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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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Ryrin
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IWW library - Here is the place to post your ideas of books / TV shows / movies with inspiring heroines!

                                                                         The content of this library will be used after the event in a permanent library.

 

 

 

                                   shebelieved.png

Edited by Ryrin
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I have one woman I very much admire and I've actually met her when she came to my agency to provide some training and enlightenment. Her name is Zemi Yenus and she is from Ethiopia.

 

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Growing up in Ethiopia in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Zemi moved to Italy in 1977 at the age of 17 to escape the threatening political conditions in the country.  While studying Italian and starting a hotel management course there, at age 19, she started working for a refugee service agency called UCEI (Ufficio Centrale per Lemegrazione Italiana) that worked alongside the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).  As a part of her work, she helped process documents for the thousands Ethiopians who entered the country on their way to other countries.  Returning briefly to Ethiopia in 1981, she was accused by the Military Government of assisting wanted criminals to escape through her work with the refugee service in Rome, which put her in their black list.  Accordingly, she left for the United States, where she resided for fourteen years until 1996.

 

After completing a course in Cosmetology, she worked in several places, including in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, California, and established her own beauty salon in Los Angeles. She enjoyed her profession, especially because it gave her the chance to meet people from different backgrounds, races and social classes, allowing her to learn more about life.

 

In 1992, soon after the Military Regime changed, when Zemi returned to Ethiopia for a vacation, she was dismayed to see so many unemployed young people who seemed to have lost hope and so many young girls on the street working as commercial sex workers.  She decided to move back permanently so that she could contribute to her beloved country’s development, with a special concern for youth.  On her return to Ethiopia, she opened Niana School of Beauty, the first licensed beauty school in the country. She has trained more than six thousand young women in the profession, most of whom are working and many of whom opened their own businesses.  Finding that there were many young women who wanted to work in the beauty field but could not afford the fees, she began to give scholarships and worked with non-governmental organizations such as the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Pathfinder International, PACT, Population Council and more, to help commercial sex workers change their profession. She helped many young women who had lost hope of entering a profession that could support them, when they completed their high school education with less than the results needed to go on to university. She worked on developing their hidden talents and trained most of her students in life skills to help them change their whole approach to their lives.

 

Zemi then had a son with autism. He was viewed as spoiled and undisciplined. When he was diagnosed in the United Kingdom as autistic, she tried several schools for her son, hoping to find one that could meet his needs. Finding no schools equipped to deal with children in the Autism Spectrum in Ethiopia, she had to decide whether to go back to the United States, where such schools existed, or stay in Ethiopia.  While exploring her options, she learned about other parents’ challenges in raising their children with autism. She witnessed that many autistic children were considered cursed and possessed and, as a result, they were chained and locked away in dark rooms, rejected to the point that some were not even considered part of their families.  Determined to change all of this, Zemi decided to stay in Ethiopia and made her life’s purpose to educate the public about autism and to change the lives of children with Autism and other disorders.

 

She began autism awareness creation programs by including the issue in the modern and traditional beauty services and products exhibitions she organized. It was a good opportunity for her since governmental and non-governmental officials, celebrities, students, individuals from the medical field, and media people, along with the public, were invited. She talked about autism in her beauty-related interviews with the media. Soon, the issue became the talk of the town.

 

When it became clear that creating awareness was not enough by itself, she opened an autism center and a school for children with autism in May 2002, using funds from the Niana School of Beauty.  To educate herself about the issue, she began to read about autism and attended numerous trainings and courses about autism. Parents who can afford to do so contribute to the center according to their income, while those who can’t afford receive free services.  For those who can’t afford to get basic social services because they haven’t been working while caring for their children, the foundation provides financial support for food, house, rent, and transportation.

 

In the future, Zemi plans to expand to serve a larger number of children. She also hopes to include other children who have mental and emotional challenges. She is working to assure that social services like education and health care are available for these children and they are included in all aspects of the community’s work.  She is working hard to make Nia Foundation’s Joy Center for Autism and Related Disorders a center of excellence, offering therapies, trainings, research and other services.

 

Article

 

I can tell you she is as remarkable in real life as she is in an article. What a blessing Zemi has been to the world.

