The Black Tower discussion

Women of The Wheel of Time Universe

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message 1: by Roshio (new)

Roshio | 35 comments I'm just rereading the series again, and I'm currently on book 8. I cannot get over how annoying and obnoxious the women are. There isn't one woman I particularly root for (except maybe Min). Either Robert Jordan just doesn't know women or he's only ever met these kind of women. I am all for women not doing what they are told and thinking for themselves etc. But they assume EVERY man is stupid and ONLY a woman can do what needs to be done and men don't know what's good for them etc. I find myself thinking 'we're not like that'. Did this annoy anyone else?

message 2: by Zee (new)

Zee (zeesmuse) | 4 comments I belong to several yahoo groups for WoT and we often fuss about the women in the series... Egwene has become particularly hated, as has Elayne. I like Min and I am looking forward to Moriane's return - and I MUST say, Siuan has grown on me. Of all the female characters, she has really grown the most.

message 3: by Marty (new)

Marty (martyjm) Yes, I think that there is a lot of sexism in this world. There is generally a lot of sexism in fantasy, I think. It is part of why I don't read much of it. But Mat is just as sexist as any of the women.....

message 4: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (whatsername) | 2 comments I agree there's some blatant stereotyping of the men by some of the women and the women by some of the men, but I mostly love the female characters and couldn't agree less that they are generally obnoxious.

The sexism in the book, in my opinion, is more of a statement on the way societies have typically operated (and still do). Men and women tend to "other" each other as though we are opposite (when we're not) and I think Jordan was attempting to show the absurdity of that, by presenting us with myriad characters who do it, but who we are meant to watch fail and triumph; point being that none of us are always right or always wrong and we're actually all the same in that respect: capable of greatness and weakness.

Just for the record the character I find most annoying by far is Mat (although Nyneave is creeping up on him).

message 5: by Roshio (new)

Roshio | 35 comments Ah Marty and Lauren, its such a good point that the men are just as sexist as the women. Its quite insane that I have so far ignored that or just not noticed it, but now i think on it, its so obvious! I think your view, Lauren, of why Jordan's characters act the way they do makes a lot of sense (because otherwise, what was Jordan thinking!?). I still think some of the women can be unbearable sometimes which has made me quite interested in why I do not feel the same about the men...ah social conditioning...

I take back the "no woman i root for comment", quite like the Aiel women and Faile.

lol I like Mat actually, he's probably the one person I'd want to hang out with. Nynaeve on the other hand...

message 6: by Emma (new)

Emma (eWetten) | 6 comments I would tend to agree that some of the women are obnoxious, particularly in the early books. In the last few books though Egwene and Elayne particularly have turned into fantastic and strong characters.

message 7: by Carrie (Care) (new)

Carrie (Care) (Care76) | 78 comments There are many times in the series where the girls (women now), especially Nynaeve and Elayne, drive me nuts. How many things had Mat done for them and they still think all he can do is gamble and drink. I am all for strong, independent women, but sometimes it goes too far.

Not all the female characters fit this role though. Moiraine and Min don't bother me at all. And I have to say Egwene and even Nynaeve have seemed to have grown beyond that. Egwene is now probably my favourite female character. She stole the show in TGS. She is such a strong kick a$$ woman, who doesn't only rely on her strength in saidar but more on her intelligence.

message 8: by Tejus (new)

Tejus | 3 comments Sorry, but after reading Towers of Midnight, Both Egwene and Siuan Sanche have become annoying characters once again. Is it at all possible for Siuan Sanche to say something nice to Gareth Byrne? Also, Egwene now thinks she knows more than everyone including; Siuan, Nynaeve, the Wise Ones, the Sea Folk and even the Dragon Reborn. It should be very interesting to see how the aes sedai react to Moraine.
On a positive note, Nynaeve is probably the one female character who has had a personality upgrade. I think thhe author had no choice, Nynaeve's background and her marriage doesn't lend to being the typical know-it-all, obnoxious aes sedai.

message 9: by John (new)

John | 3 comments One thing to keep in mind about the main character women (and the men for that matter) is that they are basically immature teenagers as the series starts. New Spring gives the same type of perspective on Moiraine when she was younger.

