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DRAGONMOUNT

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Dbob

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Everything posted by Dbob

  1. Better say which was more tolerable. Egwene, simply because it had more to do with the plot - as improbably as it was. You could have plopped Elayne's Royal Hiny down on the throne with no conflict at all and the plot wouldn't have noticed one little bit.
  2. I also thought it was because of the unraveled weave.
  3. Both Egwene and Elayne are manipulative, but then so are just about every woman and every other man in the books. Such is WOT. Egwene used to really bother me, for general man v. women pointlessness that permeates just about all of the characters. She's just a bit more egregious than most. But she's wasn't my least favorite female Character. That said, I didn't really start to hate on her until her incredibly improbable rise to master of the universe in her own mind. One of my main issues with WOT is the incredibly short span of time in which a few teenagers from the ass end of beyond become world spanning rulers. Rand gets an out, because of the whole Taveren-ancient-genius-in-my-mind thingy; but Egwene doesn't have anything so useful to fall back on. It would have been a lot easier to swallow if the plot had given her more time to mature, and didn't just seem to hand her the tower through a series of events each one more impossible than the last, all the while stacked up against enemies each one more cardboard than the last.I give Elaida a pass, she was set up by the author. Plus Eggy falls hard into every pointless arrogance the AS have been clutching to their collective bosoms these past 3000 years.
  4. Morgase. I mean go to the Whitecloaks? Really? You Tower trained idiot mother of an AS, what did you THINK was going to happen!?! For someone billed as a clever ruler and woman, yeah, just, wow.
  5. You are absolutely right Cadsuanne would have been treated completely differently if she were a man, as a matter of fact, if she were a man, her head would have rolled the moment she struck Rand, and probably no one would have condemned him for it. If she were a man, she wouldn't get any grief at all, because she'd be dead. Being an ass is being an ass no matter the gender. Whether you think she's justified is another argument entirely.
  6. That whole plot line is Jordan at his best.
  7. yeah, I'd also have to say the absolution scene with Ingtar and Rand.
  8. Worst in terms of believability, Rand-Elayne. The whole Rand and his chicas thing is kinda random, with Avi, she grew up with that sort of thing; but the other two – and especially Elayne. OK ladies how many of you brought up to expect monogamy are going to agree to share a man, and you’re not even spoiled princesses. Worst in terms of tediousness, Perrin-Faille. A lot of people excuse a lot of this because “they’re so young,” sure they’re young, but they’re not 12. Faille’s whole kinda bi-polar thing screams mental illness issues; and frankly any woman who goes to those lengths to make you something you’re not, doesn’t really want you. Moiraine-Thome, Egwene-Gawain, random, no real reason for them to be together. Galad-Berelain, special case. OK I thought Galad was gay (smirk,) he should be gay, because there is no man so virtuous that he’s a virgin at 30 unless there’s a lack of interest, or he’s really, really, unattractive in some way or he’s neurotically shy. Plus it took the most beautiful, seductive woman in the world to get his attention. GAY! Anyway aren’t you ladies always saying the best looking ones are always gay? Even knowing that these two were going to get together it didn’t really make sense. How is Sir-extreme-position going to deal with a woman who’s slightly amoral, and definitely a realistic ruler?
  9. You ask some interesting questions I'd like to pursue, but I'm going to have to ask you for patience, I have to get up early and I'm being hounded to bed, so hold that thought.
  10. I think that R.J. probably would have been the first to tell you that if your work isn't being discussed and argued over, it's probably not very good. People don't spend time and thought on things they don't care about. As a matter of fact, the better you are, the more erudite and comprehensive the arguments become, and if you're the very best people get university degrees critiquing your work and you go into the curriculum. So instead of metaphorically hugging R.J. and telling him not to listen to the mean boys, why not metaphorically shake him by the hand and congratulate him for creating a body of work that provokes thought and strong opinion - that's not an easy thing to do. I've never seen anyone in here who hates the books or thinks R.J. is a hack. The people who come in here care enough to think about what he wrote and want to talk about it.
