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JEORDHl

Bakker and Women 3 (merged topic)

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[i]Continued, cause it's starting to get interesting[/i]:


Kalbear: I think you read a very different version of the Bible than I did. But please, tell the Afghani women whether they're subjected to hate or not.

Kal, you're an impressive mind. I've always thought so and I really mean that. Most women wouldn't begrudge a male champion, and you've been one for as long as I've known you. But get off your fucking horse. I said women as a whole, which means in general, [i]i.e.[/i] specific to no particular culture or creed. Knock it off with the kneejerk cheap shots like telling people I think sexism is ok. I don’t, and I’m not.


Kalbear: Because one is objective, one is subjective… <snip>

That means nothing to me, Kal, and it isn't an answer.

On one hand we have a [fictional] historical society in which women are objectively inferior to men, in which God and sin are real. How is this society different from the society that [i]believed[/i] women were inferior, that God and sin were real [after all, they couldn't, at the time, have empirically proven anything] I would like to now what the actual categorical differences would be. I don't think its cut and dry, especially if you attempt to eschew the modern skew.

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Continued from [url="http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?showtopic=34379&st=400&start=400"]here[/url].

To Scott: people have written their graduate thesis on all number of things. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Klingon, Elvish, Ren & Stimpy, Beavis & Butthead. People have said any number of things have changed their lives; I know of at least one person personally who says how the Sword of Truth has changed their life, for instance, and that's not at all to think about how Dianetics changed people.

Are you really trying for self-parody here? Do you also believe that your biggest flaw is that you're too handsome? It seems very petulant to come and respond to someone who stated quite specifically that in their opinion the book didn't work like you wanted to with 'well, other people think this'. Why bother? We're aware that different people have different views.

I wonder, Scott - what would Thomas from Neuropath think about your responses? How much of that is you needing to be liked and accepted? Who are you trying to convince?

Anyway, that was the preamble and it annoyed me. I'm much more interested in finding out why Shryke thinks Akka as woman would be some kind of huge change and clearly tokenism given the general themes of gender, ostracism, religious views and damnation in the series.

From Jeordhi:

Do you really think that the bible promotes non-hatred of women? When Eve committed the first original sin, that doesn't cause hate?

Have you read some of the justifications of rape on this board? Or some of the fantasies that some people have of punishing Sansa?
[quote]I said women as a whole, which means in general, i.e. specific to no particular culture or creed. Knock it off with the kneejerk cheap shots like telling people I think sexism is ok. I don’t, and I’m not.[/quote]Racism isn't generic either; it's been worse or better depending on the culture, the time, and the background. Racism certainly doesn't have a monopoly on hate. If anything, sexism and particularly oppressive sexism has been around as an institution for a lot longer than racism has.

But I apologize if I said you thought sexism was okay. I think you think it's more acceptable than racism.

[quote]On one hand we have a [fictional] historical society in which women are objectively inferior to men, in which God and sin are real. How is this society different from the society that believed women were inferior, that God and sin were real [after all, they couldn't, at the time, have empirically proven anything] I would like to now what the actual categorical differences would be. I don't think its cut and dry, especially if you attempt to eschew the modern skew.[/quote]Because the difference is not about the society (which is ultimately about flawed people) and about the actual universe (which is objective and amoral). To the people inside it makes no difference. To the reader it can make a huge deal.

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[quote name='Kalbear' post='1689787' date='Feb 17 2009, 15.48']Why bother?[/quote]


Cuz he's trying to be nice?

Would you rather he just agreed with your opinions?

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[quote]Cuz he's trying to be nice?

Would you rather he just agreed with your opinions?[/quote]Being nice is saying to someone 'you're wrong because other people wrote a graduate thesis on it'? We have very different definitions of nice.

