Sexism and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series
by Abby Goldsmith
Page 2 of 2
Itís womenís intuition, I guess. But in real life, women are just as human
and just as jealous as men, and I canít see that type of arrangement working
very well. To me, the idea of multiple spouses and true love going together is
more fanciful than possible. Yes, it might work in a few cases... but it would
be just as likely to work with one woman and two or three men.
Why was Birgitte taíveren (she has the ability to affect the tapestry
of fate), while Nynaeve, Elayne, Egwene, Min, and Aviendha are not? The only
explanation I can think of is a plot device by the author to heighten the
importance of the male characters (Mat, Perrin, and Rand) in contrast to the
women. Birgitte was once a legendary archer, and so the spotlight was once on
her, but now she has been torn out of the WheelÖ and is no longer
taíveren, I assume. Although Birgitte and the other female characters
may help save the world, and complete more heroic acts than Mat and Perrin put
together, they are not taíveren. Otherwise they might seem equally
important to Mat or Perrin.
Finally, letís acknowledge the fact that women seem to get stripped naked
quite often in the Wheel of Time. Again, there is an imbalance. How
often have we seen men naked in Randland?
The larger picture:
As his fans know, Robert Jordan is one of the few authors of any
gender in any fictional genre who has the skill and motivation to give
us major female characters. Heís not afraid to devote long segments of the
story to the adventures of heroines, and he gives them enough personality to
keep them interesting. Itís not all about naked scenes for teenage boys to
drool over. And in all fairness, there was that segment in A Crown of
Swords where Mat was raped by Queen Tylin and then forced to be her sex
Jordan has some very peculiar views about male and female relationships.
Some of his ideas seem far removed from reality, and some are almost
offensive... but I find most of his opinions to be humorous and interesting.
Part of the inherent fun of reading is to catch that glimpse into the secret
mind of the author. I can forgive him for a few sentences which may be
construed as sexist.
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