  11. Oh yeah, for me, that chivalric attitude clashes with the more progressive things he writes in.
  12. Well, we're just going to have to disagree that this attitude is confined to Rand, I don't think it is. I don't think it is either. I think large portions of Randland have at least a bit of that "chivalrous" attitude. RJ took a lot of his inspiration for the setting in the world from medival Europe where that type of view was common. There is plenty of sexism in Randland (from both men and women). My point is that there is a difference between saying "Rand is sexist" or "Many cultures in Randland are sexist" and saying "RJ is sexist". Just like there is a difference between saying "Semirhage is a sadist that enjoys hurting people" and "RJ enjoys torturing people because he gave his character a sadistic personality". RJ having sexism in his world is a world building technique (and a realistic one at that seeing as how much sexism there is in the world and especially during the time period in history that corresponds with the culture in Randland) not necessarily a reflection of his own values. Hell, for all we know RJ felt chivalry was ridiculous and put it in the books so that people could see how silly it was. He had Rand take it to the extreme so people would realize how dumb and unnecessary it is to treat women that way. It's not fair to ascribe the attributes of RJ's fictional world and characters to him personally. Well, since I am not R.J. and I didn't live in his head, it is of course possible that this is completely deliberate. I can't speak to that. What I do know for a fact is that the books are his alone. Whatever they are, deliberate or otherwise, they are a product of who he was as a person. That is of course going to affect what is written. The only thing I can speak to is my take on the issue. It didn't appear to me that R.J. was condemning the attitude itself, it's way too pervasive. I suspect that R.J. did believe in that stuff, and that's why I brought up the South (US.) He was a Southern boy, a whole lot of us were taught that same kind of thing, taught to believe it. I'm not saying he was a rabid misogynist, just that perhaps his background predisposed him to certain kinds of blindness on certain issues. And I will admit, that Rand's list annoyed the F*** out of me. But with Rand of course, you always have to play the crazy card. Perrin's epic find Faille saga annoyed the F*** out of me, not because of the story line, but because of his attitude. There are others, but I don't really want to get into quote sniping. I think that the word "sexism," is being interpreted to immediately connote misogynist. I don't mean it that way. Both women and men in all societies have attitudes that are sexist, the situation in all societies is more complex than a simple cut and dried, this side or that side kind of interpretation. There was some other point I wanted to make but it seems I've forgotten what it was. Such is life.
  13. Thanks Mark. I appreciate the heads up.
  14. Well, we're just going to have to disagree that this attitude is confined to Rand, I don't think it is.
  15. Hmm, never thought of the BG that way. But then it's been years and years since I read Herbert so who knows. I might have to go back and read through it again. I don't think anyone is saying that RJ was an overt misogynist or sexist. We all have attitudes about things that we grew up with. Mostly unconscious unless they're challenged, guys - all guys have at some point in their life done something overtly sexist and gotten jumped on for it, got surprised, because it never occurred to us that the underlying attitude of whatever it was we did, was sexist. That doesn't make us rabid sexists, but it does challenge your underlying attitudes. It doesn't surprise me in the slightest - being a Southern Man, that RJ picked up a lot of that Old Southern Chivalry we were all raised with, at least in my generation. It's quaint, and courtly, and sexist to the core, and you can see it in Jordan's writing. Does that mean we all hate women? Hell no, we call it being polite, but that doesn't change the fact that all of those customs began as reinforcement that women were weaker and less capable than men. The man pays, because the woman has no job. You do however get a surprised awakening when you see some young girl standing on the bus, and like a gentleman you offer your seat, and she turns you down flat. Not rudely, just makes it plain that she's fine standing - which happened to me on my way to work one day. That never would have happened forty years ago. Buuuut, in a world where not everyone can channel and not everyone is protected by channelers. And where there is dark friends, thiefs, robbers, murderers, bad gangs of mercenaries, dragonsworn etc etc, it is obvious ordinary men have a great role in protecting women. Rand was born an ordinary man in a ordinary village without protection. It would be strange if he wasnt brought up with ideals about protecting the physically weaker sex. Sure, and you hear that argument a lot - and it's a good argument - because there's some truth in it. A man, raised in any society is going to try to protect his wife, his kids, his parents, his community. The problem is that it's taken to extremes. I want to be clear, I'm not talking about the plot, I'm talking about the attitudes that informed the plot. A man is generally stronger and bigger than a woman. But women are also going to defend their homes and the ones they love - and have just as much of a right to do so, nor are they incapable. The idea of a man defending a woman is not the problem, the idea that a man must defend ALL women, and they must be kept from putting themselves in danger, and if they aren't, that's the man's responsibility, is problematic. The idea of chivalry and the chivalric code, which that is, actually didn't exist before the middle ages. This stuff is the product of French troubadour poetry - written at a time when women had almost no control over their lives. I look at it as akin to the idea of Noblesse Oblige, Nobles are justified in controlling everything because they have a duty to protect the peasants - even from themselves. Which also sounds good on the face of it, but in practice is something far different. A man steps over the line from natural response to sexism when he decides what choices she can make for her own good.
