March 17, 2004

Literary Chauvinism

So I've been rereading Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time) and I stopped mid-series to re-read Eric Flint's The Philosophical Strangler. The contrast in the treatment of gender roles is quite fascinating. On one hand we have the cold sociopathic manipulative female of Robert Jordan who beats and bends the grudging men of the world to her will. On the other we have Flint's males, who go into manipulation by women knowing full well that they love the women entirely too much to hold it against them, and yet being manipulated even as they walk into a situation where they know the odds and know what they should do to exert their own will on the situation at hand.

The whole contrast begs for a circumstance where men are not being dragged around by their noses and manipulated into situations, and Flint (as should be expected) does introduce the occasional man who is seemingly above the whole situation. However, Jordan seems to delight in a feminist perspective of women running the world in dominantly matriarchal society where the only men who do get into power are guilty of idiocy and gain power only by random luck and sustain it by sheer brutality. It's enough to make one wonder if Robert Jordan is gay.

That said, each author provides an amusing and captivating story which drags you into his world. Jordan is exceptionally amazing in that one is compelled to read even as one has SERIOUS misgivings about his sociological interpretations and the bizarre anthropological situations that he constructs. These are some books I recommend to anyone and would encourage comment from all who have read them.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at March 17, 2004 09:38 PM | TrackBack