10 comments on “Equality in Fiction

  1. I think women definitely have more of a place in fiction and things, though there’s still a ways to go before the are probably equal with where men are. Just the fact that half the women in movies (Star Trek for example great movies, but do those strong women really need to strip down to their underwear for no real reason?) have a great character and personality, but are sometime still used for bikini shots or underwear scenes.

    But I agree with you on this. I bet it had nothing to do with the fact she’s woman, just the fact it was her character. And the fact they looked and her character before her gender as the reason they killed her off should really be considered a great thing.

    • You’re right that there is definitely still progress to be made and female characters are often needlessly sexualised which is such a shame. There’s nothing cooler than a woman that can lead a story and be strong and confidant without relying on skimpy clothes or sexual behaviour and thankfully I think we’re seeing a shift towards that, as people take note that most audiences prefer a ‘real’ woman than a sexy caricature of one.

  2. I tend to think females are harder on females in these characterizations typically than males. In regards to appearances, same can be said for males with no shirts and physically pleasing along with females in clothes that are fitted or more showing physically too. I feel there has been good progress made to be honest, but I don’t tend to dwell on it although your posing question is a good one. Each role has it’s position, and equality although good for political debate can be fairly boring in conflict and context within a story/novel/movie/tv. Just my 2 cents worth 🙂

    • I think it’s mostly a case of balance and diversity. Audiences don’t want all women to be unstoppable powerhouses just as much as they don’t want them all to be quivering damsels. Both have their place and it’s all about context and characters feeling authentic within the world in which they exist. The same can be said for men. It’s good to see alpha males as much as it is to see brooding intellects; we don’t have to be limited to one set formula.

      As long as a character feels worthwhile and interesting to the story and writers are willing to push beyond stale old stereotypes every now and then, I’ll be happy.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  3. I believe that the role of females in literature or in media changes with the times, though it can be argued there have always been strong men and women to look to as great examples. One of my favourites is Ripley from the Alien movies – she kicks ass! But despite how far we’ve come, there is always the danger of stereotyping. I love Black Widow, and her character stands out for me. More so because we can’t avoid the fact women are weaker than men physically, but that doesn’t define who she is and she plays to all her strengths. When you accept the strengths and weaknesses in both sexes and make it about the characters, and the story itself, that’s when magic happens.

    Thanks for another interesting post.

    • That’s exactly my hope; that all characters, male and female, can rely on their strengths and not have to fall back on overused stereotypes in a clichéd way.

      That’s why I used the example I did in the post. The character was confidant and fiercely intelligent; that’s why she managed to one-up the antagonist, but when he learned this and challenged her physically, she didn’t stand a chance. It was realistic; it was exciting; it was entertainment: It certainly wasn’t sexist in my eyes.

      It irked me when some people claimed they were unhappy with the writer for killing a smart, popular woman, not because they felt it was a mistake in terms of story but purely because she was female. The same issue would never have been raised had she been male.

      The differences and the dynamics between male and female characters are what make their interaction so interesting, as we know they each have their own skills and weaknesses. It’s celebrating and embracing them that will allow things to move forward I feel.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

      • I completely agree. I’m not sure which programme you’re talking about, but it strikes me as sad that people misunderstood the intent, because they failed to celebrate the character and understand her importance.

        It’s why it’s important we have a strong and supportive community to fall back on – writers have been blamed for a lot of things, and often the criticisms are personal even if they weren’t meant that way. It can be a knock to the confidence, and we need our peers to pull us back up. I think your reaction to the feedback the writer received is just a reflection of that support, because you understand how it feels. 🙂

        • Absolutely! It gave me so much respect for the actress who played the character when she released a very intelligent, detailed opinion on the subject that made very clear she had never been made to feel she or the character were mistreated (and interestingly, she had been pitched the idea of the character’s death that would take place mid-way through the second season before she even signed on to play the role, showing the decision was based purely on storytelling).

          Writers should have the freedom to take their characters in the direction they feel benefits the story regardless of their gender without fear of being chastised; that’s the equality I hope for 🙂

          • She sounds like a smart woman, and was obviously frustrated by the misconception.

            We should feel the freedom to take our characters in whatever way we see fit, and those who do will always be right. Our love of the stories, and the characters we create come first, yes we want people to relate to them and love them as much as we do. We also want to feel the connection and give people a sense of freedom, of escape. But we can’t compromise, for where is the freedom in that? 🙂

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