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DJP

Women in the Wheel of Time series

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I am taking issue with some of this and agreeing with some.

 

Some women' date=' not sure how many, but myself and alot of the women I know, would be considered bitches who nag, manipulate, and control men if men knew everything we did and everything we thought. The reason this seems out of character is because men dont know half the stuff we do behind their backs. I personally think RJ has written the most realistic female characters I have read in a fantasy series. I for one have embraced my manipulative bitchyness.

 

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HOhohohohoooooo. Lemme say gurl, we do know the stuff you females do behind our backs. It doesn't take the most sensitive rocket scientist to figure it out yo! But don't we also do stuff behind their backs boys? Its only natural that 'what goes around comes around' eh? And why is RJ writing a realisitc portrayal of female characters when hes completely disregarding the sensitivity and to use your words 'the stuff we do behind their backs' that men also do? Its a one sided mirror here and its not realistic at all.

Not all men are macho, stone faced, insensitive, half blind idiots. The male characters seems to all be such, they can't see the things right under their noses! look at Rand! Are we like that guys? maybe some of us but its an over generalization in the WoT.

If you wanted the story to be realistic you would have both the men and women sensitive to their surroundings and situations rather than get duped by tiny little pitfalls. But its fantasy dude! if we wanted realistic we go to the non-fiction section yo. i don't see any point in creating a world where only women are even remotely sensitive and have enough ice in their collective glares to freeze the world over. I haven't even seen a person in real life staring at someone with 'a glare that can freeze','enough iciness to cool the room' etc. Do all you women do that in secret? maybe you could consider helping fix global warming?

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Yes, women do that, all of that.

 

First of all, those are metaphors. My dirty looks cant literally "carry enough icyness to cool a room" but someone who has pissed me off might describe it that way.

 

Also, these are characters; characters need to be realistic, but they also need to be exaggerated. I often get inspiration for characters from my friends, but when I write the story, it is not about my friend, a character emerges from the inspiration.

 

That being said, why does everyone insist on thinking bitchyness is a bad thing? Powerful women are often thought of as being bitchy. I see it as a compliment.

 

And every woman in the book is not bitchy, nor are any of them always bitchy. Just like real life.

 

All people are bitchy some of the time.

Some people are bitchy most of the time.

No one is bitchy all of the time.

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Now I don't know who taught you maths, but even keeping "tradition chinese religion", "animism", "Taoism" and "Buddhism" in the Goddess worship section, they are still in the clear minority. Time to ring up your math teacher I presume.

 

Yea, but your stats are cheating! Your including alll of christianity, when they should be indiviualized! *not that it would help the total numbers at all, but its still cheating non the less!* :P

 

About the only thing I can respond to this whole 'religion with men or women as gods' is look at japan during the 1400's or so. they had a 'man' god at that time, yet look how they treated the women? And to some extent still do! *not nearly as badly but point still there to some extent*

 

We have only seen, and heard of only a handfull of women pov's in wot. We don't know if all women in the 'wot' universe act the way you see them act but they aren't all 'bitches'. If they were the average male life span would be 35. :P

Elaynes a queens daughter, a Brat. She acts exactly like how you'd expect royalty to act. Male or Female.

Nyneave, is a women who was givin a great responsibility at a very younng age. She had to litterally Fight her way into doing what her 'job' has her do. That has been ingrained into her personality. She litteraly has to fight for everything she does, simply because people have always stood in her way, or whatever..

 

Egweene is in somewhat of a same predicament as Nyneave. Egweene started life as a 'innkeepers daughter' which could meen anything! Brat? Not? Its hard to know what she was 'really' like before the whole events happened. But she became Aes Sedia, her goal was to be aes sedia. She later got forced into amyrllian. and she REFUSED to be used. Instead she became the one who held the reigns!

 

Min's upbringing is completely different then the above! she wishes no 'powers' she wasn't spoiled, and she's not exactly a 'bitch' as some of ya have put so elegantly.

 

Berlaine is much like the Nyneave complex, except she 'fought' by being slutty.

 

Now what about the men?

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Why are you desperate to dismiss Goddess worship? It is alive and viable in the world, just as God worship is. I suppose your looking to glorify your own religion by making it superior or something. But that has been your goal throughout this thread. You've been clinging to the failures of Goddess Worship... which has nothing to do with the purpose of this thread, specifically being the nature of conceptualisation of gender power systems and its effects on gender relations on a societal level.