I guess I don't know why I'd respond to someone who said that at all, honestly. If someone said that it didn't work in their opinion, I don't think answering it with 'well, it did work in other peoples so there' would be all that constructive. If I would respond, I'd try and understand why it didn't work for them and possibly state what I was intending and then why the things I did were crucial for that goal, and also possibly state that (depending on the value of the other information) I could see where it didn't work for them, and respect it.

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[i]To Scott: people have written their graduate thesis on all number of things. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Klingon, Elvish, Ren & Stimpy, Beavis & Butthead. People have said any number of things have changed their lives; I know of at least one person personally who says how the Sword of Truth has changed their life, for instance, and that's not at all to think about how Dianetics changed people.[/i]

So much the better that my books are out there! Isn't that what you're arguing? Or are you offering this as proof that making a difference in people's lives makes no difference?

Or is it I'm not supposed to mention these things when my honesty (making up reasons for my choices and pretending that they were what originally guided me) and my character (acting as if I were the Shakespeare of fantasy) are impugned?

What's up, Kalbear? Why would you respond to my shot back across Arthmail et als' bow (to let them know that I've encountered a far greater range of responses to my work that they can know), while not responding to what I said in response to you specifically?

But you're probably right. Like I said, it always seems to be a lose/lose proposition for authors to get tangled up in debates like this. It's hard to defend your choices in a medium where the reader has to supply the tone. Too easy to come across as pompous, whiney, or both.

But then I've been in a losing mood this past week for some reason. No worries, I'm sure it'll pass soon.

Otherwise, I do say 'otherwise' far too often!

scott/

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[quote name='Kalbear' post='1689787' date='Feb 17 2009, 15.48']Anyway, that was the preamble and it annoyed me. I'm much more interested in finding out why Shryke thinks Akka as woman would be some kind of huge change and clearly tokenism given the general themes of gender, ostracism, religious views and damnation in the series.[/quote]Namely since I it now seems that Akka exists to challenge the gender assumptions of masculinity in contrast to the much more physical characters of Kellhus, Cnaiur, Conphas, or really any of the other crusaders.

[quote name='Kalbear' post='1689787' date='Feb 17 2009, 15.48']From Jeordhi:

Do you really think that the bible promotes non-hatred of women? When Eve committed the first original sin, that doesn't cause hate?[/quote]It honestly varies and depends on the religious tradition. Also Eve's actions in the Garden being linked with sin actually has more to do with the Paul and the Early Church Fathers, who created and reinforced the conception of Original Sin (I'm looking at you especially Augustine) as part of a grand narrative in which Jesus becomes the second Adam. Also the early church made a linguistic link between Gen 3:16 (God to Eve: "and [your husband] will [i]rule[/i] over you") and Gen 4:7 (God to Cain: "sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must [i]master[/i] it."), which both uses the same root word MSL, which has a variety of syntactical meaning including proverbs, to rule wisely, or to be a steward over something. Or in other words, they made the connection of husband must rule over his wife and humans must rule over their sin therefore (somehow) women are sin. It's really something of a bizarre leap. There are numerous other biblical female characters who are lauded for their overwhelming faith, while there are others where wise women are highly praised as choice wives (Proverbs). That said, there is still a large amount of Biblical mistreatment of women and negative imagery with women (i.e. Jerusalem personified as a woman who committed adultery against God).

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[quote name='Kalbear' post='1689817' date='Feb 17 2009, 16.24']Being nice is saying to someone 'you're wrong because other people wrote a graduate thesis on it'?[/quote]


I might be misreading but I'm pretty sure no one has stated that you are wrong...

What has been stated is that your interpretation isn't the only one out there, which MIGHT lead you to pause and re-examine. Or not. Either reaction is fair, imo.

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[quote name='Pierce Inverarity' post='1689835' date='Feb 17 2009, 22.39']Back before the financial world imploded, I was corresponding with Chris Weitz, who was working on a pilot for a TV series based on PoN (the project has been shelved until 2010). It'll be interesting to see how he navigates this hornet's nest of issues in his adaption.[/quote]

That would be totally awesome! Frankly, I am not sure if any major TV station is ready to handle such obviously controversial material, but OTOH, who knows? Many things wich seemed impossible yesterday may become possible tomorrow.