What is difficult for me to believe is how quickly Eg, El, and Ny gain rank and influence among the AS.

But anyway, if the men and women all worked together then we wouldn't need 14 books to tell the story now would we...

message 10: by Walter (last edited Nov 21, 2011 04:09PM) (new)

Walter (BoltWalt) | 38 comments Can somebody explain to me why in Salidar that the women Aes Sedai are so selfish in that they note the shortage of lamp oil but ignore a the simple solution of creating light and attaching it to a wick of a lamp and then tying off the weaves? Is this a writer blunder? Do the Aes Sedai consider themselves above such menial tasks? If so then they could assign the task to novices.

message 11: by Omar (new)

Omar Atin | 1 comments I'm sorry everybody, but Egwene is the worst character of all the women. In the first couple of books she did nothing but insult rand, In the middle books she basically used mat, and when she became Amyrlin turn into a stuck up person that instead of supporting rand she apposes him. I hope Moiraine or Cadsuane smacks the hell out of Egwene in the last book.

My favorit e character Aviendha, I love her story and her people the Aiel.

The most improved character is Nynaeve in the early books she was just as annoying Egwene.

message 12: by Mach (last edited Dec 24, 2011 08:28AM) (new)

Mach | 38 comments Omar wrote: "I'm sorry everybody, but Egwene is the worst character of all the women. In the first couple of books she did nothing but insult rand, In the middle books she basically used mat, and when she beca..."

Totally agree Omar.

message 13: by Walter (last edited Dec 26, 2011 12:52PM) (new)

Walter (BoltWalt) | 38 comments Well put Omar. I agree about Egwene as well.

message 14: by Levi (new)

Levi de Groot | 19 comments i think that R.J. is one of the few people who can actually capture the relationship between men and women. its great and a huge part of the series.

message 15: by Levi (new)

Levi de Groot | 19 comments Walter wrote: "Can somebody explain to me why in Salidar that the women Aes Sedai are so selfish in that they note the shortage of lamp oil but ignore a the simple solution of creating light and attaching it to a..."

because it would take way to much mental energy to tie of and keep the weaves going for such long time. also most Aes Sedai cannot hold on to weaves from any kind of long distance.

message 16: by Walter (last edited May 09, 2012 03:02PM) (new)

Walter (BoltWalt) | 38 comments Levi wrote: "because it would take way to much mental energy to tie of and keep the weaves going for such long time. also most Aes Sedai cannot hold on to weaves from any kind of long distance. "

I do not believe that once a weave is tied off that it is still is a drag upon the one who initiated it. Think of it as a self guided missile (which is a fire and forget weapon) once it is deployed you no longer need to expend thought on it.

message 17: by Justin (new)

Justin Castro (Nelerath) | 2 comments I am so glad that I am not the only one to be irritated by the women in these books. They have literally bothered me since book one and have yet to stop in any meaningful way. I'd have to say that Aviendha and Min are the only two that didn't bother me from the start and Nyneave is the only one that has improved. They're entirely too manipulative and condescending towards the males of the book. They're typically okay when they're dealing with other women but as soon as a man is thrown in they go crazy.

While I would agree that Mat is sexist as some of the comments said I think the reason his doesn't bother me is for two reasons. First: Mat only takes up a small part of each book whereas the irritating women are there almost through every chapter. So though Mat is sexist he is completely drowned out by the sexism the females display overwhelmingly. And my second reason is that Mat's sexism doesn't stem from him thinking women stupid (though like us he thinks they're crazy) it comes from him having an overblown sense of confidence in him making them like him. The women's sexism stems from not only them thinking themselves smarter but also that men are just stupid. So I would say because of that Mat's sexism is less often seen and less offensive.

