Emmie Mears
SFF. Queer AF.

Wednesday Woman: Min Farshaw

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Wednesday Woman: Min Farshaw

One thing I’ve always loved about the Wheel of Time is that the women are well-rounded and exquisitely developed. While there is one glaring smack in the face to feminism that threads itself throughout the series, I can manage to ignore it most of the time because I love the story so much and because most of the women are portrayed as powerful and equal.

Min Farshaw is introduced early in the series as a blunt-spoken, dagger-wielding young woman who wears men’s breeches and keeps her hair cut short. She gets a lot of flack for her personal choices, but from the get-go she can take care of herself. The evolution of her character shows some softening in her mode of dress, but in the sense of her fire and determination, she’s anything but soft.

I'm thankful for trousers every day. Skirts are rather cumbersome. Image via wot.wikia.com

Min sees auras around people. Sometimes it shows her when they’re going to die or who they’re going to marry, or something as simple as a color she can interpret. When I first read the books, I disliked Min. She is straightforward and sometimes a bit rankling. I remember being jealous on behalf of Elayne and Aviendha for the amount of time she gets to spend with Rand, which is silly.

As I re-read the books, however, Min grew on me. She is the product of a humble upbringing, raised by aunts in the mining district of Andor. She supports and protects herself, and she has an independence that is admirable even in a world where women are portrayed as equals with the men, more or less. As a child, I always wanted to play with trucks and Ninja Turtles, but I remember being constantly told by boys that those were boy things, and I should go play with dolls.

I resented that.

I can relate to Min on that level, of being pushed and prodded into what others expect of you, whether it’s gowns or dolls or a certain career path — and I imagine it’s much the same for everyone. All of us at some point have had to put up with someone plunking us into a box based on our gender, our race, our sexual orientation, or any number of other factors that people like to stereotype about others.

Min digs in her boots and hangs onto her daggers — staying steadfast about who she is in spite of people telling her that the way she dresses is vulgar. She just looks at them until they’re finished and keeps doing her thing. Even if you’ve never read the Wheel of Time series, there is something to be learned from Min Farshaw, and that is why she is today’s Wednesday Woman.

Wednesday Woman: Min Farshaw

 

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Author | Emmie Comments | 10 Date | January 11, 2012

comments

Anna Meade

Love this! And good on you for playing with what you wanted. I dumped dolls for Transformers in kindergarten and never looked back. I mean, they were ROBOTS IN DISGUISE! How could Barbie compete?

January 11, 2012 | 5:28 pm

    emmiemears

    Right?! My first little boyfriend was chosen because he let me be a Ninja Turtle instead of making me be stupid old April.

    January 11, 2012 | 5:41 pm

Kana Tyler

My all-time FAVORITE series!! 🙂

January 11, 2012 | 5:36 pm

    emmiemears

    I adore the Wheel of Time…so good! I cannot wait for the final installment!

    January 11, 2012 | 5:40 pm

jmmcdowell

To my mind, toys were toys – I didn’t know why there should be ‘boys’ vs. ‘girls.’ Dolls were for riding my model horses….

I love this idea of yours with the daily theme!

January 11, 2012 | 7:59 pm

    Emmie Mears

    Thanks! I’m making an effort to also tie these daily things into common threads that apply to people’s lives as well so that even readers who don’t share my nerdisms can relate to the content of the posts. 🙂

    January 11, 2012 | 8:23 pm

Kourtney Heintz

Emmie, I liked tinker toys and Star Wars figurines. Dolls creeped me out as a kid. I think it was my vivid imagination. I was certain they came alive at night and would try to steal my soul. 🙂

January 11, 2012 | 9:06 pm

    Emmie Mears

    Right there with you on that one. I saw all the Chucky movies at a tender age, which in retrospect was poor judgment on the part of my friend’s parents.

    January 11, 2012 | 9:12 pm

Daniel Swensen (@surlymuse)

I’m really glad I ran across your blog. I was never a big fan of Wheel of Time, but knowing that Jordan actually managed to write some compelling female characters might convince me to give it another try. We need more of them!

January 12, 2012 | 11:15 am

    Emmie Mears

    He definitely has some awesome female characters. A few of them take a large chunk of the series to really hit their strides, but when they do…jeebus. Aside from that one glaring thing that makes me grouchy, his female characters are well-rounded and believable. They actually seem like real women to me, which is saying a LOT.

    Egwene al’Vere, who I’ll have some Wednesday, has become my hero. Her transformation blew my mind. I think I had solid goosebumps for an hour when I read her POV parts later in the series.

    January 12, 2012 | 2:53 pm

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