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[quote]Yes, I am sure Homer was terribly pre-occupied with quotes and PC-ness and had totally unrealistic ideas about the pre-modern world. What? He saw nothing wrong with casting women as powerful sorceress after all. Or prophetesses. Or whatever.

Honestly the more I read these threads the more it seems to me that some Bakker fans have much more restrictive ideas about women than some authors who actually _lived_ in those pre-modern societies. Not to mention ignore actual historical facts when they commend his "realism".[/quote]

We're not talking about Homer, so this is all irrelevant.
[quote]Why?

Having the Mandate be witches who are accepted largely because they have more power than any other school but are hated even more for it? It would have been a really nice parallel to what Kellhus says about men and women, and what they want. Make them the exception that proves the rule. Make Seswatha a woman, and they become the damned savior of humanity who is both hated for their being a sorcerer and a witch, but lauded for the role they played. Have the Mandate be the only School that accepts women, and have Seswatha's dreams (believe to be) only passable via the female line. As stated before it makes the parallel between Kellhus and Paul Atreides a bit worse, but not especially; it's not like the Mandate wanted him to be one of the Gnosis after all.

I don't see why Akka as a male is fundamentally important. What makes Akka being a man essential? What makes the Mandate required to be men only?[/quote]

So if we changed the whole story, it could be different? Gotcha.

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I'm in FUCKING awe that you guys and gals have the energy for Bakker and Women, part the[u][b] third.[/b][/u]

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[quote name='Shryke' post='1689857' date='Feb 17 2009, 16.51']So if we changed the whole story, it could be different? Gotcha.[/quote]Well there were certainly missed opportunities for more characters to flesh out the world, though I'm highly skeptical of gender-bending Akka and the entire Mandate would have been a viable solution.

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[quote name='Matrim Fox Cauthon' post='1689867' date='Feb 17 2009, 16.56']Well there were certainly missed opportunities for more characters to flesh out the world, though I'm highly skeptical of gender-bending Akka and the entire Mandate would have been a viable solution.[/quote]

Which was my point. And what Scot pointed out at the end of the last thread too.

Changing Akka to a women basically involved rewriting half the story, changing the history of the world and altering the current culture in the Three Seas.

Not to mention I could see a whole different cluster-fuck of a thread bitching about how Bakker had the udacity to have his gay character "Un-gayed" magically by Kellhus. /shudder

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[quote]I'm in FUCKING awe that you guys and gals have the energy for Bakker and Women, part the third.[/quote]

I really don't, but I admire everyone else who does. :P

*spectates*

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[quote name='Pierce Inverarity' post='1689835' date='Feb 17 2009, 13.39']So much the better that my books are out there! Isn't that what you're arguing? Or are you offering this as proof that making a difference in people's lives makes no difference?[/quote]I'm saying it's not a good metric of anything. I mean, come on - you're a PhD, right? How many inane graduate thesis have you read by now? It came across to me as particularly self-aggrandizing.

[quote]What's up, Kalbear? Why would you respond to my shot back across Arthmail et als' bow (to let them know that I've encountered a far greater range of responses to my work that they can know), while not responding to what I said in response to you specifically?[/quote]Was I supposed to respond? I thought I did - the 'too handsome' line was in direct relation to your 'too clever' line, which you've used twice now - in that post and in your sockpuppet post a while back.

But okay, we'll go into that a bit more since that's what you like. We've talked previously about the connection between the Inchoroi as villains and the objective reality of misogyny, and I understand that this is a theme. I just don't think it's all that subtle. Like I said, rape demons gripping phalluses left and right is not a light metaphor. And okay, it's a metaphor for the virtual rape of the civilizations of Earwa, about how premoderns saw the world and how men see it - but the text is rape demons and phalluses. That's where it all seems to come back to to me; the text being a bit too much and obscuring the subtext.

