are still alive. Again, Ba'alzamon seemed like an interesting bad guy way back at the beginning but now he can't even burn a wolf to death in the real world. Weak.

 

Perrin wakes up and Elyas says it's time go to. They don't bother to consult with Egwene and get her opinion. She's a woman, after all, so who cares about her input? Dicks. Eventually she comes over to the boys' wagon (Where had Egwene been sleeping? In the backseat of Aram's 1967 Chevy Shaggin' Wagon?)and Elyas explains to her why they're leaving. As a reader I still don't know what that reason is but it's enough to convince Egwene. Whatever.

 

As an aside: Who gave them space on their wagon? Do you want to be known in the Tinker community as the wagon owner who kept weapons in her home? And did they pay for any of the meals or lodgings or dance lessons? No! People just give stuff to the main characters.

 

As they get set to leave the Tinkers all say goodbye. Perrin is hugged by the dancing girls and thinks that, hmm, maybe he can stay after all. See, somewhere in that twisted mind of his is a levelheaded heterosexual boy who just likes titties. But it's too late now, Perrin. Maybe you should have followed Egwene's advice and seized the day a few days go.

 

Egwene has a fight with Aram. Seems her new boyfriend wanted her to commit while she just wanted to be friends. He storms off (and will no doubt regret that his final words with her were in anger; we've all been there) and she hops on Bela (because Perrin will never get on the horse they are supposed to be sharing). Elyas, Perrin and Egwene set off in one direction while the wagon train goes in another. The Tinkers are looking for a place called a stedding. These are supposed to be safe. Whatever that means.

 

Perrin learns that he can keep the wolves out of his head. Let's hope he does this from now on and end this whole Wolf Subplot. The chapter ends with a pretty funny back-and-forth between Perrin and Egwene.

 

Finally he said, "What did you spend so much time talking about with Ila? If you weren't dancing with that long-legged fellow, you were talking to her like it was some kind of secret"

 

"Ila was giving me advice on being a woman," Egwene replied absently. He began laughing, and she gave him a hooded, dangerous look that he failed to see.

 

"Advice! Nobody tells us how to be men. We just are."

 

"That," Egwene said, "is probably why you make such a bad job of it." Up ahead, Elyas cackled loudly.

 

There's a lot to unpack in those lines and I don't feel like writing much more.

 

One, it was funny, probably the funniest thing in the whole book.

 

Two, it breaks the Third Person Limited POV. This is inside of Perrin's head, right? We see things from his point of view. So how can he know that Egwene gave him a "hooded, dangerous look" if he failed to see it? He didn't see it so Perrin shouldn't know that she gave it and it shouldn't be here in this paragraph.

 

Three, it's none of Perrin's business. She's not prying into his lap dances nor his "I carry my axe around but I'm not compensating for anything" attitude at the camp.

 

Four, it shows just how clueless Perrin is when it comes to women. She just broke up with Aram so you could show some sympathy, ask her if she's okay, something like that. Perrin isn't interested in making Egwene feel better, you see. He wants to what what she's been up to. I'll bet he'd be a Facebook stalker in real life.

 

Five, maybe Egwene was going to Ila for Tinker Maxi Pads. She's probably run out of all the rags or tampons or whatever she brought from Emond's Field. However, I'd like to think of her going to get some Tinker brand condoms or maybe a morning after pill.

 

Poor Ila. Being asked for a contraceptive from the girl your son is banging is bad enough but the thought that he might leave his home to be with his baby mama is even worse. Maybe that was what the fight between Aram and Egwene was all about. Aram wanted to go but Egwene is all, "this was a one-time thing (and by "one time" she meant ten times over the course of a week)." Perrin, being mind numbingly inexperienced with women, is mostly oblivious to all of this.

 

Footprints in the Air

 

This chapter has a cool title. Sounds like an indie band. I'm also 415 pages into this book of 813 pages. I can see the end from here.

 

Nynaeve is riding behind Lan and the Aes Sedai as they ride to Whitebridge. The Wisdom is awed by the impressive bridge but she keeps it cool so she doesn't appear like the country bumpkin that she is. Now, on the one hand I can agree. I don't like telling people I'm from West Virginia. People think I'm a barefoot, toothless, banjo player in love with my cousin. I don't want people to look down on me simply because I grew up in a town that has less people than a busy Wal-Mart. Well, I used to be like that. That's how Nynaeve is. She's proud, she's smart, and she values the opinion of Moiraine and Lan even though they kidnapped her boys.

 

But I grew out of that phase. I stopped caring if other people thought I was an idiot because of my accent. My college degrees were much more satisfying than their approval. I hope Nynaeve gets to that point. I hope she stops caring if Lan or Moiraine thinks she's a hillbilly because in the great game of life it isn't important what they think of her.

 

Also, I'd like to compare Nynaeve and Perrin. Both are angry. Egwene irritates Perrin, the Tinkers irritate Perrin, the constant dreams and the wolves in his head. All of it irritates Perrin. And he's getting pissed about it. Impatient. Hateful. The same could be said about Nynaeve. The boys are always just out of her reach and when she gets a chance to talk to them they join the side of their kidnappers. Moiraine refuses to tell her anything more than cryptic answers that aren't really answers to Nynaeve's questions.

 

The major difference? Moiraine is right there. So the Wisdom's anger is a focused, justified rage against an oppressor. Or, if not oppressor, then against someone who stands in the way of her goals. Perrin's rage, though, is against everyone. Egwene, the wolves, the dreams, the Tinkers, his shitty life. All of it sucks, all of it pisses him off, and there is nothing he can do about any of it. So it builds and builds until (I predict) it will explode. It's the difference between focused, righteous angst and a petty "I hate everything" teenage emo angst.

 

Whatever. Enough of that nonsense. Back to the story! Nynaeve is flushing when she thinks of Lan. God, they're going to become a couple, aren't they? Ugh.

 

In spite of the fact that Lan makes her furious, that he never speaks to her, that he is in league with Moiraine, he still makes her face red (which I'm guessing is a PG-13 1990 epic fantasy novel version of "makes her panties wet"). But, I guess, out here on the trail, a girl just has to get her itch scratched, you dig? Even if Lan is incompetent when it comes to survival skills he still has a pretty face and a nice body. Sometimes, that's enough to compensate for a questionable personality.

 

So far, I think Egwene is having the best time in this book. Rand and Mat were on a sausage fest of a boat with a man who wanted to kill them and a knife that ...wanted to kill them. Nynaeve has spent two weeks arguing with an al-Qaeda witch while tall, dark and handsome over there pissed her off/made her horny. Frustration, much? But Egwene? She's spent some days with Psycho Perrin but she's spent more nights with Aram the Tinker. Just an observation.

 

Continuing with the book: Lan, in spite of being a Warder and presumably knowing a thing or two about Aes Sedai witches, suggests that Nynaeve should go home when they reach Whitebridge. This goes against Moiraine's "witches get training at Tar Valon or they die" speech. So Lan is either trying to kill Nynaeve (not likely) or he's just too dumb to be bothered with all of those "magic rules" that affects channelers. He's like "Go home! Oh, wait. I'm told that will kill you. You should stay, then. Derp."

 

Lan is looking less like Brock Samson and more like Kronk from the Emperor's New Groove. That makes perfect sense, too, since Moirane would make a good Yzma. Both are female witches rocking the blue.

 

Moiraine tells Lan that Nynaeve is a part of the Pattern. Didn't Moiraine tell Min that the street rat sees "pieces of the pattern"? If Nynaeve is a piece of the pattern then Moiraine basically told Min she "sees stuff." Well, duh. Who cares, though? Moving on.

 

We somehow stumbled into a flashback since the trio is no longer approaching the White Bridge but are rather following trails to the south. I don't understand why they are following trails and not the gigantic river. Maybe they decided to avoid it for some reason. I couldn't tell you. But just like that the flashback ends.

 

They somehow got to the center of the bridge, a bridge of at least one hundred feet, before smelling smoke in the air. That was their first clue something was wrong. You know, it wasn't them looking down at the other end of the bridge to see the scene in Whitebridge. They must have direct line of sight from the center of the bridge to the end of the bridge, a hundred feet below, right? Don't know.

 

It turns out that the fight between Thom and the Fade caused more damage than I first assumed. From what I recall, an elderly gleeman rushed towards a killing machine from hell 'til they both tumbled around in the dirt for a while. This caused a city-wide panic and a rush for the gates. There must have been a lot of friction in that rasslin' match because it looks as if a few buildings had burned down.

 

"No eye can see the Pattern until it is Woven."