 

You can hear her speak here.

 

Edited by Ryrin
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I think that most of the CSI series feature quite strong and independent women, but my favourite is the original NCIS. The women in that series aren't dolled up to the nines, yet they're amongst the most popular female characters in all shows.

 

I'm pretty sure many people adore Abby, the forensic scientist. She's such a unique person! She's such a complex balance between vulnerable yet fearless, brilliantly intelligent yet caring and empathetic.

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I have an idea for a stand alone fantasy book featuring a heroine who runs away from her patriarchal dominated home to find freedom for herself. She would learn many things along the way, how to take care of herself and survival skills. I have an outline, but not much else at this point. I've never tried writing a book before.

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In the movie Snow Cake, Sigourney Weaver portrays a woman with autism. Her autism is quite advanced yet the woman remains functional, holding a job and even having a social life.
The story shows life from the perspective of a stranger who comes to this woman's house telling her that her daughter had been killed in a car accident and he was the driver.

 

Through the interactions the wisdom of this autistic woman filters through in the most unusual, confrontational and pure manner and forces you to think about hard and painful issues in a whole new light.

 

Sigourney Weaver's portrait of this woman was phenomenal and I highly recommend this movie to everyone who hasn't seen it yet.

 

While the story is based around this very sad and heart breaking event of her daughter dying, it nevertheless is in essence a lesson in how to live life to its fullest.

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I enjoy CSI as well. When I was looking for art displaying "warrior women," I inevitably come up with scantily clad women holding a weapon.

However, they look ready for anything but battle.

 

Brandie, that sounds like a really good potential book. I read "Unchosen: Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels," which is about both men and women escaping oppressive Hasidic Judaism. The author turned her doctoral thesis into a book.

 

Myst, I have a very deep interest in autism and have never heard of that film! I'll have to watch it.

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I love Snow Cake! It's such a beautiful film!

 

TV shows I enjoy with strong female leads/heroines:

 

Outlander

Penny Dreadful

Bones

Lost

Girls

Gilmore Girls

Elementary

 

There are obviously more, but those are the ones I've watched.

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Elgee watched Penny Dreadful. I have it on Netflix but haven't watched it yet.

 

One of the intriguing things for me overall about the Wheel of Time is that it is a female centric world. A woman is the most powerful in the world, female channelers, mistresses of the ships (which are referred to as "he" rather than "she",) queens, an empress etc.

 

I know there has been much criticism in the the ways Robert Jordan presented female characters but the world is certainly female focused aside from the Dragon when he steps forward.

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Penny Dreadful is a great show, I loved it (but then it has a lot of things i enjoy in it :biggrin: )

 

Vanessa Ives (the heroine) is a very strong woman !

 

 

I am sure that we will be able to add Beauty and the Beast (waiting for the movie to be out) which features Emma Watson, who is a very inspiring young woman  :biggrin:

 

 

 

To follow what Ryrin said, I really didn't like how WOT females are presented. But beyond that, the WOT world sees a lot of females with power.

(Now, this world is not completely different than ours since it's mostly males who are in the military and all, seamstresses are female, ... )

Edited by Chaelca
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Rosa Parks

 

"By refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus in 1955, black seamstress Rosa Parks (1913—2005) helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States. The leaders of the local black community organized a bus boycott that began the day Parks was convicted of violating the segregation laws. Led by a young Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the boycott lasted more than a year—during which Parks not coincidentally lost her job—and ended only when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Over the next half-century, Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation."

 

Article

 

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Edited by Ryrin
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Malala Yousafzai

 

Malala Yousafzai is a Woman of the Year because... "By targeting her, extremists showed what they feared most: a girl with a book. Malala embodies the power of education to build peace. She is truly a role model for the world."

 

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education, was given a standing ovation at the United Nations as she declared the attempt on her life had only given her strength and banished any fear she once felt. “Dear friends, on the 9th of October, 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends too,” she said in her first major public appearance. “They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed.” Speaking on her 16th birthday, she said the "terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this -- weakness, fear and hopelessness died, strength, power and courage was born."