[quote]Think about the painfully obvious sexism you find in a movie like [i]Iron Man[/i] (a movie which I otherwise adore). I guess the question would be, why does that obvious, and in all likelihood, authorially sanctioned sexism seem relatively inert, compared to what I've been arguing is the appearance of sexism in PoN?[/quote]I think it's both more subtle and less painful, and probably the real difference is that iron man didn't have hentai tentacle demons raping everything left and right, nor was Pepper a literal whore. Both have their protagonists or worlds clearly condemning the sexism, so that's out. So I really think it comes down to text, and the text is brutal towards women. It's clear that this isn't a good thing by the text's point of view, but at some point whether the values are condemned or glorified doesn't exactly matter; it's still violence and rape and objectifying of women.

[quote]But you're probably right. Like I said, it always seems to be a lose/lose proposition for authors to get tangled up in debates like this. It's hard to defend your choices in a medium where the reader has to supply the tone. Too easy to come across as pompous, whiney, or both.[/quote]

It doesn't help the pompous quotient refering to yourself in the third person when trying to hold a conversation with others, I will admit.

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[quote]But okay, we'll go into that a bit more since that's what you like. We've talked previously about the connection between the Inchoroi as villains and the objective reality of misogyny, and I understand that this is a theme. I just don't think it's all that subtle. Like I said, rape demons gripping phalluses left and right is not a light metaphor. And okay, it's a metaphor for the virtual rape of the civilizations of Earwa, about how premoderns saw the world and how men see it - but the text is rape demons and phalluses. That's where it all seems to come back to to me; the text being a bit too much and obscuring the subtext.[/quote]

It goes far beyond that though.

There's this strange thing I've noticed alot of people have where they see the Inchoroi as a bunch of "Alien Rapists" and miss the overall symmetry between them and the Dunyain.

The Inchoroi as LUST. Passion unrestrained by anything. Beings that exist to sate their lusts and exault in their passions.

And on the other side, you have the Dunyain (Moenghus specifically by the end, the 1st man to start a plan to oppose the Inchoroi) who represent the opposite. The absence of Passion ( to the point where they have none, hence Moenghus' weakness with the Psukhe). Control, not only of their OWN Lusts and passions, but of others.

Passion, Lust, SEX is like the spectrum that divides them, one from the other at either end.

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[quote name='Shryke' post='1689872' date='Feb 17 2009, 16.58']Not to mention I could see a whole different cluster-fuck of a thread bitching about how Bakker had the udacity to have his gay character "Un-gayed" magically by Kellhus. /shudder[/quote]I think it would have also had the effect of some people complaining that it took a male to rationalize and remove that taboo of sorcery for a female Akka.

[quote name='Kalbear' post='1689879' date='Feb 17 2009, 17.02']and probably the real difference is that iron man didn't have hentai tentacle demons raping everything left and right, nor was Pepper a literal whore.[/quote]Not in the American version at least. ;)

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[quote]Which was my point. And what Scot pointed out at the end of the last thread too.

Changing Akka to a women basically involved rewriting half the story, changing the history of the world and altering the current culture in the Three Seas.[/quote]I guess I don't see it that way. Seswatha's a woman, but what she does and that history changes nothing. Witches are burned other than the Mandate, who exist mostly because they hold the Gnosis and no other school can compete with that power (which is EXACTLY the case in the series through PoN now). The current culture hates the Mandate in either story, though there would be a bit more hatred of them for being women, I suppose; they'd still be either shunned or courted for their usefulness. Akka's primary trait of being a teacher and being wanted by royalty to teach doesn't need to change, nor does Akka's relationship with Inrau.