  16. Hmm, never thought of the BG that way. But then it's been years and years since I read Herbert so who knows. I might have to go back and read through it again. I don't think anyone is saying that RJ was an overt misogynist or sexist. We all have attitudes about things that we grew up with. Mostly unconscious unless they're challenged, guys - all guys have at some point in their life done something overtly sexist and gotten jumped on for it, got surprised, because it never occurred to us that the underlying attitude of whatever it was we did, was sexist. That doesn't make us rabid sexists, but it does challenge your underlying attitudes. It doesn't surprise me in the slightest - being a Southern Man, that RJ picked up a lot of that Old Southern Chivalry we were all raised with, at least in my generation. It's quaint, and courtly, and sexist to the core, and you can see it in Jordan's writing. Does that mean we all hate women? Hell no, we call it being polite, but that doesn't change the fact that all of those customs began as reinforcement that women were weaker and less capable than men. The man pays, because the woman has no job. You do however get a surprised awakening when you see some young girl standing on the bus, and like a gentleman you offer your seat, and she turns you down flat. Not rudely, just makes it plain that she's fine standing - which happened to me on my way to work one day, it never occurred to me that she preferred to stand, I just assumed she needed to sit, that was sexist of me, but it was not malicious. That never would have happened forty years ago.
  17. In my opinion, having homosexual characters in your story doesn't automatically amount to 'social critique', and furthermore, all fantasy is social critique in one way or another. I'm not sure why you would regard this as different, other than the fact that most authors pretend like male homosexuality doesn't exist. RJ didn't - he said it's normal in the WoT world. Of course having homosexual characters doesn't amount to a social critique by itself I should have put up the quote of Dbob's post, because I was referring to his post and especially that line: Well, the thing is, that Jordan did make a point of putting explicitly homosexual characters in the books, they’re just all women. That in and of itself is a social critique. None of the references to lesbianism is essential to the plot. It’s not necessary to the story, so by that reasoning, why include it? He included it specifically because he was making a point. Then there is the absence of including gay men. That says something also – probably that like most straight guys, we’re more comfortable thinking about female homosexuality than male. That’s just a fact, and I suspect a lot of the guys who argue that there’s no reason to see it (male homosexuality,) because we know it’s there, have part of the uncomfortable feelings we all get driving that on some level. The sexuality of characters in fantasy novels is readily apparent, what fantasy authors don’t generally write about is the sexual act. Every time a mercenary ogles a barmaid, the author is making the characters sexuality readily apparent, why include that, and yet it’s pretty standard stuff. Every time a Princess is sold off in marriage, or runs off with the stable boy, the author is making her sexuality readily apparent. There a thousands of ways that we make our sexuality apparent in novels and life that have nothing to do with having sex, and that’s just the overt stuff. Parents at a PTA meeting are making their sexuality readily apparent. I don’t have a problem with gay people, in fact, I firmly believe that people are people and we should all try to respect each other. So it’s kind of nice to see some representation of them. Yes we all know they are there, but some of us have to be reminded now and then because gayness is just not on the radar in my life. Frankly unless you point it out, I’m not reading any book thinking in my head that somewhere in this world are gay men. It’s not something that really occurs to me unless the author brings it to my attention – and I know I’m not alone in that. What’s the point? I don’t know, maybe that I can deal with a little overt gay maleness, and I didn’t express myself clearly, the gay guy here is clearly an afterthought – I mean, he shows up way at the end under a different author. Kudos to Sanderson for writing him in, but that’s not what I meant by groundbreaking. I was thinking more of the lesbians. WOT was the first series I ever read that dealt with this issue upfront, and non-condemnatory like that. I can’t help but think there weren’t too many bestselling authors doing anything similar in the beginning. I suspect that putting gay people up front in your books is a risky move that publishers aren't very fond of.