 

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personally I had no problem with how women were presented in WOT. I felt they were well rounded, versatile and quite realistic. There were good ones, bad ones, smart ones and dumb ones, just as in real life. There were those that used their bodies for gaining whatever they set their eyes on and those that were very prudish in such regards. There's those that put themselves squarely in the service of others and those that were squarely serving themselves. If you ask me, that's a rather realistic manner in which to portray any human, male and female. And I do think that WOT depicts that quite nicely.

The majority of issues I have seen regarding the WOT women does actually stem from the positions of power they wield. And that objection in itself is proof that in our reality so many people, even progressive ones, are still not entirely comfortable with the idea of women in power. I find that a much bigger issue than anything I've seen in the books.

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The fact that they wield power is not the problem of me, but again I didn't like the WOT series and never found a female character that impressed me nor a female character I felt connected to.

but, I don't like the WOT women as I don't like the WOT battles, the WOT sword fighting but this is probably not the place to talk about it.

 

*** edit *** thinking back about it, I have to add that one of the things I didn't enjoy was the number of female characters who behaved as bullies when people didn't think like them / obeyed them.

Also, I found them sometimes unfair towards the men.

 

Now, I have never heard a WOT reader complaining about the fact that females had powers in WOT. I know I can't advertise for another forums but there's an interesting sociology class about "female with power and wot" in one of them. There's a lot of interesting things said there.

 

***

 

I prefer the women heroines in Game of Thrones or even in my Philippa Gregory books. Star Wars (even the legendary parts) have also interesting character.

Edited by Chaelca
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The fact that they wield power is not the problem of me, but again I didn't like the WOT series and never found a female character that impressed me nor a female character I felt connected to.

but, I don't like the WOT women as I don't like the WOT battles, the WOT sword fighting but this is probably not the place to talk about it.

 

*** edit *** thinking back about it, I have to add that one of the things I didn't enjoy was the number of female characters who behaved as bullies when people didn't think like them / obeyed them.

Also, I found them sometimes unfair towards the men.

 

Now, I have never heard a WOT reader complaining about the fact that females had powers in WOT. I know I can't advertise for another forums but there's an interesting sociology class about "female with power and wot" in one of them. There's a lot of interesting things said there.

That's largely the reason I don't like them - seems to be written by someone who evidently sees most women as acting "pissy" or verbally/emotionally abusive or manipulative to get what they want or in retaliation. There are of course women like that - but when at least half of all the women in the world are like that, seems to be the author trying to say something and something not flattering about the gender. There was also BDSM/fetishistic undertones as the series went on, which was unprofessional at best and somewhat gross when combined with the author's general portrayal of women.

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I can't say I've had a problem with the WoT women so far in my reading, but I'll keep it in mind.

 

I guess it's also colored by what I see as a sort of medieval setting, and compared to that, the women have a ton of influence in the books.

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I agree with Taltos that there were some BDSM undertones and at times the women seem simplistic.

 

I really liked the character "Myrelle" although I don't know what that says about me. Lol.

Edited by Ryrin
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Does someone know about the handmaid's tale ? I have read an ad about it and thought it could maybe be of interest ?

Brilliant, and my second favourite Atwood book. It's set in a dystopian future in which womens freedom/rights are lost and I don't want to say more cos you should probably just read it :P

 

(my favourite is Cats Eyes which centers around bullying and is just superb)

Edited by BFG
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George R R Martin has the best quote about writing female characters, when asked how he managed to have such complexity within his female characters he responded with "well, I imagine them to be people" paraphrased

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I'll definitely have a look at both the series and the show !

 

@ BFG, also I love that quote lol

Edited by Chaelca
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Every single discussion I've seen here in General has had people whining and female dogging about the power positions women hold in WOT. It's part of the reason I've stopped pariticipating because I was getting pissed off more than quick because of it.

 

I am curious though, if you don't like WOT then what drew you to a WOT-based fandom? Not that you can't, just curious where that comes from.

I'm not even remotely impressed with Game of Thrones so I can't imagine being drawn to any fandom that was structured or based on it. It's an interesting sociological thing, so I'm curious.

 

As for Star Wars, I'm a Star Trek girl personally. :tongue:

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