Also best part of the series was when he spanked the two aes sedai!

message 18: by Jeevan (new)

Jeevan Joseph (itsjeevs) | 8 comments I wish goodreads had the like button or something similar to do that "Oh, I totally support what you said".

Hated women. Almost every one of them- Except perhaps Min and Morgase. Birgitte Silverbow- may be a little. Every one else, who keep on thinking and plotting, and never once- spitting it out.

message 19: by Gianluca (last edited Oct 30, 2012 03:24AM) (new)

Gianluca (GianlucaG) | 12 comments Agreed. I'm currently halfway through Lord of Chaos and I already can't stand most female characters in the series. Nynaeve has to be at the top of the list. I hate how Nynaeve and Elayne treat Thom, Juilin and other male characters such as Uno, who do nothing but help (and save their lives more than once). It's just so irrational. And basically all Aes Sedai are like this. Is becoming unbearably annoying part of their White Tower training or something?
Thank the Creator there are characters like Min, Aviendha and the Far Dareis Mai. The Wise Ones aren't bad either. I really like Aiel in general.
I think there's quite a bit of sexism in these books, which is the only real complaint I have about the series so far. It's not nearly enough to prevent me from enjoying the books, but it's worth noting.

message 20: by Evilynn (new)

Evilynn I always assumed the rift between men and women in the book was exaggerated (it's not only Mat who have weird opinions on women, he's just the most obvious/gets the most screentime) and supposed to mirror the split between male and female Aes Sedai after the Breaking. I assume by the end of the series they'll learn to see the value of working together.

message 21: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (Gielske) | 40 comments What kinda annoys me... Why are there so many women with "pillowfriends" and no men?

Don't get me wrong, though I'm as straight as a stick, I respect everyones preferences. But still... It's so typical for a male to think of so many female-male and female-female couples but none male-male...

message 22: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Nelson (ColdSteel) I don't think Mat is sexist at all. He just calls it like he sees it. Most of the women in the story have made some huge blunders because they thought they knew better.

And Jenny, no one wants to read about male on male. It's disgusting.

message 23: by Roshio (new)

Roshio | 35 comments Eugh Brandon, I really disagree with your comment. Like Jenny I am straight. And yes i see the inherent sexism occurs when pillow friends are male and male. And sorry but you're homophobic in your views. I would believe men who are gay don't think what they do is 'disgusting'.

Also matt is* sexist on his views about women and frankly kinda sees them as sex objects or shrill etc.

message 24: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Nelson (ColdSteel) Eugh Roshio, sounds like you have a small mind. People that have sex with animals probably don't see that as disgusting either, but I do. I also find the poop eating japanese girls disgusting, but obviously someone likes that also. And along that line of thinking, if Mat doesn't see himself as sexist then he's not. Mat might like a goood roll in the hay or a good chase. And although he might refer to the girls as being woolheaded (Which btw, he ended up saving more than a just a few women after their "woolheaded" decisions landed them in trouble.)sometimes, he never treats them with disrespect or outright disregards their opinions. Please, reference me some proof as to where I can find any information that indicates he sees women as a sex object. I've been reading and rereading this series for almost 24 years, never got that feeling once from him.

I didn't say I hate homo's or that we should get a posse together and kill them. To each their own. Don't rape, murder or steal, and above all don't tread on other peoples liberties. Every man and woman on this planet is oppressed in one way or another, but we ALL have the right, no the duty to speak our minds without fear of persecution. Disagree with my view all you want but I don't appreciate you trying to stick me in a "hate monger" box, attaching the word homophobic to my opinion. Anyone is welcome to message me and debate my views on homosexuality, but this is not the place. And just because someone disagrees with one's lifestyle, doesn't mean they are haters nor intolerant. Try exercising a little tolerance of your own. Its not my fault I find male on male disgusting, I was born that way.