 

 

Christians; 2 Billion people.

Muslims; 1.3 Billion people.

Sikhism; 23 million

Judaism; 14 million

Druze; 1 million

Hinduism; 1 billion (they believe in Brahman a sexless God that is pure knowledge and infinite, the (impersonal God), who appears as many avatars. Brahman may appear male or female, so in no way is Hinduism in the slightest Goddess worship, more a sexless entity worship that represents infinitum and knowledge).

 

World Population; 6.5 Billion

 

 

Now I don't know who taught you maths, but even keeping "tradition chinese religion", "animism", "Taoism" and "Buddhism" in the Goddess worship section, they are still in the clear minority. Time to ring up your math teacher I presume.

 

Ok, firstly, Hinduism is not actually a religion, its a category (and a category invented by western scholars, i might add). When your speaking of the Indian religions of Shiva and Vishnu and so forth you are speaking of Vedic Religions... as in multitude. It might be similar to say that Judaism, Islam and Christinity fall under the category of Abrahemic religions, though the differences between the Vedic religions are much more diverse. This delusion of pantheistic Brahiminic conceptualisations of Hindi culture is a result of western compartmentalisation, nothing else.

 

So that you actually know, Brahman is not a conceptualisation of a devine being. Vedic religions are not pantheistic, they are panrealistic and everything you said is wrong. Brahman is two things, one, a class amongst indian culture reserved for the priests (which you must be born into), and the intrinsic basis of all things. This stems from the belief that all things, including both the gods and the people came from a single source, the sacred cow that dismembered itself.

 

In western epistemology you'll encounter the use of Brahman as a description of the part of the cow that was the head, and is currently the domain in which the gods live, this stems from one specific Vedic faith--unsurprisingly being that of the Brahmans themselves.

 

The actual practise of Hinduism is vary from person to person, as guided by the Upanisads and the Bhagavad-Gita, both of which ive actually read. Their gods and goddesses are very personal, very involved, and very individual.

 

And yes, they are classified as Goddess Worship.

 

Now lets look at numbers. I made a mistake in my original statement that goddess worship outnumbered god. I counted certain people twice. Here, ill show you.

 

These numbers are from a comparative study conducted in 2002 by Tony Swain, Mirceas Eliade, Chris Hartney and Cuzak, and is currently held to be the leading examination by Religious studies scholars.

 

Religions containing active goddess worship.

 

Buddhism = 400 million

Hinduism = 1.2 billion

Neo-paganism = ~ 40 million*

Chinese Folk Religion (only) = 850 million

Shinto = 128 million

Taoism (only) = 180 million

Religious Confucianism (aka Neo-Confucianism) = 842 million**

 

Total = 3.640 billion.

 

Religions containing only active god worship.

 

Christianity = 2.1 billion

Judaism = 14 million

Islam = 1.4 billion***

 

3.514 billion.

 

Now, you'll notice this exceeds the world population. The reason is the nature of eastern religions. The problem comes from the fact that Chines Folk Religions, Buddhism, Shinto, Confucianism and Taoism all intersect. Practitioners of one quie frequently practise the others too.

 

I havn't even put down Sihkism, Jainism and half a hundred other indian sects which classify as goddess worship. Also there are the Animistic and Shamanistic religions such as Bon to be concidered, and the atheist, agnostic and non-religions people.

 

My guess puts goddess worship at around 2.5 billion. Which ill concede is less then that of god worship. My fault, i only read the final numbers in the reports for distinct religion. Shows what you get for not following through.

 

 

 

 

*Including Benne Magie, Druidism, Wicca, the Old Religion, Aboriginal Religion, Certain African and Asian religions and multiple other such cults world wide. ~ stands for aproximation, neo-pagan faiths with the exception of Benne Magie have no real infrastructure, and is thus hard to keep a track of. It may be as high as 80 million (which i doubt), or as low as 10 (which is to be true, plausible. My guess would be its somewhere around 20, but i havn't done the legwork, so ill put in the deduction that the experts came to)

 

**Technically, according to Communist Chinese law, every member of China is a practicing confucian. Its built into the establishment of atheist China, which is why ive differentiated with Religion Confucianism. Normal Confucianism doesn't recognize the sages anyway, so isn't any form of worship, goddess or otherwise.

