Whatever essay-writing abilities i ever had, they seem to be gone like a gone away thing.
So, have a little list, instead, for what it’s worth;
- On my home forum, we’ve had a long discussion about archetypes for women. My conclusion is that we don’t have nearly enough of them and we need to create many, many more. Please note; I am not talking about stereotypes, of which we have a god damn plethora.
- Archetypes we are missing; the Femme Vitale, the Not-a-Girl (Ive been told the queer term ‘boi’ is beginning to come into hetero parlance, but it sounds an awful lot like ‘boy’ when spoken out loud, and we don’t have a name for this person. I’m not talking about tomboys here.), the Alpha woman, the Woman who is powerful in her own right, women whom I’ve forgotten, which is a symptom of this bullet-pointing disjointedness.
- We need to see these woman in all kinds of stories and plots. We need them in stories where the plot is about a woman becomeing such, and we need stories where these women simply exist in the context, much as their male counterparts might. We need them to be straight, lesbian queer, multi-racial, rich, poor, protagonists antagonists, and spear-carriers. We need more than one Xena. We need more than twenty Xenas. We need more Buffies, more Faiths, more Teylas, more Girl batmans,more Girl cavemans, more girl monsters. (pimping my favorite cartoonist, huh)
- We need these characters because we haven’t had them. We need them to be treated as facts of life, because in our society, things become facts of life with enough iteration. We need to portray them in fiction and not polemically, because, well, I’ll get into that in the next couple of bullet points.
So that’s one facet. On a similar note, my vampirepr0n hero, lit_gal , has created a new community called charchall and it’s about character prompts. The first one is "aphrodite, or the femme fatale" and I’ve already stomped all over the thread in my big boots…. There will be more, one a month. (and maybe I can use "aphrodite" as a basis for Peach, huh?)
- For some reason, the name of Ursula K. LeGuin has been coming up repeatedly. And I think I can lay some blame on her for reinforcing some of my gender issues. She wrote a book titled "A Wizard Of earthsea" and it’s a strong, deep hero’s journey kinda story. I loved it! But there was so much misogyny that was so innate in it. Women cannot be wizards. Women make weak magic, we are told, or they make wicked magic. (This, despite the main plot point that Ged’s magic spell nearly destroys the world). Women don’t get to sail off in boats, they get to bake journeycake and wave bye-bye on the shore. Hell, they don’t even get to kiss the boy because the boy has to be celibate or he loses his magic Goodness. (that is now chasing after him trying to kill him and destroy the world) At fifteen, I put that book down and cried for days. Got pussy? No hero-ing for you, baby.
- This book was so powerful for me, because Le Guin is such a powerful writer. She was passionate about her hero’s tale, and her passion was very convincing to me. Now, here’s what’s interesting; Le Guin wised up, although not untill her third book was almost finished (will provide citations in a little while I promise) years later, she wrote a fourth book, and it might well be called "A feminist of Earthsea." In it, she preaches that even though women don’t get to be heroes, they are still really important, and strong in their own special way. Some of them however, do get to turn into dragons, especially if they were raped by their fathers. Dragons is good, but– this book about Feminism on Earthsea is cold comfort to the girl who reads heroic adventure. I want a good read, dammit, not political theory!
Some things I want to add to this;
- several posts here on lj, pro and con (Pro being written by a WOC, con being written by a white male, BUT i make no inferences)
- Emily Shore offers a highly relevant rant.
Um. This can’t possibly be all I wanted to say, it’s been occupying my mind for months now. Call it a slow workup to a hard burn, if you will, please, my darlings?