 

That's what Moiraine says as she views the burned town square. She must have forgotten that she recruited into her spy network a street urchin in Baerlon who could see the Pattern well before it was Woven. And not just a metaphor or dream or prophecy, either. She literally used her eyes to see the future of the Pattern.

 

Moiraine goes about asking questions. This is SOP for fantasy characters entering a new town. Seriously, has anyone in this book gone to a new place and not interrogated the locals? Nynaeve is surprised that Moiraine appears genuine in her concern for the people of Whitebridge. Don't be fooled, Nynaeve! She used the same routine in Emond's Field after it was blown up by monsters and you see how that turned out for you. She's evil, Nynaeve! Don't trust her!

 

The villagers vacillate between "nothing happened" and "there was a riot" and "a wizard did it." The trio can't figure out what happened so they go to the local inn for a spot of lunch. No mention is made that this is the first restaurant-style meal they've had since the Stag and Lion nearly three weeks ago. As they sit there eating a local soldier walks in. Lan is instantly contemptuous of him. He calls the militia useless, like the soldiers who were mustered to protect Emond's Field just after the Winternight attack.

 

This is why I don't like Lan as much as I could. If anyone isn't a master swordsman, taught ancient techniques by venerable masters in mountain monasteries, then they are useless scum. That's like saying a pistol is useless because it isn't a battleship cannon. Not everyone is fighting demon monsters, Lan. Some people are fighting thieves, murderers, rapists, and barroom brawlers. You know, the work you consider demeaning and beneath you. To Lan (and Elyas and most of the others), if you aren't the best then you're the worst. If you ain't first you're last.

 

Doing his job, the militia soldier (probably some kid who didn't want to live on the farm, you know?) comes over to the table of obvious strangers and asks them what their business is in town. Not too unreasonable since they could probably still smell the acrid smoke from last night's attack wafting in from the town square just outside the inn's front door. Lan bullshits him and the kid walks away.

 

Nynaeve makes a comment about how she's had to deal with too many boys in Emond's Field acting like idiots in order to save face in front of women. Judging by Perrin's actions and attitude, I can believe her.

 

They talk about what their next move will be. Moiraine says that since everyone knows they are supposed to go meet up in Caemlyn then the best option would be for them to go north into the wilderness. Wait, what? Yeah, the wilderness. They don't decide to magic up their horses and ride like the wind blows to Caemlyn, no. They decide to finally go looking for the one person lost in the woods up north. It makes no sense but that's only because it's trying to fit in with the rest of the book.

 

The chapter ends at the inn's dinner table with Nynaeve calling out Moiraine for her complete lack of concern for missing Egwene. Not liking when small town Wisdoms talk down to her like that, Moiraine gets pissed, her eyes almost glowing in anger. Nynaeve renews her vow to get enough magic power to overcome the evil witch and bring her charges home. The meal is rather awkward after that.

 

Eyes Without Pity

 

This is a Perrin chapter. And there is a wolf icon, too. I get the connection. Go me! Of the three different threads in this story, this is my favorite. I have the most fun reading about these guys (It may or may not be because I like Egwene and the Tinkers). Second would be Nynaeve and the al-Qaeda wizard one. Pulling up the rear is Rand and Mat. They were boring enough when they had Thom with them but since he died (or got on a boat, whatever) it looks as if it's going to be even worse. Stupid cursed emo Mat.

 

Anyway! On with this chapter. Elyas is setting a rapid pace for the trio plus Bela plus wolves. He's doing this Just Because. See, he can't sense any Trollocs, nor can the wolves (so Warders, wolves and witches can detect Trollocs? Really, who can't do that?) so they aren't running from that. They're running because Eylas has a bad feeling. This is a supernatural bad feeling, too, since there is nothing natural to provoke it. This isn't Han Solo flying towards a small moon in the astroid field where Alderaan used to be. No, Han had clues to give him a bad feeling. This is just Elyas waking up on a morning like any other and then freaking the hell out, running away before breakfast as if he's having some sort of mental episode. Likely he had the same feeling that something was wrong the day he woke up and killed those Warder state troopers.

 

So for days it's like this. Elyas says "run!" And they start running. They ask why and he says, "I don't know! Just keep running!" And like idiots, they do. Soon the stress of running from nothing gets to Elyas and he starts talking to himself. Not just talking but arguing. While this proves beyond a doubt that he is a crazy man it doesn't seem to bother Egwene or Perrin. They've given their lives over to this wilderness guide so they might as well enjoy his insane ramblings.

 

They come to a ridge that Elyas wants to scout. Perrin wants to go up with him this time instead of staying behind with the women and horses (er, woman and horse). At this point Egwene jumps down from their only horse and it hits me that, once again, Egwene is on the horse that she is sharing with Perrin. Why, Robert Jordan, can't you get Perrin on that horse? God, I'd kill for just that one, tiny, itty bitty shred of gender equality here. Please. You said they were sharing the horse so just show it. Show me Perrin riding Bela, I beg you.

 

Anyway, Egwene gets off the horse so she can scout the ridge, too, but Elyas tells her to stay in her place. Scouting is men's work. Why couldn't Perrin stay with the horses and Egwene go up the ridge? As a ex-Warder you'd think Elyas would be used to having a woman by his side. Whatever. The crazy man and the boy from Two Rivers make it to the top of the ridge and see nothing.

 

It's been four pages of nothing. They've been running at full steam to get through this endless hilly grassland and they've encountered nothing. No Trollocs or Fades or anything. Elyas still has this plot-induced feeling that something is wrong. I'm getting pretty tired of it.

 

Finally, they come upon some ravens. The wolves didn't detect them because wolves don't look up. Seriously, that's what Elyas says. He's like Ed from Shaun of the Dead. "Big Al says dogs can't look up." Of course they can! Otherwise, if I wanted to get away from wolves, I'd climb a tree. They'd never find me! Works against bloodhounds, too.

 

As has been established, ravens are evil. But are they as intelligent as wolves? Do they engage in flock politics the way Dabble engages in pack politics? If so then does that mean that some ravens can be turned from the Dark Side the way Burn seems to be turning away from the Light? I don't think so because they are just a bunch of dumb birds. Same as wolves.

 

Elyas and Perrin continue to lay down on the ridge up there, talking about ravens and planning their next move. Egwene, I imagine, is down there at the base of the ridge with Bela wondering just what the hell is going on up there. She can see them talking but they don't look panicked. Yet they're not telling her it's safe to start moving. She's just standing there, thumb up her ass, waiting for the Big Strong Men to tell her what to do next. I assume this is what she's doing, since this is Perrin's POV and he hasn't given one line of thought towards Egwene since climbing the ridge. Step up, Egwene! Don't let them take charge of you like that.

 

Anyway, they continue the journey with Egwene still on the horse. Perrin explains as best he can but since Egwene is a lot smarter than him she actually asks questions. Questions he has no idea how to answer. I'm sure appearing stupider than a girl three years younger than him really pissed him off. They come to yet another ridge. Egwene wants to go up this one, too, but ends up staying behind. Again. Perrin and Elyas go and see more ravens up ahead of them. These ravens end up killing a fox.

 

Again, imagine Egwene at the bottom of the ridge. She looks up and sees the two dudes looking at something then all at once they go, "Oh! Eww. No way! Ow." She has no clue and they don't bother saying anything until Elyas finally motions her to come up. Only after she's on the other side does she see a patch of fox fur. What did they see? Was it that bad? Please, someone, tell her something! Even a "Those ravens swarmed the shit out of that fox" would be better than nothing. But they say zip.

 

Perrin tried to use his sling to kill one stray raven but before he could get a chance Egwene knocked it out of the sky with her own sling. From horseback. I'm impressed. I couldn't hit the ground from horseback if I were falling out of my saddle. I wonder why, before they met Elyas, that it was Perrin out hunting and trapping rabbits since Egwene looks pretty good at it, too. But, Perrin could not have been pleased that a girl just beat him at the art of killing something. Did he not just spend a week with the Tinkers with his axe out, bragging about how he kills things that get in his way? Then this Tinker-loving new!Egwene girl kills the raven? Woe upon woe is stacked upon Perrin.

 

They catch their breath in a copse of trees. Egwene asks if they think the ravens saw them from such a distance. Elyas basically calls her stupid for asking such a stupid question, the dumb village bitch. "By the Light, Perrin, can't you keep her in line? Or do I have to?" Not an exact quote but I can imagine that's what crazy mountain man is thinking.

 

And remember that we are in Perrin's POV so we see things with his bias. And he likes Elyas. This POV won't come right out and say that Elyas is creepy because that's not what Perrin thinks. We have to read between the lines. And I read that Elyas is unhappy that he has to bring along a kid in his wilderness adventure. He probably sees her as a burden (Perrin, though also a kid, has Wolf Powers so he's cool). So Elyas automatically thinks Egwene is not good enough (look at the way he laughs at her!). It isn't a stretch to think he'll use gendered insults to bring her down. It isn't a stretch that Perrin will overlook those insults, too, or to excuse them away.