Jenny, I was being a little bit of a smart ass with my answer. To answer your question seriously, RJ wasn't trying to market to gay men. I think he was targeting young adult. He started these in the 80's. Back then the book might have been ripped from the shelves, and RJ tarred and feathered, if anyone thought it influenced homosexuality. American's, fathers more specifically, would have freaked out finding the young adult men just reading a statement saying it was ok to be gay. Although tolerance has come a long way since then, heterosexual men still do not WANT anything to do with male on male. We "tolerate" it, or ignore it.

message 25: by Roshio (new)

Roshio | 35 comments Look I don't care what you think about gay men tbh. I do care when you post potentially offensive comments.

message 26: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Nelson (ColdSteel) Obviously you do care. I was voicing a "popular" opinion and you attacked it. I'm not the only one that feels this way. If it hurts your feelings, grow up and get over it. Don't attack opinions with hate words because you have nothing else to say. Someone will always find offense at one thing or another.... I'm surprised you don't like the women of wot, you sound exactly like them.

message 27: by Roshio (new)

Roshio | 35 comments Lol you are actually hilarious. I'm the one with the hate? if you don't want to read male on make action, fine. Don't read it. The point I was only trying to make is, you can have your opinions, whatever. That's not my business. But we should all also be aware that other people on this thread can be offended by the way you phrased your sentence terming being gay has 'disgusting', and all I did was call you on it.

Are you telling me that If someone says (as an example), 'ew, I don't want to read a sex scene with an American, they are disgusting' that you would say nothing?

Look I don't go around arguing with people, in fact you are the first person I have argued with on good reads in all my years, so please don't paint me as the atypical shrill woman or whatever to make yourself feel better.

message 28: by Roshio (new)

Roshio | 35 comments Look you seen like a nice guy (from your profile) and I love the fact that you love kvothe like I do.

But I just think that we should all try to remember that some people could get offended. If you had said, " personally male on male sex" isn't my cup of tea, I have no problem with that. All I focused on is how you 'phrased' it.

message 29: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Nelson (ColdSteel) Roshio, you are doing a good job painting yourself as the atypical shrill. You labeled me a homophobe, That is an offensive term, that relates me to small minded hate filled fundamentalists. Im not arguing, I have the right to defend myself. I did not insult you by calling male on male disgusting. Your not gay, not even a man. If you don't want to argue, then stop insinuating that I hate homosexuals. If you can't apologize for it, at least retract your statement.
I'm 38, do you really think I've gone this far in life without a girl turning me down because she thought me disgusting? Well, there's been more than one and no, I did not take offense, my feelings weren't even hurt. I was even able to change a few minds on the subject. There's a little rhyme we learn over here when we are children. Sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me.

If this doesn't convince you, following your own line of thinking, then you are a lost cause. There are a lot of Dandies (to clarify a dandy is not just a gay man, but one that wants to be a lady). Having sex with a woman is disgusting to them, and they are very loud about that opinion. Is that offensive to you? And if it is, why are you on that side when gay men wouldn't touch you because they think you are disgusting? What about the straight women that think sex with another woman is disgusting? Does that really hurt your feelings?
I am not trying to be insulting, just open your mind. Hopefully you see how closed minded it is to be insulted by another's opinion. If you don't like it, try to change it with intelligent debate. Respect will go a long way towards bringing people together. Insults go just as far in the other direction.
If there are any gay men that are offended by what I have said, well, grow up and get over it. There are people out there offended by homosexuals, that's small minded, right? Lots of people (Roshio) find my abrasive personality offensive, but I keep on rolling. Can't please everyone, and sensitive people are really just asking to be offended.

message 30: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Nelson (ColdSteel) Roshio, apologies, I didn't read your last post before posting my last. I would have been a little kinder.