 

***Islam, in this study, includes Muslims, Druze, Soophiism and non denominational.

 

 

 

 

Finally, on the matter of maths teachers, a majority requires that god worship exceed 50 percent of the worlds population, or rather 3.75 billion. For Goddess worship to be a minority also requires that god worship does this. 2.5 billion is not a 'clear minority'.

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Sorry SD, had to respond to DS' insecure rants against goddess worship first.

 

About the only thing I can respond to this whole 'religion with men or women as gods' is look at japan during the 1400's or so. they had a 'man' god at that time, yet look how they treated the women? And to some extent still do! *not nearly as badly but point still there to some extent*

 

The point was the influence of perceptions of gender power on the gender relations. At that time the Shoguns ruled, and the Emperor who was a decendent of Izinami and Izanagi, ans was a Kami himself, supposedly, was a figurehead. Amataresu had been deposed.

 

As you yourself state, a male god. An increase in patriarchal control, a skew in the sexes with women being depowered. This fits entirely.

 

In the Wheel you see women holding the highest position of power. This fact has resulted in a skew of gender perception and balance in the way they relate. My point, originally, was that such a cultural phenomena was not unprecedented, as we've seen it occur in religions countless times.

 

As for the rest of what you say, i dont disagree.

 

Also i do not think RJ is unaware of this, which is why it is there. It was a specific bid for realism, not a misunderstanding of gender relations. Look at the Aiel. In there society balance never got that skewed, and you see a much more reasonable gender situation.

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....

Jesussss luckers! you're either some religious studies professor dude or some psychopathic nerdass!

Did you actually study this stuff? I haven't read so many different religions/religious ppls etc ever! not even in freakin theory of knowledge class. I think i can learn more about philosophy and religion just reading your posts than going to school!lollll

 

Just one comment. My mom's japanese and shes into Shinto. i live in Hong Kong and people don't have a common religion here; some buddhists, some chinese folk diety worshippers. And its true, people practice multiple thingies here but in the case of Shinto, you can't be more than one thing (just like you can't be christian and catholic at the same time). There is no Shinto-buddhist or somesuch.

Also, confucianism isn't a religion, its a philosophy; a set of values and ethical codes of conduct. There aren't much here nowadays ever since the end of the Qing, Sun yat sens 1911 revolution made confucian classics immediately rendered unpopular. They've had too much of a hold on Chinese people for far too long and we still see influences here today but for sure, hardline Confucianists are rare. Confucianism has sages? hes just some freakin philosopher! like Socrates. I'm no philosophy student or smart dude like you but i'm pretty sure they don't actually beleive in gods or sages, there is no worship involved man...i've been to a confucianist school open day down the road, nothing of that sort.

 

And can you state how under chinese communist law everyone is a confucianist? Is there actually an article in the constitution saying that? I"m not a communist but my dad was and a student movement leader here in HK, red guard friends, he wrote a book on communism/marxist-leninism in China. Hes an expert in this area and in chinese history as a whole from Tang dynasty to Deng Xiaopeng; never has he ever mentioned confucianism in the context of communist dogma. The peasant family priority and social hierarchies in China, filial piety etc, you might say is part of confucianist rite but in actual fact bro, its just plain Chinese cultural tradition. Stemming from confucianism doens't mean its actually confucianist.

So when you say "**Technically, according to Communist Chinese law, every member of China is a practicing confucian.Its built into the establishment of atheist China, which is why ive differentiated with Religion Confucianism. Normal Confucianism doesn't recognize the sages anyway, so isn't any form of worship, goddess or otherwise. "

 

I think you are swerving into overgeneralization and from my cultural PoV and innate understanding of my freakin homeland, i think you are completely wrong.

If you have a source (internet/book/lecture) that you got this confucianist bs from, pls tell me so i can check it out and prove it completely wrong)

 

Now can someone tell me how the **** we got from women in WoT to freakin confucianism!?

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Jesussss luckers! you're either some religious studies professor dude or some psychopathic nerdass!