 

Anyway, they keep this up for a while. Go to some trees, hide from the ravens, then dash to the next copse of trees to hide, wait some more, and so on. Perrin is getting tired but at no point does he say "my turn" and get on Bela. No, he continues to run even though he is supposed to be sharing the horse with Egwene. I'm going to go ahead and assume that Robert Jordan has given up on the idea of sharing that horse.

 

Now, they've been running for about six pages. Not once have they sensed the Dark One in those ravens. They saw a flock of ravens attack a fox but this is the wild, my friends, and animals eat each other here, especially after a harsh winter. I'm getting pretty bored with them going from hiding spot to hiding spot trying to avoid being seen by animals. Maybe if there were flocks of Draghkar out there or Trolloc hot air balloons I'd be more invested. But, really, I just want this chapter to move forward.

 

And if the ravens are minions of the Dark Ones then why didn't they go to Emond's Field, eh? A few thousand birds to pick clean the village. Maybe the Dark One didn't know which boy he was after so he didn't want to kill the wrong one. Well, then, kill every woman, infant, and man over thirty. Problem effin' solved. It isn't as if Emond's Field has flamethrowers to take down flocks of evil birds. Their slings and arrows and heron-marked swords would be useless. But, no. That'd be a good idea and that is something the Dark One does not have.

 

Anyway, Perrin is afraid of getting killed by ravens in spite of all the evidence that the Dark One wants him alive. He and his two companions keep up their little escape run. He senses a raven attack on some wolves nearby. But since wolves are Super Awesome Bad Ass, the ravens just can't seem to kill them. Seriously, what the who? If a wolf can stop the ravens then a human being can. Especially two human beings with what seems like a wolf's brain in their heads. Ugh, I wish the wolves would just go away or die. Or both.

 

Perrin tells Elyas that the ravens are coming. Egwene pops in with a "Ha! You can talk to wolves." This manages to piss him off, too, (It is just like when Lan found Nynaeve's horse. Both Nynaeve and Perrin sought to prove their sneakiness and subterfuge by hiding something. Nynaeve hid her horse while Perrin hid his Wolf Speech. They were both found out, too. It brought Nynaeve to tears knowing that she couldn't even prove that much. But Perrin isn't brought to tears. He's brought to hate.) but his fear of being pecked to death by black-feathered birds overrides his desire to chastise Egwene. That and his confusion as to why he can talk to wolves (a confusion I share).

 

Finally! After who knows how many chapters Perrin gets in that goddamn saddle. Of course he objects, but he still does it. There is much rejoicing going on in my head. Yes! Let me savor this. Let me celebrate it by quoting it:

 

He staggered and hung on to Egwene's stirrup until she climbed down and all but pushed him into the saddle despite his protests that he could keep going. It was not long, though, before she was clutching the stirrup as she ran, holding up her skirts with her other hand, and only a little while after that until he dismounted, his knees still wobbling. He had to pick her up to make her take his place, but she was too tired to fight him.

 

Oh, fuck you. Jesus, but this pisses me off to know end. The fact that she's still wearing a skirt is bad but acceptable. She had no time to shop for tampons so she probably wouldn't have time to buy traveling clothes. But the fact that she gets tired, oh bless her poor feminine constitution, one sentence after getting on that horse is unforgivable. "It was not long," the paragraph says from her getting off the horse and her getting back on. I hate that my favorite character has become nothing more than a burden for Perrin to deal with. Hate hate hate. I'm putting it out of my mind and am moving on before I rage quit for the night.

 

Elyas starts to describe all the ways that a raven can kill a person. Egwene, of course, throws up. Never mind the fact that she saw, from a very close distance, hundreds of Trollocs burn to death near Shadar Nogoth, their human-like skin turning white and shriveling up, the smell of burnt hair filling her nose. Never mind that she and Nynaeve went from burn victim to severe head trauma victim to Trolloc-sword-to-the-face victim during the attack on Emond's Field, washing her arms clean of the blood and guts that kept getting on her. Never mind all the chickens and cattle she's probably slaughtered growing up in a tiny village. No, she doesn't vomit because of that but rather because Elyas describes a cute little fox got killed. Ugh.

 

More pages of them running. They keep running and Egwene once again offers the horse to Perrin. "In a bit," he tells her. Whatever.

 

Whoa, this next part? Wow. I mean, Hey Zeus Christo, are you reading the same book I am? Perrin is now thinking about killing Egwene! He's jogging along behind her, the sun setting off to the right, she's up on the horse, slumped down and tired. He's fingering his weapon wondering if he's got the guts to put an axe in her back. What the holy fuck, Perrin?! How long have you been thinking about killing her? Since you discovered her using magic to start a fire? Since Aram started giving her mustache rides? This psycho boy is planning on killing his best friend's ex and calling it a mercy. This. This is what you get when you spend too much time with a crazy cop-killing mountain man. Maybe you should have stayed with the Tinkers a bit longer and let their non-violent ways seep into you a little more, eh?

 

Oh, God, whatever. They make it to a stedding (the same thing the Tinkers were heading towards, but away from the ravens!). This is a place where channeling magic doesn't work. Also, Trollocs and Fades and ravens won't enter. So Trollocs won't go in water, Shadar Nogoth, the Aiel Waste, and now steddings. Where the hell can Trollocs go? Just the Blight and Two Rivers, it looks like. Seems as if Moiraine should have taken the boys to a stedding on an island haunted by a Mashadar in the Aiel Waste instead of Tar Valon if she wanted to keep them safe. There are probably thousands of places that Trollocs can't go that are safer than Tar Valon (places they "can't go" but always seem to be going to, anyway). But the al-Qaeda witch doesn't want the boys safe. She wants them at her wizard HQ for some reason. It has to be obvious to Perrin by now that Moiraine isn't looking out for the boys' interests.

 

But ignoring all that, why was Elyas so eager to leave the Tinkers? He ran towards the ravens at top speed to get to this stedding. So what was he running from?

 

You know what? I don't care. I'm so pissed about Perrin thinking about murdering Egwene that I can't think straight. I don't care if I find a hundred dollar bill between the next two pages; this is the worst chapter of the book.

 

They go deeper into the stedding and find a pool of cold, clear water. Perrin is dipping his head in and thinking that, yep, he would have totally chopped that bitch's head off. Egwene is splashing around, laughing, loving life, and blissfully unaware at how close Perrin was to taking that life from her. But Perrin plays the role of buzzkiller this evening and her jokes and laughter die down. This would be good subtle foreshadowing for any future relationship Perrin might have with a woman: he is a secretly violent sourpuss that, over the years, causes her to be less and less joyous. And he might kill her, too.

 

Perrin, asshole that he is, at least begins to examine his inner turmoil. At least he agonizes over his murderous thoughts. But that is not nearly enough to even begin redeeming him in my eyes. Not at all. But he's so focused on his own thoughts that he doesn't really look around the stedding. Egwene, though, does. She's a curious and smart character. I'm glad she hasn't been killed by any of the psychos she's with.

 

She notices that some of the rocks nearby look like a giant stone eye. Elyas says he is from a statue of Artur Hawkwing. Egwene doesn't believe him and he calls her an ignorant village whelp. But we have to read through another story of another ancient kingdom that was super awesome but somehow failed. Lews Therin and his Age of Legends failed. Manetheren failed. Aridhol failed. Artur Hawkwing failed. You ever think that building up mighty civilizations is the wrong way to go? If all there is left to remember you by is a bridge here or a ruined statue there then maybe you should stop worrying about leaving things behind. Follow the Way of the Leaf and live a good life. Let history take care of itself.

 

This chapter ends with that boring history lesson. I'm so glad this chapter is over. Now bring it on, forum goers. Tell me how I'm wrong about Perrin. Tell me I'm reading way too into things. Redeem this guy, please. I don't want to spend the rest of the series with the image of Perrin holding his axe handle and his eyes on Egwene's vulnerable back.

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But, no. That'd be a good idea and that is something the Dark One does not have.

 

that made me lol.

 

and, hmm. Perrin. Well, like all the Two Rivers dudes, he has some very chivalrous tendencies. He's a very thoughtful, prepared character generally -- so he was just thinking and trying to mentally prepare himself for a possible future. His struggle with violence becomes a pretty major character point later on.

 

I'll be interested to see what you think of Perrin's love interest, ha.