It does get tricky with Akka being 'turned' to want Kellhus, though this isn't that hard in the text given Moe's power over Cnaiur; it's fairly well established anyway. But I could see that being something of an outcry, though Akka's rejection would be fairly awesome. Or you could go as we talked about before - make akka not interesting to Kellhus because she's not fertile any more. In which case Esme loving Akka and then Kellhus just makes her bi.

To each their own, but I don't see it as particularly tokenistic; complaining about the central character in a story about gender relations being a woman and saying that's a token is like saying the Handmaid's tale should have been about a man because a woman is tokenistic there too.

[quote]I think it would have also had the effect of some people complaining that it took a male to rationalize and remove that taboo of sorcery for a female Akka.[/quote]
SPOILER: TJE
this happens anyway in TJE with the Swayal compact. It's exactly the same thing, just with a different actor. And it parallels nicely what he does with Esmi's whoredom.


[quote]Not in the American version at least.[/quote]Just FYI: Do not search for "Iron Man tentacle porn" at work.

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[quote]Seswatha's a woman, but what she does and that history changes nothing.[/quote]

Really?

Your implying the most famous sorceror in history, a person of incredible power and relevance in his day and who's followers are the most powerful school in the world, and it wouldn't change much?

The Mandate, if all women, would stand as a symbol of power for women in the Three Seas and would have a rather large effect on society as a whole.

It's one of the things done really well in WOT imo.

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[quote name='Kalbear' post='1689787' date='Feb 17 2009, 13.48']Do you really think that the bible promotes non-hatred of women? When Eve committed the first original sin, that doesn't cause hate?

Have you read some of the justifications of rape on this board? Or some of the fantasies that some people have of punishing Sansa?[/quote]

Regarding the rape justifications and fantasies thereof, yeah, I've read some and heard about others. What the fuck does that have to do with any of this? I think you're getting caught up in the role you've taken on in this thread, honestly, and I unfortunately am having a hard time digesting this kind of righteous indignation from a man. Call it reverse sexism, whatever. Could you get even 50% of the women on this board to agree with you that sexism is about hatred, and womankind [b]as a whole[/b] have been hated since time immemorial?

I don't think so.


[quote name='Kalbear' post='1689787' date='Feb 17 2009, 13.48']Because the difference is not about the society (which is ultimately about flawed people) and about the actual universe (which is objective and amoral). To the people inside it makes no difference. To the reader it can make a huge deal.[/quote]

Both are ultimately about flawed people. In the subjective, we're flawed because we're human. In the objective, we're flawed because we've been designed that way. Because we're human. Am I really going out on a limb by saying that premodern societies [s]couldn't[/s] didn't make that distinction?

ETA: ugh, nice editing J

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[quote]Your implying the most famous sorceror in history, a person of incredible power and relevance in his day and who's followers are the most powerful school in the world, and it wouldn't change much?[/quote]I don't see why it would have to. Seswatha's already considered a weird heretic and ostracized in the storyline for various reasons. I don't see why it's a requirement that Seswatha being a really powerful sorcerer means everyone would suddenly become empowered and men would see the light, especially if they were 'special'. Or people could rationalize it that way.

[quote]The Mandate, if all women, would stand as a symbol of power for women in the Three Seas and would have a rather large effect on society as a whole.[/quote]Right, but it's also a symbol of [i]what men want[/i]. The Gnosis is coveted by all other schools. Now it becomes an analogy for what Kellhus explained to Esmi - that women are put down and controlled because they are what men want.

And it changes nothing about the objective reality telling the Mandate sorcerers that they're damned and inferior to men anyway. I mean, think about what people in PoN think about the Mandate now. They think they're a bunch of idiotic kooks (ETA: kooks, not cooks) who are protecting a dead legacy about something totally unimportant. They're already shown with contempt. Having them be women changes none of that; if anything, they should be more contemptuous because they're so desired (at least that's one of the premises from Kellhus).

Or you could say that they would make everyone empowered. It really depends on how you want to write the book, but I don't think that one necessarily precludes another.

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