message 31: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Nelson (ColdSteel) Also Roshio, I greatly appreciate the compliment, but anyone that has been following our conversation, wether they agree or not, can tell I'm not a nice guy. I'm an asshole. It's cool though, I'm ok with it. Got to use the gifts God gave us;) I always find life best when people say how it really is. Sorry to quote PR over here, but Arliden said it best with "call a jack a jack and a spade a spade, but always call a whore a lady, their lives are hard enough"

message 32: by Mach (new)

Mach | 38 comments I think your blowing this out of proportion Brandon , she just said that the way you fraced the sentence could be offending to someone. No need to start an argument over it.

message 33: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Nelson (ColdSteel) No, she said my views were homophobic. I do take that shit seriously. Granted, I baited her a little bit, but she didn't have to call names. At the end she expressed herself intelligently and without slander. That could have been done at the first, prompting me to apologize for my phrasing, avoiding all.

message 34: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (Gielske) | 40 comments guys guys... chill. I was commenting on the many girl girl couples... not requesting guy on guy couples. jeeez!! We were discussing the wot women not spewing our opinions on homosexuality.

message 35: by Ben (new)

Ben | 113 comments figured id throw this out here now. but according to an interview with brandon sanderson the reason we havent seen any male pillowfriends is because we have spent mor time with the white tower than the black. aparently there is now a male/male relationship hinted at in the black tower in towers of midnight.

message 36: by Mach (new)

Mach | 38 comments Which lesbians are there in the books? because i have read about pillowfriends but i never figured there was anything sexual going on. Anyone rmember any names?

message 37: by Garret (new)

Garret Pierce (TheGM11) | 6 comments Moraine and Siuan. There are others. RJ has referenced that pillow friends has sexual connotations.

message 38: by Mach (last edited Dec 14, 2012 12:09PM) (new)

Mach | 38 comments But Siuan is with Gareth Bryne now. Hmmm weird.

message 39: by Amber (last edited Dec 14, 2012 03:18PM) (new)

Amber (rebma55) | 5 comments Tarna and Galina

message 40: by Garret (new)

Garret Pierce (TheGM11) | 6 comments Good point Mach. It sounds like the pillow friend thing is just when they are novices or accepted. A comfort thing or something.

message 41: by Amber (new)

Amber (rebma55) | 5 comments Don't recall any hinting at male/male relationship in Towers of Midnight....huh, maybe I need to do another reread.

message 42: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 32 comments I think by pillow friends RJ didn't mean that Moiraine and Siuan were in relationship, just that they are in the tower for so long and need to let out the sexual beast that is under the novice white.

message 43: by Garret (new)

Garret Pierce (TheGM11) | 6 comments Yeah I agree. It was probably just strictly sexual. Then again they were also best friends so who knows.

message 44: by Ben (new)

Ben | 113 comments best sentence ever *let out the sexual beast under the novice white*

message 45: by Mach (new)

Mach | 38 comments How hard is it to go to town and find a man?

Let's say i went to boarding school for boys i would never turn gay just because of that, it just don't make sense.

message 46: by Garret (new)

Garret Pierce (TheGM11) | 6 comments Problem is they aren't allowed to and don't want to risk getting kicked out of the tower.

message 47: by Roshio (new)

Roshio | 35 comments Yeah I think it was as was said earlier a matter of letting out the sexual beast (lol) but RJ also put in undertones that showed it was also about companionship. I suppose it gets lonely sometimes plus you have to remember, men don't like/trust aes sedai as a rule.

message 48: by Mach (new)

Mach | 38 comments Yes, but they are novices they don't have the Aes Sedai look yet, they can easily change clothes and look completely normal.

message 49: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 32 comments The risk of being caught and being kicked out of the tower is far too high a price. It may seem simple to sneak out, but many sisters, particularly browns, tend to not notice the time and are up at all hours.

message 50: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (Gielske) | 40 comments it happens mach... remember when min was elmindreda? she reported a vision about a girl in training who was going to marry and be a mother...

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