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Nynaeve would have thrown a fit over Egwene learning the dance or getting too involved with the Tinkers as well. Is she a sexist? You're reading everything Perrin thinks as "this is what a woman should do" when it's more along the lines of "us Two Rivers people don't do this". The Two Rivers, and Andor as well (given what the nobles and queen wear, is generally modest place when it comes to dress, for the men as well). Every time Egwene just ignores Perrin she gets a "you go girl!" Every time Perrin does anything remotely the same it's "you sexist pig!" If Egwene goes off and has a one-night stand with a stranger she's awesome. If Elyas enjoys watching a freely offered sexy-dance he's a creepy sexist pig. Elyas also picks on Perrin (of course he's in the right when he's in the right when he does this, but a sexist-pig when he does it to Egwene).

 

Sheesh, I hope Egwene gets chewed out later when she gets all jealous of Rand meeting another girl (Elayne). You know, maybe taunting her about "Yeah, Elayne and Rand ****ed, what's it to you? It's over, as you so clearly made to Rand earlier. It took him awhile, but he's moved on. Not to mention you're a hypocrite, don't you remember Aram?"

 

And apparently every time Perrin disagrees with Egwene he's a sexist pig, but Nynaeve having repeated thoughts about how men are usually idiots (Footprints in the Air) don't even get a mention. That's more for your consideration and reflection on the things you're noticing.

 

I've nothing wrong with uncovering male bias. There is male bias, Jordan had some, even if he was aware of it. He gets better about it as the series go on, but your observations on sexism are very one-sided. The Two Rivers women don't think a man has enough sense to put his boots on the right feet and that most every man is useless without a woman to guide him, but every time Perrin tries to put a girl's safety first, suddenly he's someone who thinks women are second-class citizens who belong in the kitchen and aren't allowed to make decisions, which just isn't true. The putting a girl's safety first and the guidance are sexist tendencies that stick for the older generations, too, though they don't take it as seriously as the younger ones (and there's a bit of fondness involved in it), as the women have found that men really do have sense a lot of the time and the men see that women can stick up for themselves fine.

 

As for 'killing Egwene', it's more along the lines of "In the last minutes, when the ravens descended on them, when all hope was gone, would he have the courage to spare her the death the fox had died?" It's not like it's just random murderous thoughts. I can understand not liking them, I can understand picking on them as more of that sexist 'protect the women' thinking, but there was some context there.

 

Sorry, just hit a nerve. I think if I fully reread the chapters, I could come up with a better defense of Perrin, but you probably picked up I was a bit annoyed.

 

I have a feeling this blog post will somewhat re-ignite the sexism debate (Perrin's sexism was a major theme of it). Sorry. Hopefully it'll stay civil. I still look forward to reading, of course, I check back frequently and enjoy what you're doing.

 

Bah, and I wanted to go back through and edit out some of the emotion and make it better, but I'm out of time. I'll post it anyway against my better judgment.

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No, Agitel! No need to go back and edit what you wrote to make it more polite. It is the emotion that first comes to us that tells us what we really think. Once we start thinking about it, classifying it, and filing it away in our mind we've destroyed that original thought. When your trying to get a feeling for the story, like I am, it pays to go with your gut.

 

Nynaeve would have thrown a fit over Egwene learning the dance or getting too involved with the Tinkers as well. Is she a sexist?

 

Yes. If Nynaeve told Egwene to not dance because Egwene has a broken ankle and she might make it worse then it wouldn't be sexist. If Nynaeve told her not to because the dance was part of some magical ritual to summon a demon then it wouldn't be sexist. But if she said "no" because that is not the way ladies are supposed to act then it is sexism. Nynaeve doesn't hate Egwene, isn't bigoted towards her, or anything that people normally associate with sexism. Sexism isn't bigotry, not like that (it's the bigotry that pisses me off, but it isn't what sexism really is). It's having roles that we must play in life, rules we must follow, rules that men and women both enforce, that keep one gender on top and another on the bottom.

 

I pick on the men in this blog, sure. But they aren't the only facilitators of sexism. Men and women perpetrate it and men and women are both victim to it. It's awful in the real world and kinda bums me out when I read it in a fantasy.

 

You're reading everything Perrin thinks as "this is what a woman should do" when it's more along the lines of "us Two Rivers people don't do this". The Two Rivers, and Andor as well (given what the nobles and queen wear, is generally modest place when it comes to dress, for the men as well).

 

That is a fantastic point! But think about this: Perrin doesn't want Egwene to dance like she is because of X. If X is because Perrin cares for Egwene, her well-being, or something like that then I can get behind it. But X is because "that's not how they do things back home." Well, how do they do things back home? Back home girls don't dance like that, girls are supposed to act in a certain way (this way is enforced by both social custom and the active hand of the Women's Circle).

 

Every time Egwene just ignores Perrin she gets a "you go girl!" Every time Perrin does anything remotely the same it's "you sexist pig!" If Egwene goes off and has a one-night stand with a stranger she's awesome. If Elyas enjoys watching a freely offered sexy-dance he's a creepy sexist pig.

 

You've got to realize where I'm coming from when I say things like this. You're coming from a position that the boys and girls of this world are equal, more or less. So when one person does something it will be judged in the exact same way as when someone else does it. If Egwene has a one night stand and I'm happy then I should be happy if Perrin does the same thing. Am I right?

 

I'm coming from a position that the boys and girls are not equal. Their actions need to be judged on a case by case basis (no Zero Tolerance that applies to everyone, in other words). For example: say there is a dictatorship and one group of people, the Reds, oppress the other group, the Blues. When a Red guns down a Blue like a dog in the street it's a bad thing. When a Blue shoots a Red it is an act of defiance, a good act that might bring about an end of oppression. Another example: if a child throws a tantrum I can forgive it (and also get annoyed by it). But if an adult does it then I get pissed. Two human beings but with huge inequities in power, experience, and expectations. The same physical action but different feelings towards it because of the people who performed the action.

 

In a world where Perrin and Egwene are not equal I cannot judge their actions the exact same way.

 

Sheesh, I hope Egwene gets chewed out later when she gets all jealous of Rand meeting another girl (Elayne). You know, maybe taunting her about "Yeah, Elayne and Rand ****ed, what's it to you? It's over, as you so clearly made to Rand earlier. It took him awhile, but he's moved on.

 

I might just do that. I might call out Egwene for being jealous. Then again, look at those two scenes. Here, with Perrin, Egwene is walking over after dinner when Perrin rushes up to her, eager to find out all she knows. In that other scene, later in the Ways, Mat and Perrin and Rand are all sitting at a campsite, each trying to goad or embarrass each other. I got the feeling that Egwene was being ganged up upon by the others. But you'll read all about it when I post it.

 

Well, I hope you do. I appreciate having you as a reader. Without readers, where would this blog be?

 

And apparently every time Perrin disagrees with Egwene he's a sexist pig, but Nynaeve having repeated thoughts about how men are usually idiots (Footprints in the Air) don't even get a mention. That's more for your consideration and reflection on the things you're noticing.

 

It isn't every time he disagrees with her. It's every time he's confrontational. When Lan suggusted going into Shadar Logoth and Moiraine pulled rank and said no, I didn't see any sexism in that. But when Perrin disagrees with Egwene dancing like a Tinker girl, well, I do see sexism.

 

The Two Rivers women don't think a man has enough sense to put his boots on the right feet and that most every man is useless without a woman to guide him, but every time Perrin tries to put a girl's safety first, suddenly he's someone who thinks women are second-class citizens who belong in the kitchen and aren't allowed to make decisions, which just isn't true.

 

I agree that the women belittle men a lot. But have you ever been around an old married couple? One day my grandpa, married for forty or fifty years to my grandma, went out and bought an RV camper. I mean, right out of the blue he blew tens of thousands of dollars (more than my college education cost up to that point!) on it. And my grandma was pissed. She yelled, she swore (ever hear your sweet old grandma cuss for the first time? Scary), she tried to force him to take it back to the dealership.

 

But he never did. They still have that camper (they go camping once a year; what a waste of money; you're college-bound grandkid is destitute!). That's how I see Two Rivers. The men do something, stupid or fantastic, and the only thing the women can do is bully them or go behind their backs. I can't stress this enough, but in an equal society "going behind someone's back" is not the same as "doing something." Nynaeve and the rest of the can say "wool-headed idiot" till their blue in the face but that's not the same as having the legitimate power to do something.

 

As for 'killing Egwene', it's more along the lines of "In the last minutes, when the ravens descended on them, when all hope was gone, would he have the courage to spare her the death the fox had died?" It's not like it's just random murderous thoughts.