Did you actually study this stuff? I haven't read so many different religions/religious ppls etc ever! not even in freakin theory of knowledge class. I think i can learn more about philosophy and religion just reading your posts than going to school!lollll

 

Lol. Yeah, i major in religous studies, and minor in philosophy, sociology and psychology, though next semester im dropping psych and socio and picking up buddhist philosophy and sanskrit.

 

But yes, i am a psychopathic nerdass. Its a failing of mine.

 

Just one comment. My mom's japanese and shes into Shinto. i live in Hong Kong and people don't have a common religion here; some buddhists, some chinese folk diety worshippers. And its true, people practice multiple thingies here but in the case of Shinto, you can't be more than one thing (just like you can't be christian and catholic at the same time). There is no Shinto-buddhist or somesuch.

 

Well, firstly you can be catholic and christian... all followers of jesus christ are christian. You can't be catholic and, say, prodestant, which is probably what you meant?

 

On the matter of your mother, your quite correct, but modern Shinto is a revival. Shinto itself was actually displaced for many centuries by Buddhism as the religion of Japan, and the two amalgamated, as Buddhism so frequently does. Shinto became a sort of ritualistic form of purification and state holiday, whilst Buddhist conceptual philosophies were the basis of moral codes, actions, and beliefs about reality. The two worked together. Basically the practices of Shrine worship combined with the Zen philosophies.

 

Meanwhile the female shamans that controlled the faith faded out to be replaced by the priests of the shrines (though the priestesses have regained popularity in modern times), so Shinto was an intrinsic to the sense of identity for the japanese people, whilst buddhism was the state religion. But that being said for a long time Shinto practices were subserviant to Buddhist ones.

 

It wasn't until the rivaval by the Emperor Meigi in 1868 that Shinto regained its individuality, though buddhist ideology did alter it to some degree (the loss of sacrfice etc). Now im not surprised that there are previsions in certain practitions of Shinto forbiding the assosiation with other faiths. Having been subserviant for so long it would need to demonstrate its individuality, and with a vengence.

 

Also, confucianism isn't a religion, its a philosophy; a set of values and ethical codes of conduct. There aren't much here nowadays ever since the end of the Qing, Sun yat sens 1911 revolution made confucian classics immediately rendered unpopular. They've had too much of a hold on Chinese people for far too long and we still see influences here today but for sure, hardline Confucianists are rare.

 

Which is why i differentiated. Confucianism is, in itself, a set of guidelines on how to deal with people, in particular in matters of state. And yes it is still present. Communist China utilizes the principals in its every delivery. The core base of both it and Taoism, being the philosophy of Wu Wei, or the reduction of the people to the simplest form so they follow their natural paths is the very core of the current government.

 

Confucianism has sages? hes just some freakin philosopher! like Socrates. I'm no philosophy student or smart dude like you but i'm pretty sure they don't actually beleive in gods or sages, there is no worship involved man...i've been to a confucianist school open day down the road, nothing of that sort.

 

Well first, yes, Confucianism did have sages, but they weren't worshiped. Let me explain.

 

Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism... they weren't started as religions. You explain to Lao Tzu that the Dao de Jhing is now concidered a religious text, and he'd likely slap you. Some with the ten rules of Confucias, or the Dharma of Buddha. Nevertheless, they evolved.

 

Confucianism incited Taoism, which was a humourous response (litterally, the Taoists were making fun of the Confucians) to the strict nature of Confucian doctrine. In response you see the creation of Neo-Confucianism, or as its also called, Religious Confucianism. The Sages of Confucianism... people who originally served the purpose of standing between the people and the ruler, became voices for gods. Taoism also adapted, you see the appearence of the Holy Immortals, and the Taoist practice of imbibing mercury in a bid to change their body chemistry. Its almost an animistic faith in that sense, lots of out of body experiences.

 

Moreover you see people that are both Confucian and Taoist, which is challanging contradiction. Its around this time that Buddhism entered the scene, and you see the creation of the folk religions, as amalgamations of all three.

 

And can you state how under chinese communist law everyone is a confucianist? Is there actually an article in the constitution saying that? I"m not a communist but my dad was and a student movement leader here in HK, red guard friends, he wrote a book on communism/marxist-leninism in China. Hes an expert in this area and in chinese history as a whole from Tang dynasty to Deng Xiaopeng; never has he ever mentioned confucianism in the context of communist dogma. The peasant family priority and social hierarchies in China, filial piety etc, you might say is part of confucianist rite but in actual fact bro, its just plain Chinese cultural tradition. Stemming from confucianism doens't mean its actually confucianist.