  18. Well, as an avid reader of fantasy fiction, I would like to think that if this guy shows up, it won't be as an afterthought. Which frankly is pretty much guaranteed since no gay man has ever showed up until the last book. Here's to groundbreaking, let's hope the fantasy genre in the future encompasses without subterfuge or apology the entire spectrum of human experience. Hell, if we, who embrace the possibilities of imagination can't do that, who can?
  19. Good post, but be careful. Your attempts to offer an honest criticism of RJ's sexism problems with WoT is liable to set you up for personal attacks from all manner of sexists who don't take very kindly to having their fantasy authors or their own precious worldviews challenged. If you want to have a mature discussion here about sexism in WoT, I advise a thick skin and patience. Three weeks later, and the trolls are still piling on... People will see what they will see. It doesn't matter. We all love the books for different reasons. I do have an issue, and I always have, with the way Jordan characterized women, along with thousands of other people. At first for me, because I wanted the AS to be bad ass like the BG in the Dune books, but they weren't. If someone does not see the analogs in Jordan's writing, to what we've always known here in the real world, there's nothing you or I can do to convince them. It may be fun to snipe at each other, but really, it doesn't matter. There will always be 'shippers who will not hear anything the slightest bit critical of their object of worship, there will always be people who disagree. So be it. Who cares about that?
  20. So, I don't have a ton of time to post, so I didn't know about this. Is there really a gay man in TOM? We all know there are lesbians pretty much everywhere in the series, but I've never seen nary a mention of a gay guy, I could be confused of course. It's possible it just flew over my head, but then the lesbians didn't, so what's going on? (Homo-paranoid disclaimer, I am not gay) But it would be cool to have an overt, unapologetic, non-stereotypical, extremely overt gay man who kicks ass - just like the gay women in this series. Frankly, I've read TOM a couple times now, and had no idea that one of the guys is supposed to be gay. Am I missing something, am I wrong?
  21. No, not really, and rand isn't the only one who has that attitude.
  22. Yeah. SO, gender and Jordan. I think it’s extremely obvious that Jordan drew a particularly rigid and not exactly flattering distinction between men and women in WOT. For me, it’s really the little things, that add up to the huge thing, and I can’t think of a more explicit example of the little things that add up the the confusion about women in WOT than Rand’s F*****g list. Isn’t he chivalrous!! Isn’t it wonderful – except that chivalry is based on the assumption of the weakness of women. The poor dears just can’t open doors or hold down jobs because they’re so scatterbrained and frail. Those poor Maidens (and anyone else) just can’t be allowed to take their own risks, have their decision respected, fight the fights they choose, and Rand of course must feel responsible just like a good father should be. That list was complete and utter disrespect. Why was Rand responsible? He made no list for the men he sent to their deaths. Why the difference? Why is the choice of the male expected and accepted, and the choice of the female abhorrent to such a gigantic extreme, why can a women not have her decision to go into battle respected – and if she dies, why can’t she be respected enough to be mourned as a warrior, not a horribly misguided person who you now have to feel perpetually responsible for? Jordan is completely conflicted when it comes to gender. Chivalry is a hallmark of rigidly patriarchal societies, it's assumptions and manifestations are inherently misogynistic. I agree with the person up thread who said that Jordan was sufficiently aware of gender issues to make the attempt, but didn’t understand them well enough to change the paradigm. I won’t go into the rape of Mat. Or all that slippering and spanking……
  23. That's flat-out-wrong. You don't know what you are talking about. Rape is a huge problem for both sexes. You shouldn't pretend to know things about issues this serious when you don't really have a clue. It's okay to admit when you don't know something. I stand corrected... oh wait no I don't. According to studies done in 2003 and 2006 only 1 in ten rape victims are male. 71% of these victims were raped before they turned 18. Also a huge number of the rapes come from the 50,000 or so that happen in prison every year. So it's extremely rare for a free man over the age of 18 to get raped. I absolutely do know what I'm talking about, and being a male I know I have never had to worry about sexual assault and I'm sure most men feel the same. It's funny when you flat out tell someone they don't know what they're talking about, when clearly you have no idea what you're talking about. I once said something very similar (without the statistics) to a friend of mine who works for the Austin Sex Crimes unit. He said that you don't need a penis to rape anybody, and that male rape happened a lot more that I thought it did, it's just extremely difficult to get men and boys to report it.
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