 

I get this, too. Have you seen Shaun of the Dead? It's a zombie movie and if you've seen a zombie movie you know there's going to be this scene where two of the humans are trapped, besieged by zombies. In this particular movie, they have a shotgun with two shells left. Shaun and his girlfriend sit down and discuss how they want to go out, who will go first, saying their goodbyes, and all that. It's a sad, touching scene even if it is about a guy about to blow his girlfriend's face off.

 

Perrin isn't doing any of that. He isn't asking Egwene if this is how she wants to go. He isn't saying his goodbyes, thinking of the good times they had back in Emond's Field, wishing their friends safely made it out of Shadar Logoth. He's just running silently behind her making his own plans to kill her when he felt it was necessary. That's what I have a problem with.

 

Sorry, just hit a nerve. I think if I fully reread the chapters, I could come up with a better defense of Perrin, but you probably picked up I was a bit annoyed.

 

Don't be sorry. You were, like, super polite about it. I mean, I must have pissed you off royally with what I wrote. I didn't mean to. I mean, I didn't start this book hoping to hate one of the good guys. That's just how this ended up. I have faith things will get better, sexism-wise, starting in the next book.

 

That's mostly because I did my best to find other, non-sexism things about the story to write about. Too bad that won't happen for a week or two in real life as I maintain my posting schedule.

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With respect to the Elyas sensing wolves thing - while he used to be a Warder, he's actually still bonded to his Aes Sedai, so he still gets the benefits. As far as I'm aware the removal of that bond requires death (which is pretty massively unpleasant for both Aes Sedai and Warder) or for both people to be present. You find this out later on, but it's not really a spoiler so it might provide a bit of clarity for now.

As to Perrin, he is one guy that really does struggle to let go of something and adapt to a new situation. To call him borderline psychotic is a bit extreme, but I can see where you're coming from!

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The thing about Egwene getting tired soon after letting Perrin up on the horse, I don't think that it's because she's a woman. Perrin is often described as muscle-freak due to long hours working at a forge and he's often walked in the Mountains of Mist with Mat and Rand. Egwene has not and has spent her recent years as apprentice Wisdom, a less physically demanding job. I don't see it as a stretch to think she would get tired quicker than Perrin.

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^^ Mostly what he said. I don't mind feminists, my wife is one, besides everyone is entitled to any belief they want. What I mind is someone who takes such a strong stance against one point of view's perceived wrongness that they esentially do the exact same thing from the other perspective.

 

From another view it's wrong for a white person to hate a black person simply because of that difference. Do I freely acknowledge that racism exists (though less so than previously), absolutely. That doesn't make it right for a black person to hate a white person. Taking any extreme on a position like this makes you as bad as the person you're fighting against.

 

That out of the way responding to your comments about Lan blithely telling Nynaeve to leave despite the whole "you must be trained or you'll die". Nynaeve is not at risk of that. She beat the 1 in 4 odds of dying as a result of beginning to channel Saidar without instruction. She's what the Aes Sedai call a "wilder". Without instruction she'll basically not be able to consciously channel or control her ability, but it won't kill her like it would anyone else who simply begins channeling.

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From another view it's wrong for a white person to hate a black person simply because of that difference. Do I freely acknowledge that racism exists (though less so than previously), absolutely. That doesn't make it right for a black person to hate a white person. Taking any extreme on a position like this makes you as bad as the person you're fighting against.

 

I just cannot agree with you, here. It is justified for an oppressed person to hate her oppressors. It is wrong for a white person to hate a black person based upon skin color. Totally agree. But that doesn't mean it is inherently wrong if a black person hates a white person based upon the color of their skin. Say you're a slave in South Carolina in 1841. It isn't wrong to be scared of that white woman over there. One, she can whip you and it isn't a crime. She can kill you and just get a fine. She can whisper into the wrong ear and you'll find yourself hanging from a tree. It is okay, in my opinion, for you to judge her as an enemy, as someone you need to be wary of, based upon the color of her skin.

 

Say you are a Jew in Warsaw in 1942. It is horrible that the German invaders hate you for your religion. It is wrong. But it isn't wrong for you, in my opinion, to hate all Germans. Misguided, maybe. Detrimental to long-term emotional and psychological health? Sure. But entirely justified.

 

Similarly, I think it is wrong for men to hate women, belittle them, treat them like crap. But it isn't inherently wrong for a woman to see men as possible predators, possible attackers, possible abusers.

 

This isn't a case of two groups of people doing the same thing to each other. It's about one group with power using that power to keep the other group down. The other group is trying to use the tools of the oppressor to beat them at their own game.

 

But let me be clear. I don't advocate hate. Personally, I don't hate. Peace and love, all the way. But I can understand that point of view. I can empathize with the downtrodden. I don't see keeping a person down and that person fighting for their dignity to be morally equivalent. I don't see the equivalency of the Wisdom telling the men that they're idiots to men owning nearly every business, holding all political offices (I don't know how many thousands of pages I have to read before the Women's Circle is mentioned again, but so far, half-way through book 2, there is no clue that women hold any political power in Two Rivers), and filling every military role.

 

But that's just my opinion.

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This isn't a case of two groups of people doing the same thing to each other. It's about one group with power using that power to keep the other group down. The other group is trying to use the tools of the oppressor to beat them at their own game.

 

But let me be clear. I don't advocate hate. Personally, I don't hate. Peace and love, all the way. But I can understand that point of view. I can empathize with the downtrodden. I don't see keeping a person down and that person fighting for their dignity to be morally equivalent. I don't see the equivalency of the Wisdom telling the men that they're idiots to men owning nearly every business, holding all political offices (I don't know how many thousands of pages I have to read before the Women's Circle is mentioned again, but so far, half-way through book 2, there is no clue that women hold any political power in Two Rivers), and filling every military role.

 

But that's just my opinion.

It is not a solution to "use the tools of the oppressor to beat them at their own game". That is merely perpetuating a cycle. It is a vicious, downwards spiral.

 

There is no benefit to it. None. Zero. Zip, zada, zilch. You do not change something because you step on someone who stepped on you. You just become someone who steps on people.

 

Also, it is very much wrong to judge people on superficial traits, whether that is skin color, country of origin, or sex. Can it be understandable? Yes. Justified? Never. Sharing a superficial trait does not make you culpable for someone else's wrongdoings.

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From another view it's wrong for a white person to hate a black person simply because of that difference. Do I freely acknowledge that racism exists (though less so than previously), absolutely. That doesn't make it right for a black person to hate a white person. Taking any extreme on a position like this makes you as bad as the person you're fighting against.
I just cannot agree with you, here. It is justified for an oppressed person to hate her oppressors. It is wrong for a white person to hate a black person based upon skin color. Totally agree. But that doesn't mean it is inherently wrong if a black person hates a white person based upon the color of their skin. Say you're a slave in South Carolina in 1841. It isn't wrong to be scared of that white woman over there. One, she can whip you and it isn't a crime. She can kill you and just get a fine. She can whisper into the wrong ear and you'll find yourself hanging from a tree. It is okay, in my opinion, for you to judge her as an enemy, as someone you need to be wary of, based upon the color of her skin. Say you are a Jew in Warsaw in 1942. It is horrible that the German invaders hate you for your religion. It is wrong. But it isn't wrong for you, in my opinion, to hate all Germans. Misguided, maybe. Detrimental to long-term emotional and psychological health? Sure. But entirely justified.Similarly, I think it is wrong for men to hate women, belittle them, treat them like crap. But it isn't inherently wrong for a woman to see men as possible predators, possible attackers, possible abusers.This isn't a case of two groups of people doing the same thing to each other. It's about one group with power using that power to keep the other group down. The other group is trying to use the tools of the oppressor to beat them at their own game. But let me be clear. I don't advocate hate. Personally, I don't hate. Peace and love, all the way. But I can understand that point of view. I can empathize with the downtrodden. I don't see keeping a person down and that person fighting for their dignity to be morally equivalent. I don't see the equivalency of the Wisdom telling the men that they're idiots to men owning nearly every business, holding all political offices (I don't know how many thousands of pages I have to read before the Women's Circle is mentioned again, but so far, half-way through book 2, there is no clue that women hold any political power in Two Rivers), and filling every military role.But that's just my opinion.

 

Wow...I'm sorry, but that's bollocks!

 

Would it have been wrong for ol' Cotton-fields-slave black man in the in 1800s to hate white people? Sure, as a race they were oppressive pricks (basically) - but you CAN'T claim that as justification for a Black person NOW to hate a white person just because they're white and their ancestors may have done some 'slaven' in their time.

 

If a White person discriminates against a Black person because they're black - that's racism. If a Black person discriminates against a White person because they're White - that's still racism. It's not a one-way street.

 

I just had to say that...

