I don't know if a topic like this has come up already, but here goes: Has anyone wondered WHY so many of the male characters in WoT see women as defenseless, in need of protection, and not subject to the same punishments as men? For example, Mat swears never to kill a woman, Rand can't stand sending women to death, etc. How did this attitude toward women develope in the WoT world? In the real world, this attitude would be more understandable given the almost total dominance of men in politics and war in non-tribal societies, leading to the common male belief that women are the "weaker sex". However in WoT, women hold as much, if not more political power. Andor is always ruled by a woman, and in one country, men are the second-class citizens! Aes Sedai, the baddest asses of Randland, have been all women for ages. Admittedly, real-world cultures have been ruled by a woman and managed to keep their gender prejudices, but right down to the bottom rung of the social ladder, in backwater Two Rivers, women hold as much, if not more power than men. Jordan makes it quite clear that the City Council takes orders from the Women's Circle, and Nynaeve went so far as to beat men with a club when they slighted her. So where exactly did Rand, Mat, and others get the idea that women are defenseless? Their chauvinism is strangely out of place in a world like WoT, which exists in a state of total gender equality. Does Jordan really believe that such behavior is genetically predisposed, defeating both the significant cultural pressures of Randland to treat women equally, and the most basic laws of survival? What does everyone else think?