Women and Position of Power

There are not many portrayal of women main characters in works of literature. The main character is always the man, who comes to the rescue of the fragile woman saving her from the villain. All cultures have pieces of literary work, but not many show women in leading roles. Women are always in the background and overshadowed by male heros. In the 10001 Nights, this gender role is reversed, and this trend is followed in the modern day in movies like Wonder Woman.

The 10001 Nights is about the story of two kings who are brothers. The kings have wives who cheat on them. The wives would cheat on the kings after the kings leave the house. One day the younger king catches his wife cheating with the server boy. After catching his wife cheat, the younger king kills his wife and her lover. He then visits his older brother in order to get away from his heartbreak. After visiting his older brother, the young king again saw his brother’s wife cheat when his brother would go away. He tells his older brother what he saw and this caused the older brother to kill his wife and her lover as well. After the infidelity of both wives, the brothers develop a hate for women. The two kings promise to never love women and to marry and kill a new woman everyday. With this new practice, the kingdom of the younger brother runs out of women. The killing of a new woman everyday bothered the daughter of the vizier of the younger king. She volunteered to marry the king because she had a plan that would stop him from killing a new woman every day. The vizier with hesitation lets his daughter marry the king. At their wedding night, the daughter started her plan. This plan was to tell the king a story until sunrise and she leave the story unfinished when morning came. This plan worked because the king always wanted to hear the end of the story so he would let her live for another day and this continued until he fell in love with her and he stopped killing woman.

This story paints women to the be the cause of the brothers’ wrath, but in the end, it is a woman that saves the day. The vizier’s daughter with her genius idea was able to stay alive and in the end make the blood thirsty king fall in love and stop the killings. This story makes the daughter a strong female figure that was able to out-smart a man in a way that others were not able to. Her courage and smartness made her a hero that saved other women in her kingdom.

Wonder Woman is also another strong female figure that out powers men and saves others. She is a fresh perspective in the male dominated world of heroism. Her role does not make her in need of a man to save her. She is strong and like the daughter of the vizier she is determined to stop those who want to harm other people. Both women in their times give readers and watchers a new way of thinking about the role of gender. They also set examples for other women to follow in order to not be overshadowed by their male counterparts. Both women continue to structure our understanding of a contemporary situation because the role of women has always been put out to be weak and dependent on men. With the example of these women, they did not only prove that gender does not play a role in heroism, but they set the precedent for other women to follow and lead to become heros in their societies.