 

You've got your feelings on Perrin, and that's fine, they're your opinions and you're welcome to them - thing is, your opinions are so narrow-minded and biased that I don't think it's in any way possible for any of us to convince you otherwise about his character since we'd be arguing the same stuff.

 

You are right on one count though - Perrin is a dick in these chapters; he's freaked out with his Wolf crap in his head, scared out of his tree about his friends (though he's trying not to think about it) and here Egwene is just having a good time with that tool, Aram - I noticed you skipped over all the mentions of Aram flashing "triumphant grins" over his shoulder all the time like an arrogant jock at high school too.

 

But in any case - you're probably not going to like Perrin for a LONG time - he's a brooding git for book after book and just keeps doing the wrong thing. All I can say is that he does have his friends' (even Egwene) best interests at heart and is a very good person...but I've been screaming "idiot" at him for book after book while he does everything EXCEPT what he's supposed to :)

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Im not even gonna comment about the Oppressor Opressed example cause it´s not relevant, and the comparission is way off.

Anyways, who says men have all the power over women? And if men have all the power shouldn´t the women try to change things, or atleast hightlight that there is a problem?

 

But I do understand your... passion Sunny. Sometimes it feels like women are gonna be treated as non equal forever, even though things have drastically improved. Atleast where I live.

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It is not a solution to "use the tools of the oppressor to beat them at their own game". That is merely perpetuating a cycle. It is a vicious, downwards spiral.

This may very well be true. I try to think of examples and I come up with Ghandi. He used non-violence to fight the British occupation of India and eventually won. I think of Martin Luther King who used violence to during the US Civil Rights Movement. And I think of Egyptians today and their protests in Tahrir Square that brought down Mubarak. None of them used the tools of the oppressors and they won, some more than others.

 

But for every Egypt there is a Libya, where protesters are gunned down. Ghandi and MLK were in modern times with modern communication capabilities used to spread the word. People in London knew about what Ghandi did within hours. MLK was on the radio giving his speeches.

 

In the middle ages? Months could go by between a non-violent act of protest and word of it reaching potential community organizer in the capital city. A local revolt could ferment, explode, and be put down before like-minded revolutionaries even knew what's up. It isn't a coincidence that the French Revolution and the American Revolution and the Haitian Revolution and the rest all happened when they did. People networked and got shit done in a way that had never happened before.

 

But ignoring history (and who wants to do that!) you can look at today. Fashion magazines telling women to worship fashion and celebrity, movies with a male lead who gets rewarded at the end with a beautiful woman, TV ads that tell woman that they are ugly unless they buy this new cosmetic, and all the like. That's just the surface. Underneath there is a wage gap, until recently an education gap, a government representation gap, and other less obvious ways women don't have the same power as men.

 

So we make feminist magazines that say "women are great" and "here is yet another example of male privilege", movies that show a kick ass female lead with an incompetent male sidekick, and TV ads that show an idiot dude getting his comeuppance by a woman. This is, I think, the same as Nynaeve calling Rand a wool-headed nincompoop. It does perpetuate things like "get your ideas from magazines". It may make men feel as if they are being attacked because, for the first time, they aren't on top any more. If you ain't first, you're last.

 

Sharing a superficial trait does not make you culpable for someone else's wrongdoings.

 

Ha, this is completely off topic but it has come up in a recent real-world conversation so I feel compelled to mention it. This is one of the big reasons why I'm not a Christian. You've just described Original Sin. Adam ate that apple, not me. I shouldn't be forced to live a life of hardship followed by an eternity in Hell because of his mistake, right? Just because we are both "people" I'm culpable?

 

But, yes, sharing a skin color doesn't make you responsible for someone else. But you can still benefit from what they do. I'm white. I have a list of privileges about a mile long. I didn't earn any of it; I just get it for being born white. Being white gives someone power that being non-white just doesn't do. You get to do things that would get other races in jail (Have a little weed in your glove box? You had better not be a black guy when you get pulled over.). And other races, I feel, are justified in getting pissed off because of it.

 

Sure, as a race they were oppressive pricks (basically) - but you CAN'T claim that as justification for a Black person NOW to hate a white person just because they're white and their ancestors may have done some 'slaven' in their time.

 

I wasn't talking about people today. I was talking about the slaves themselves. I didn't say to pretend you were someone with an ancestor who was a slave. I said pretend that you were that slave.

 

And I'm not an expert on race politics, but I don't race relations today are based upon slavery but rather continuing inequities between whites and people of color.

 

If a White person discriminates against a Black person because they're black - that's racism. If a Black person discriminates against a White person because they're White - that's still racism. It's not a one-way street.

 

This is still the number one problem I'm having getting my point across in this forum. Racism (and sexism and classism and the rest) are one-way streets. Racism isn't the same as bigotry. They are not two words with the exact same meaning. They mean different things.

 

If a white person discriminates against a black person then it is discrimination. Nothing wrong so far. If based upon race then it is bigotry. Things have gone off the rails, now. This is bad. If a black person can't get access to a resource or something that a white person can, even if no one hates him and none one is physically stopping him, based upon his race then you've got racism.

 

Say you're white and you work at a bank. You love black people. You're married to on. Your kid is one. But your bank rules say "No loans for black people." You are a part of a racist system, like it or not. Even if they pretty-up that rule with a "No loans to people above 55th Street" when 55th Street is where the black neighborhoods begin. You might not even notice, either, that no blacks are coming in for a loan.

 

I don't know how we got into a discussion about race, actually. Usually it's my comments on sexism that people complain about! I just don't think people understand (or I am not explaining it very well) what I'm talking about. They say I have a bias that clouds my judgment, not realizing that everyone has a bias and theirs is clouding their opinions just as much.

 

It could be that I'm blending the forum goers into one entity. You know? Each poster has a different opinion and different argument and I try to address one thinking it covers all of them. It isn't working out all that well.

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But ignoring history (and who wants to do that!) you can look at today. Fashion magazines telling women to worship fashion and celebrity, movies with a male lead who gets rewarded at the end with a beautiful woman, TV ads that tell woman that they are ugly unless they buy this new cosmetic, and all the like. That's just the surface. Underneath there is a wage gap, until recently an education gap, a government representation gap, and other less obvious ways women don't have the same power as men.

 

So we make feminist magazines that say "women are great" and "here is yet another example of male privilege", movies that show a kick ass female lead with an incompetent male sidekick, and TV ads that show an idiot dude getting his comeuppance by a woman. This is, I think, the same as Nynaeve calling Rand a wool-headed nincompoop. It does perpetuate things like "get your ideas from magazines". It may make men feel as if they are being attacked because, for the first time, they aren't on top any more. If you ain't first, you're last.

That is still not a solution. You do not resolve anything, you just make yourself feel better. It is more equal, but you have turned yourselves into something less for it. Men who have not tried to oppress women begin feeling slighted, and rightly so.

 

Ha, this is completely off topic but it has come up in a recent real-world conversation so I feel compelled to mention it. This is one of the big reasons why I'm not a Christian. You've just described Original Sin. Adam ate that apple, not me. I shouldn't be forced to live a life of hardship followed by an eternity in Hell because of his mistake, right? Just because we are both "people" I'm culpable?

I agree with you, though I am an atheist, not simply 'not a Christian'.

 

But, yes, sharing a skin color doesn't make you responsible for someone else. But you can still benefit from what they do. I'm white. I have a list of privileges about a mile long. I didn't earn any of it; I just get it for being born white. Being white gives someone power that being non-white just doesn't do. You get to do things that would get other races in jail (Have a little weed in your glove box? You had better not be a black guy when you get pulled over.). And other races, I feel, are justified in getting pissed off because of it.

Which is a problem. We should have the same privileges, with any possible exceptions based on individuals, not superficial traits. (For example, I do not think a murderer should have any privileges at all.)

 

They are of course justified in getting angry and upset. But they are not justified in attempting to reciprocate--that is just as wrong.

 

This is still the number one problem I'm having getting my point across in this forum. Racism (and sexism and classism and the rest) are one-way streets. Racism isn't the same as bigotry. They are not two words with the exact same meaning. They mean different things.

They are only not the same thing because bigotry encompasses more than simply racism (and not all things that are of racism are of bigotry). Neither are one-way streets.

 

If a white person discriminates against a black person then it is discrimination. Nothing wrong so far. If based upon race then it is bigotry. Things have gone off the rails, now. This is bad. If a black person can't get access to a resource or something that a white person can, even if no one hates him and none one is physically stopping him, based upon his race then you've got racism.

Discrimination and bigotry are the same thing. If you discriminate based on race, it is racism.

 

Say you're white and you work at a bank. You love black people. You're married to on. Your kid is one. But your bank rules say "No loans for black people." You are a part of a racist system, like it or not. Even if they pretty-up that rule with a "No loans to people above 55th Street" when 55th Street is where the black neighborhoods begin. You might not even notice, either, that no blacks are coming in for a loan.