 

The peasent familial priority and social hierarchy are Confucian... as in, that chinese cultural tradition resulted from Confucianism, and is specifically what my comment related to. Technically, by admission, modern china is communist, and therefore athiest. By practice, however modern China is confucian, and a little toaist... its so inherent to the nature of the chinese existence that the Communists couldn't remove it, despite the obvious issues with religion in an atheist state, so instead they use it. You can see it in the propaganda posters, they are almost verbatim using confucian concepts.

 

And no, it isn't in their constitution, if they have such a document, its in their structure. They utilize confucian and Toaist practices and concepts in the structure of establishing their government. Its inherent to their station.

 

So i dont disagree with your comment that stemming from confucian doesn't nessasarily mean confucian, but confucian was code of practices, and if people are practicing that code, does that not make them confucian?

 

So when you say "**Technically, according to Communist Chinese law, every member of China is a practicing confucian.Its built into the establishment of atheist China, which is why ive differentiated with Religion Confucianism. Normal Confucianism doesn't recognize the sages anyway, so isn't any form of worship, goddess or otherwise. "

 

I think you are swerving into overgeneralization and from my cultural PoV and innate understanding of my freakin homeland, i think you are completely wrong.

If you have a source (internet/book/lecture) that you got this confucianist bs from, pls tell me so i can check it out and prove it completely wrong)

 

Chinese law utilizes confucian ideology was the basis of my point.

 

As for texts. *sigh*

 

The main text id suggest you look at is 'The Religious Dimensions of Confucianism' by R.L. Taylor from a compendium called 'The Way of Heaven, An introduction to confucian religious life'.

 

You wont find my basis for my statement about the modern chinese system, for that you'll need to study chinese religious history. Here are the texts that led to my position.

 

'Confucias and Confucianism' by D. H. Smith.

'The Religious Dimensions of Confucianism' by R. Taylor.

'Confucias; the man and the myth' by H. G. Creel

'A short history of Confucias Philosophy' by L. Wu-Chi

'Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China' by A Waley.

'The Analects of Confucia' translated by A Waley.

'The Mancius' translation by D.A. Lau.

'China: A short Cultural history' by C. P. Fitzgerald

'Chinese Religions' by D.H. Smith

'Chinese Religions' by J. Ching

'The Chinese Way in Religion' by L. G. Thompson

'Buddhism in China, A Historical survey' by K. Chen

'The World of Thought in Ancient China' by B. Schwarts.

'Taoism and Chinese Religion' by H Maspero.

 

 

Those make a really good introduction to the subject. When you get through them, give me a shout and ill give you directions on where to go afterwards. I'll also, of course, take and criticism you have of them. I have several myself... they are quite basic texts... it should make for an interesting discussion.

 

Now as for Shinto.

 

'History of Japanese Religion' by M. Anesaki

'Religion in Japanese History' by J Kitagawa

'Shinto: The Kami Way' by S. Ono

'Shinto: The Way of the Gods' by W. G. Aston

'Ko-ji-ki' translation by B.G. chamberlain

 

 

Finally, as to how we got to this. Its because im a pretentious little bastard, with an obsession with religion. When DS made comments that were so blatantly wrong i had to address it... i couldn't help myself.

 

My original comment was only an idle statement for the purpose of showing what RJ has done with gender in the wheel has a basis in the real world. Nothing more.

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Looking back I think I mistook your point to some degree. However out of interest you said 3.514 billion people worship a male god solely, would you happen to know the number of people who worship a female god only? As in a monotheistic soceity where there is only one goddess to worship, or at least in a paganistic soceity the goddess ranked above all the lesser Gods (i.e Zeus in Greek mythology).

Note: I am not trying to nullify Goddess worship, I only took your view skeptically, and in my view you overstate its significance in modern soceity.

 

Also is a religion where one worships Gods and Goddess' still one where there is Goddess worship, instead of just Polytheistic worship? Calling it Goddess worship skews it a bit in your favor or am I wrong? For example the way you express things, instead of calling it a religion that is polytheistic with feminine deities present, you said it is a religion that practices goddess worship. Something I doubt you did by mistake, more trying to skew a point in your direction subtly and trying to make a point that way.

