Wheel of Time- the bane of my existence. To be honest, I like it. I mean, it's not exactly awesome, but it makes me happy to read it (even when it drives me crazy). I like the plot, I don't mind the writing, and there's a lot of it.
But one thing has been really getting to me: Robert Jordan is under the impression that he can write female characters. And, to be honest, he's not usually all that far off. But it is all too obvious that he's a man, and one who should really know better than to do the following:
1) Have women run around naked. I don't mean all the time, I mean literally run laps naked. Do you know why girls wear bras? It's not actually because of fashion. It's because it is incredibly painful to walk around otherwise, let alone run laps.
2) Talk about how skirts feel. If a woman has hips, something tight is not going to fall around her ankles in a puddle. This should really be common sense. Also, coats do not feel like short dresses. That's just absurd.
3) Assume that mens's clothing is inherently more comfortable. Yes, I like my sweatpants as much as anyone. But I also don't think they're necessarily more comfortable, except when you're sleeping (skirts are hard to arrange when lying down). Loose skirts are, if anything, more comfortable.
4) Have all of his female characters be incredibly attractive and have no self-esteem issues. I assure you, if I were wearing a tight dress with a low neckline, my concerns would not lie in the direction of all the guys staring at me and professing true love. I'd be worried about how horrible I looked.
5) Speaking of low necklines, men are not welcome to rant against them. Guess what, men? It's absolutely disgusting that you walk around shirtless. As Nynaeve says (paraphrased) it's only common sense- it's to show off their muscles. Because, you know, it's completely innapropriate for a woman to show off her breasts or legs, but men can walk around half-naked. Birgitte's right. You shouldn't be shy of being a woman. Sincerely, someone who wears skirts to her ankles, sleeves to her wrists, and collars to her neck every single day.
6) Women are actually capable of respecting men as equals. I know, it's hard to grasp, but we're not actually under the impression that all men are idiots. Fun fact: sexism can go both ways. The true fighter for equal gender rights does not believe in feminism. S/he believes in equality.
7) It is possible for a woman to both want to fight and want to wear dresses. Just like all of your fancy battle lords fight. Min does not actually need boys's clothing in order to be bloodthirsty.
8) You're not getting anywhere with me by having the women split off into their own little band- except wait! What about their twenty male defenders they can't do without? Yes, they're helpless and need guards... but come on, let's see more Birgittes and less Juilins.
9) Did Robert Jordan predict Matt Smith or something? What is with Nynaeve and that stupid fez? Why does she keep insulting it? Does he think women do nothing but insult men in every way possible? If Juilin wants a fez, it is none of Nynaeve's business. Sure, she can make fun of it, but she shouldn't be constantly thinking about it every time she sees him. Isn't she used to the thing by now? Not all woman are idiots obsessed with clothing!
10) Where do I begin? I know nothing about fashion. I freely admit it. But really... not everyone can wear every color. Red hair with a red dress? Red hair with a yellow dress? I just can't see it. It's a bad idea. Especially when it's the same person in every color you could possibly imagine.
11) Bows are not women's weapons. Well, they are, but not exclusively. Let's see some more sword-wielding females around here, please.
12) Rand... it's actually Aviendha's decision whether or not she wants to marry you. Also, stop bugging her about the necklace. You're not engaged to her, remember? Also, I'm pretty sure Egwene gave it to her, so your fits of jealousy are just sickening.
13) Lini, I'm glad you're an active little old lady, but please, just go back to bed. You're going to drop dead of old age any second. Not every female has to be crazy. Why can no one strike a balance between ridiculously active and wimpy?
13 seems like a pretty good number, although I'm sure I could go on. I'd love to know what annoys you about characterization in books, so please comment.