That is a racist policy. It has nothing to do with the people working the bank, but with the ones enforcing it. If you do not know of it and have done nothing to help enforce it, then you are not culpable, even if you worked at the bank. If you learn of it then do not attempt to stop it, then you would have helped enforce it if only by not standing in the way, and then you would be culpable -- but not before.

 

I don't know how we got into a discussion about race, actually. Usually it's my comments on sexism that people complain about! I just don't think people understand (or I am not explaining it very well) what I'm talking about. They say I have a bias that clouds my judgment, not realizing that everyone has a bias and theirs is clouding their opinions just as much.

We got into the discussion about race because you began talking about slaves in the 19th century.

 

You have very strong opinions on feminism, and it colors your perception of the characters very unfavorably, which is why we bring up your bias. If you think we have biases that are clouding our judgement of the issues, bring them up.

 

To give you an example, let us talk about Perrin for a while.

 

Perrin is a good person. He does not like hurting people (but he will, because he realizes the inherent problems in the Way of the Leaf -- not everyone agrees on it). He is gentle, kind, and would never hesitate to help any of his friends.

 

But according to you, he is a brooding misogynist psychopath. Why? He does not feel safe in the Tinker camp, and he wants to leave them -- for their safety, not because he would feel safer without them. He has witnessed his town being attacked, been chased out of his home and halfway across the country by monsters ten feet tall that he has only known through legend, wolves are talking to him in his head and he is understandably a bit frazzled. Egwene is trying to relax and ignore the problems chasing them. Perrin does not do that. He is worried, on his own behalf, on hers, on Elyas', and on the Tinkers'. He tells Elyas that they are endangering the Tinkers by being there. He does not know how the Trollocs and Myrddraal chased him and the others. It could happen again at any moment as far as he knows.

 

Perrin only thought about killing Egwene under extreme circumstances, and only to spare her pain. Being ripped apart by a thousand ravens is more painful than a single blow of an axe, over before you know it. He did not consult Egwene on it because he was trying not to show the thoughts going through his head--they horrified him! He did not know if he could even go through with it, even though it was to spare her pain. Afterwards, he feels disgusted with himself for even thinking it could be necessary, and he shows how much he abhors violence. He feels it is necessary, to defend himself and others, but he hates it all the same. He is about as far from a psychopath as you can become.

 

He really does not deserve your vitriol.

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Men who have not tried to oppress women begin feeling slighted, and rightly so.

 

and

 

If you do not know of [the racist bank policies] and have done nothing to help enforce it, then you are not culpable, even if you worked at the bank. If you learn of it then do not attempt to stop it, then you would have helped enforce it if only by not standing in the way, and then you would be culpable -- but not before.

 

This is another difference of opinion that we share. I propose that working for that bank (enforcing the racist practices) makes you culpable. I think men who "have not tried to oppress women" are culpable, too. In the bank example, you can't go years and years at that job, excluding family after family, and claim one day that you're not responsible for your actions because you just didn't know.

 

As for men, they cannot live their entire lives reaping the benefits of living in a patriarchy but say that they aren't culpable for what it does to women.

 

I think I mentioned it in the blog before but there was a great quote in Batman about it not being who you are underneath but what you do that's important in life. So what if, say, Perrin is kind and gentle on the inside? When he acts a completely different way then that's the way I see him.

 

They are of course justified in getting angry and upset. But they are not justified in attempting to reciprocate--that is just as wrong.

 

Okay. Let's work with this. Let's say you're upset and angry over being oppressed in some way. Justifiably so. Let's say you're a man in the Wheel of Time matriarchy and are not happy with the way men are treated. It pisses you off. So how do you change things without reciprocating? According to your rules, if I understand them correctly (and I may not!), it is wrong to see all women as oppressors. So how do you improve your plight? How can you bring down that evil bank while not pissing off those innocent bank workers ("Damn those men!" they might say. "I didn't know what I was doing so why are they trying to ruin my boss and make me lose my job?!")?

 

In the real world, I say that men are on top in the real world and that it sucks. It sucks for women and it sucks for men, too. But saying that means I personally hate men and that I'm too biased to see the real world clearly. Thus, I'm wrong and my ideas are wrong as a reflection of that. Life continues, men are on top, and attempts to change that are seen as bad. I don't get it.

 

They are only not the same thing because bigotry encompasses more than simply racism (and not all things that are of racism are of bigotry). Neither are one-way streets.

 

There is no such thing as reverse racism or reverse sexism. They are not one way streets. How am I being confusing about this? I think I'm pretty clear. Let's make a video game example.

 

In a video game there is a source code, a rule set that defines the world. There are power inequities between your character and the bosses. Those bosses have millions more hit points than you, better attacks, all sorts of cool things going on. If the roles were reversed and you played the boss you would crush the now-AI-controlled protagonist. Follow me so far? The rules of the game make the boss better than you. No matter how many power ups you get, no matter how awesome your gun sword is, the game universe created by the game engine makes the boss better than you. You still have to play by the game rules.

 

Those rules, that source code, is sexism. It is racism. In this context, we'll call it bossism. How do you reverse the source code? Defeating the boss won't do it. Killing him, leveling up, moving on to the next boss doesn't change the game's code. You're still playing in that world. Bossism still exists. To make the boss and player character equal (and probably make the game itself boring, but that's beside the point) you'd need to go into the source code and rewrite it. You'd need to bring down all the stats that make the boss better than you (or increase your own stats; same principle).

 

In the real world you've got to change the cultural attitudes about gender and power hierarchies. Hating all men is stupid, it's bigotry, but it isn't reverse-sexism. It's beating the boss with your gun sword. He still has more hit points than you and fighting him by hating him won't change that.

 

Here I was trying to clear things up but I fear I'm muddied the waters even more! I'd recommend some books and articles and essays to read but I don't think forum goers here are interested (most, no doubt, have written me off completely!).

 

We got into the discussion about race because you began talking about slaves in the 19th century.

 

Ha! No doubt. And to think, I used the example of 19th Century oppression because I thought it would be counter-productive to use the Holocaust. Once the conversation has devolved into Nazi talk it is probably time to end it!

 

If you think we have biases that are clouding our judgement of the issues, bring them up.

 

Sounds fair. But I don't want to attack people. I don't want to call out So-and-So and say that their perception is biased. In fact, I just wrote three paragraphs about what I feel are other people's biases. But I deleted them because A) people already hate me for not liking the book enough so I don't want to piss people off even more and B) it doesn't matter. So, yes, I'll admit that I see this book with a feminist eye. But how do you see it? You've called out my bias and I admit to it. How about you do the same for yourself? And not just you, dholm. I don't want you to feel as if I'm picking on you or that I'm angry with you in particular. I'm not! I'd like everyone to answer this question. I'd like them to write it in the forums, too, let air it out, but I'll settle for quiet introspection after they read this comment.

 

But you all can't think that your personal POVs are Truth Without Bias, can you? What about her personal biases make you like the book as much as you do? What makes you hate the parts you hate?

 

To give you an example, let us talk about Perrin for a while.

 

...words edited out for space...

 

He is about as far from a psychopath as you can become.He really does not deserve your vitriol.

 

Do you think your personal biases make you think he doesn't deserve vitriol? Ha, I dunno. I do know that in my next post I point out that kind, gentle Perrin murders two men in a violent rage. I point out that he consciously choose to embrace violence rather than give it up. But we'll talk about that on Monday when I post it.

 

Until then, well, I hope there is no bad blood between us, dholm. Even if we are internet strangers I don't want to, you know, be upset. I like my vitriol to go towards fiction characters, not real people. You are a real person, right? Here's hoping!

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Meh - this has gone way too far off topic IMO and big long arguments are boiling down to a difference of opinion and perspective that's never going to change. Moving on!

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Men who have not tried to oppress women begin feeling slighted, and rightly so.

and

If you do not know of [the racist bank policies] and have done nothing to help enforce it, then you are not culpable, even if you worked at the bank. If you learn of it then do not attempt to stop it, then you would have helped enforce it if only by not standing in the way, and then you would be culpable -- but not before.
This is another difference of opinion that we share. I propose that working for that bank (enforcing the racist practices) makes you culpable. I think men who "have not tried to oppress women" are culpable, too. In the bank example, you can't go years and years at that job, excluding family after family, and claim one day that you're not responsible for your actions because you just didn't know.

Why? It is a superficial trait that they share. In the one instance, the person worked for someone they did not know were racist. In the other, men who do not try to oppress women have not done anything. I do not like seeing injustice, even if I do not work at improving those conditions myself.

