Was it honeyed or anus you objected to? haha.
I apologize. I am not sure how to quote from one thread to the next.
I'll bold your quotes:
That Mimara is an actual prophet. Not in the sense that God speaks to her, because the Eärwan God-of-gods is the demiurge, it does not care, isn't conscious, has no active will. And not that she speaks to The God, again, because the Eärwan God-of-gods doesn't listen. Rather, that she is the perspective of God from the mortal viewpoint. That is, the view of God, from God (because The God is infinite), by God, through Mimara. But the kicker is that God is not conscious and doesn't care. But Mimara does. So, in this way Mimara can actually judge, where The God cannot. This is the same as Christ as judge, in the Christian sense. That is, Christ came to "humanize" Old Testament God, by allowing God to suffer, to be mortal, to be limited in a way God could not otherwise be. Mimara fulfills that same role. It's just that we have only narratively read the "Old Testament" by Bakker so far. And so Mimara's narrative role is totally incomplete.
That's not really thematic as much as it is plot. And that plot went nowhere in this series. If he publishes the next I hope he does more with it, because i agree that it could be interesting.
After which fact? That interview was in 2008.
After the fact that it becomes obvious that people thought there were some sexism issues in his books.
Yes, Eärwa is more patriarchal to display how bad it would be if we actually lived in a world that our pre-modern ancestors thought we lived in. That is, if the world really was determinately patriarchal as people thought it was. In the same way that the world was as meaningful and moral. In the same way that the gods were real. That Eärwa is akin to actual Hell because of this. That fact that you object to the character of Eärwa proves Bakker's point: that the pre-modern world is sexist and capricious and akin to Hell. If he included token female roles, or empowered more female characters, he would be saying instead that the gross, arbitrary nature of Eärwa isn't so bad, because you could transcend it if you just really tried. But the fact is that Eärwa is morally stacked against this, so much so that it is basically impossible. And this is what should offend our modern sensibilities.
I don't think he is doing anything groundbreaking by writing a book that is as patriarchal as everyone back then thought it was. There are a shitload of fantasy novels like that. Is he doing anything daring or new by writing the same? But that's beside the point, because even in a time when people legitimately thought females were objectively inferior, there were exceptions to the rule. There are none in Bakkerverse. Your argument, while valid to many Bakker fans, doesn't really hold up. It would still be an equally objectionable world if he included a couple of empowered female characters, because real life iron age societies are objectionable by modern sensibilities even though we know there were such exceptions. We know a lack of effort wasn't the only thing keeping women from succeeding because reality, not just his books, has a gross arbitrary nature. Effort or lack thereof wasn't (and still isn't) the only thing keeping people from bettering their situation.
I think you take that the wrong way, because Eärwa, again, is fashioned directly off a worse-off version of our own past. That is, the past where the "arbitrary nature" of reality isn't just opinion, it is a fact.
Yes, he intentionally fashioned a world worse than reality. I think anyone applying a little academic rigor would question his motives. He hasn't done anything to earn me taking his explanations at face value. In fact, he's done the opposite.
So, yes, in Eärwa, a strong women would just be a token, because the sexist nature of reality there would demand it be so. Substituting a woman in a traditional masculine role isn't really feminism. It's egalitarian, in a sense, and perhaps a victory for some women but isn't a victory for femininity at all. Because it actually discounts the importance of femininity itself, saying it should be replaced by the masculine role. What then of the feminine role? What value does feminine virtue have, if our default position is to assume it be better off replaced by a masculine role?
You seem to want things to be very cut-and-dry here, but I'm not seeing it anywhere near as such. Could Bakker right better women characters? Yes. Is his depiction of a misogynistic world sexist? Well, yes, in the sense that it highlights how shitty and sexist it is the believe that kind of crap. Is then Bakker a misogynist? Nah, not buying it.
I would argue that you are the one who wants it simple, because the actual feminist argument to this is that gender roles (what we deem as masculine and feminine) are socially engineered. This is evidenced by the fact that what we consider masculine (or feminine) behavior is not the same across cultures or history. What do you perceive as the feminine role? Having children? Making a home? What is feminine virtue? The very idea of femininity as something women have to adhere to is the root of sexism.
If you want to talk about "traditional" male roles, then he could have substituted women into traditionally feminine roles ie shield maidens or female warriors which have been present in history. Scandinavian regions had female warriors. Africa and Asia had several female dominated societies in which women participated in warfare prior to the modern advent of "equal rights."
I don't know if Bakker is a misogynist. I've never met the guy. But the more I debate people about this the more skeptical I become. But to take another example, Flannery O'Connor wrote a lot of stories that engaged with racism, and a lot of people don't want to say she was a racist herself. But if you read all of her short stories, you'll find at least one which will lead to the inevitable conclusion that she was a product of her time, and as such, had some racist beliefs.
Edit - You reposted while i was typing. My bad:)