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However out of interest you said 3.514 billion people worship a male god solely, would you happen to know the number of people who worship a female god only?As in a monotheistic soceity where there is only one goddess to worship, or at least in a paganistic soceity the goddess ranked above all the lesser Gods (i.e Zeus in Greek mythology).

 

I was wondering if you'd pick up on that. Technically? None. The only singularily female based religion are neo-pagan ones, and mostly they are pantheistic, which means that whilst the major facet identity is female, they include male components. There were a lot of singular female based religions in the past, but they were wiped out.

 

But all that ive stated fit the second, like Zeus. Quan Yin is the primrary, and Amateresu Omikami. Maiden Ho. Currently in Vedic religions worship of Shiva is rampant, though thats a recent trend (last three years) and so on and so forth.

 

Of course, the reason i ignored it to begin with is the fascination with montheism is a western obsession that has no real bearing on religious dialogue. Technically Christianity isn't a monotheistic faith, thanks to Jesus and the holy spirit (and yes, i know the arguments against that, and their validity... im speaking semantically). Nor Judaism (which at its core is monoidolatristic) or the Gnostic faiths. Islam is about the only monotheistic faith i know of to have ever existed.

 

 

Note: I am not trying to nullify Goddess worship, I only took your view skeptically, and in my view you overstate its significance in modern soceity.

 

Again fair enough. My point was in dismissing the accuracy of the western christian conceptualisation of the world. I mean, if this thread shows nothing else it shows the pervasive nature of the misinformation that permeates western culture about the religions of the world. I mean, in high school i was taught that there were only five religions. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism... i mean its astonishing how little people know about this subject, given the wide sources of information avalliable.

 

Also is a religion where one worships Gods and Goddess' still one where there is Goddess worship, instead of just Polytheistic worship? Calling it Goddess worship skews it a bit in your favor or am I wrong? For example the way you express things, instead of calling it a religion that is polytheistic with feminine deities present, you said it is a religion that practices goddess worship. Something I doubt you did by mistake, more trying to skew a point in your direction subtly and trying to make a point that way.

 

No. For starters my point was only that the worship of goddesses is still in existence--remember, you stated that they had all died out. I listed the faiths in which goddess worship is still practised. And no, the existence of god worship in those faiths does not negate the existence of goddess worship. And no, it was not subtly skewing the issue, since the issue was wether people still worshiped goddesses.

 

The second point was in wether goddesses in those faiths were primraries, or figures of power. I was specifically speaking of the past of course, during the times of urbanisation, yet even now figures like Ma Zu, Quan Yin, Amaterasu Omikami and so on are worshiped as primraries (you comparison was Zues, i believe?)

 

So no, i do not think i did any sort of special editing. I addressed your assertion of the lack of goddess worship but examining modern and ancient goddess worship.

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Indeed' date=' Min and Birgitte are two of the few likeable women in TWoT, including Verin! I dunno, but if RJ intended to glorify women by presenting them this way, he failed. Because I've heard a lot of people respond negatively to the way these female characters are made. And has it ever occured to anyone that many of the hateful characters in this series aren't even the antagonists themselves, but female protagonists? (E.g. , Egwene, Elayne, Faile, Tuon, Cadsuane - you name it: and those are just the protagonists!). I for one anticipate the destruction of the White Tower more than the fall of the Shadow itself. It only goes to show how really hateful the women are portrayed in these series.[/quote']

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i dont know if sum1 said this in the thread cuz i only read the first entry but egwenes mom isnt how you described shes like super nice. also halmi isnt bitchy just horny same with big boobed olver pillow in edou dar whatserface. lots of chicks are horney but not bitchy. i noticed that as backwards the males are all modest and the femals wanting to do it.

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I still think Egwene acted like a spoiled brat towards Nynaeve after becoming an accepted but the Wise ones laying hands on her seems to have really forced her to mature! Actually I seem to be finding the women slightly more agreeable further in the series, even Nynaeve seems to be learning she isn't all powerful and perfect!

 

I had a revelation! I've been thinking the women are awful because of the way they act and speak towards/around the men but obviously they don't have the luxury we do of being told the men's thoughts and can only react according to what they see. Duh! :roll:

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