 

You argue that people should be judged based on their actions, but you are judging men based on the actions of other men. "Guilty by association" does not work.

 

As for men, they cannot live their entire lives reaping the benefits of living in a patriarchy but say that they aren't culpable for what it does to women. I think I mentioned it in the blog before but there was a great quote in Batman about it not being who you are underneath but what you do that's important in life. So what if, say, Perrin is kind and gentle on the inside? When he acts a completely different way then that's the way I see him.

You cannot just ignore their inner thoughts. Actions speak louder than words, perhaps, but you cannot judge a person solely on his actions--for one thing, you cannot possibly know all the actions they take, even when you read about them. Secondly, their thoughts will always influence their actions. Perrin attacks those men because they attacked a friend of his, and because he lost control. You will not judge him too harshly on this, I hope.

 

What about men who actively try to improve conditions? What about men who support equality in all things? I certainly do the latter, if not the former. Perhaps I have been "reaping the benefits", as you so tacitly puts it.

 

They are of course justified in getting angry and upset. But they are not justified in attempting to reciprocate--that is just as wrong.
Okay. Let's work with this. Let's say you're upset and angry over being oppressed in some way. Justifiably so. Let's say you're a man in the Wheel of Time matriarchy and are not happy with the way men are treated. It pisses you off. So how do you change things without reciprocating? According to your rules, if I understand them correctly (and I may not!), it is wrong to see all women as oppressors. So how do you improve your plight? How can you bring down that evil bank while not pissing off those innocent bank workers ("Damn those men!" they might say. "I didn't know what I was doing so why are they trying to ruin my boss and make me lose my job?!")?

If you support the bank after you find out what they have been doing--even by only trying to keep your job--you are clearly culpable. I said this.

 

I do not support men oppressing women, anymore than I support women oppressing men. I do not know how to bring about worldwide change, but I do know that attempting to supplant men only to put women on top is just as bad. Denmark has close to equal opportunities for men and women, as far as I am aware. I do not know how my forebears accomplished this much, though.

 

In the real world, I say that men are on top in the real world and that it sucks. It sucks for women and it sucks for men, too. But saying that means I personally hate men and that I'm too biased to see the real world clearly. Thus, I'm wrong and my ideas are wrong as a reflection of that. Life continues, men are on top, and attempts to change that are seen as bad. I don't get it.

I am saying that your (correct) views of the real world are coloring your (incorrect) view of the Wheel of Time's world. Men from the Two Rivers are not sexist. The only thing approaching sexism is their intense desire to protect women, but considering how men will generally be more suited to the task, I cannot see this as a real fault.

 

They are only not the same thing because bigotry encompasses more than simply racism (and not all things that are of racism are of bigotry). Neither are one-way streets.
There is no such thing as reverse racism or reverse sexism. They are not one way streets. How am I being confusing about this? I think I'm pretty clear. Let's make a video game example.

 

In a video game there is a source code, a rule set that defines the world. There are power inequities between your character and the bosses. Those bosses have millions more hit points than you, better attacks, all sorts of cool things going on. If the roles were reversed and you played the boss you would crush the now-AI-controlled protagonist. Follow me so far? The rules of the game make the boss better than you. No matter how many power ups you get, no matter how awesome your gun sword is, the game universe created by the game engine makes the boss better than you. You still have to play by the game rules.

 

Those rules, that source code, is sexism. It is racism. In this context, we'll call it bossism. How do you reverse the source code? Defeating the boss won't do it. Killing him, leveling up, moving on to the next boss doesn't change the game's code. You're still playing in that world. Bossism still exists. To make the boss and player character equal (and probably make the game itself boring, but that's beside the point) you'd need to go into the source code and rewrite it. You'd need to bring down all the stats that make the boss better than you (or increase your own stats; same principle).In the real world you've got to change the cultural attitudes about gender and power hierarchies. Hating all men is stupid, it's bigotry, but it isn't reverse-sexism. It's beating the boss with your gun sword. He still has more hit points than you and fighting him by hating him won't change that.

The thing is, you're wrong. It is not the same thing at all. Sexism is not "a world." You are not born into sexism. Sexism is actions taken by people to oppress either sex.

 

Ideally, we want a world with equal opportunities for men and women (with exceptions based on individual differences, rather than superficial, general ones). Any deviation from this ideal world is sexism.

 

If we want to have this ideal world, we must work towards it, not away from it.

 

 

Here I was trying to clear things up but I fear I'm muddied the waters even more! I'd recommend some books and articles and essays to read but I don't think forum goers here are interested (most, no doubt, have written me off completely!).

I cannot say it is anything even approaching a passion of mine, but I am interested.

 

We got into the discussion about race because you began talking about slaves in the 19th century.
Ha! No doubt. And to think, I used the example of 19th Century oppression because I thought it would be counter-productive to use the Holocaust. Once the conversation has devolved into Nazi talk it is probably time to end it!

Definitely.

 

If you think we have biases that are clouding our judgement of the issues, bring them up.
Sounds fair. But I don't want to attack people. I don't want to call out So-and-So and say that their perception is biased. In fact, I just wrote three paragraphs about what I feel are other people's biases. But I deleted them because A) people already hate me for not liking the book enough so I don't want to piss people off even more and B) it doesn't matter. So, yes, I'll admit that I see this book with a feminist eye. But how do you see it? You've called out my bias and I admit to it. How about you do the same for yourself? And not just you, dholm. I don't want you to feel as if I'm picking on you or that I'm angry with you in particular. I'm not! I'd like everyone to answer this question. I'd like them to write it in the forums, too, let air it out, but I'll settle for quiet introspection after they read this comment.

It is incredibly difficult for anyone to see their own biases. I certainly cannot (and I would not presume that you know me well enough to do so either).

 

But you all can't think that your personal POVs are Truth Without Bias, can you? What about her personal biases make you like the book as much as you do? What makes you hate the parts you hate?

I imagine I am wrong about some things, but I would not be able to say what they are.

 

To give you an example, let us talk about Perrin for a while....words edited out for space...He is about as far from a psychopath as you can become.He really does not deserve your vitriol.
Do you think your personal biases make you think he doesn't deserve vitriol? Ha, I dunno. I do know that in my next post I point out that kind, gentle Perrin murders two men in a violent rage. I point out that he consciously choose to embrace violence rather than give it up. But we'll talk about that on Monday when I post it.

 

Until then, well, I hope there is no bad blood between us, dholm. Even if we are internet strangers I don't want to, you know, be upset. I like my vitriol to go towards fiction characters, not real people. You are a real person, right? Here's hoping!

I should hope so!

 

No bad blood. We can disagree civilly.

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Sunny, I believe that some people get pissed off when you bring real life issues into what they consider escapism. You are judging these books, and all other books/movies/whatever I'd wager, by your own personal brand of Utopia.

 

You are clearly a feminist, a socialist (of sorts) and a pascifist. I predict that you will not enjoy WoT and I honestly suggest that you do not read further. I've never been a believer in the myth that WoT is gender equal in any way. Almost all the movers and shakers are men throughout the series. There will be no equality. Especially not the way you see it.

 

I suggest trying out fantasy that does not even pretend. Something that revels in the brawn, the beard, the blood and the booze. Read the First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. You will have no other choice but to read it without having Utopia in mind. That being said, it is not the equivalent of a dumb action movie. Try it!

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Just wanted to say I agree entirely about the whole Perrin thinking about killing Egwene thing. I was absolutely horrified by that. It's one of the main reasons I've never liked him. After that nothing could possibly have redeemed him for me.

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Ugh. I'm done reading these. It's just one long moralistic crusade about anything that portrays any individual woman as deferential to, weaker than, or otherwise "beneath" any man at any time for any plot purpose. It doesn't matter. If the woman's not in absolute command (and if the man doesn't DAMN WELL LIKE IT), you're on another rant about it.

 

It's grating. It's hypocritical.

 

Gender relations are a very real problem. Women deserve equal treatment. A fantasy world which reflects an author's misogyny is unpleasant to read, but this is not that world. It has its imperfections, but it is not grossly misogynistic, as you make it out to be.

 

I do not fault you for taking pride in your gender, and taking offense to when it is trivialized or marginalized. And yet, in your worldview, men appear to have no options left to them. Be completely dominated by women, or suffer your wrath.

 

The empowered female characters in this series, who are in touch with their femininity (and sometimes, yes, deferential to the husbands/significant others that they love), are one of the great features of it. I listed in my reply to your last chapter summaries a few of the strong women of the series that you will like. But you will never like any of the men, because they occasionally have opinions and plans of their own, and those opinions and plans sometimes are accepted by women.

 

:mad:

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