Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, Chantelle Winnie, characters as people, equality, Erica Jong, ginerva-red tumblr, How to Write Women, Huffington Post, I fucking love science Facebook page, International Women's Day, Jane Austen, Mary Rozzie, natasharomanova tumblr, Peggy Carter, quotes, Supergirl, superheroes, The Guardian, The Observer, Virginia Woolf, vitiligo, women, women of science, writing advice
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all out lives.” ~Jane Austen
“I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” ~Virginia Woolf
“I have not ceased being fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control me. I have accepted fear as a part of life, specifically the fear of change and the fear of the unknown, and I have gone ahead despite the pounding in my heart that says: turn back.” ~Erica Jong
As a follow-up to the blog entry discussing How to Write Women, I thought I would offer you guys food for thought about what makes a female character a GREAT character. To start with, I’m showing you three quotes by female authors expressing their opinion and understanding of woman hood. There are a lot more in this article. What I’m trying to say with these quotes is that if you’re in need for inspiration, look at women around you, women who write, women who accomplish things on their own, and look for examples in fiction. It’s important for people to unlearn these stereotypes, expectations and double-standards. Like I’ve said before, creating a female character shouldn’t be harder than writing a male character.
If you think I’m exaggerating, think about the picture of Supergirl I put up here. Unlike certain people complaining about how “unsexy” it is, I am in love with that outfit, because she looks cool and still a bit girly, but nothing about it overly flaunting or unpractical.
One woman from Indonesia pointed out how unreasonable people are for disliking the new Supergirl costume:
“There are so many people upset with the new costume of Supergirl because she isn’t baring any skin at all. People say that her hands/midriffs/thighs should be bare, and the tights make her look like a grandma. Well, first of all, no. No. Stop sexualising female superheroes. There are comments on IGN where men say that “supergirl is means to be sexually attractive to men and now they won’t watch the show.” Don’t. Women do not exist to be sexually attractive to men.
For the record, this costume looks pretty badass to me. In an age where everyone has a decent camera phone, Supergirl can hardly afford to be flying around in a miniskirt that literally makes it impossible to fight without flashing someone. The bare midriff? Not professional, or practical. That’s like expecting Superman to be shirtless, and wearing boxer shorts instead of tights. The costume is form-fitting and conservative, like they’re meant to be. It’s street smart, dark and practical. And it completely complements Henry Cavill’s Superman costume. That one, if you remember, outlines all his muscles, but plays it conservative in the crotch area, unlike the comics where he wears red underwear outside his suit. I don’t see why Kara Danvers should be overly sexualized with boobs and bare skin when Clark Kent isn’t.
Black Canary, The Huntress, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Gamora, Black Widow, Mockingbird, these are the female characters from the comics on TV right now, and they all have 21st century pragmatic outfits that help them. Hold the women to the same standard you hold me. That’s what equality is.
National Women’s Day (March 8)
Now turning away from the superheroes, I want you to consider those who manage to make something for themselves despite having imperfections and/or disabilities. As easy and tempting as it may be to create a character who is awesome in every way, I think we have to tell stories without a personified antagonist, too, because there are many different kinds of battles that people have to go through; sometimes merely due to who they are or aren’t.
* Terry Galloway, (1959-…), writer, director and performer who has been deaf since the age of nine. I highly recommend reading her memoir MEAN Little deaf Queer; it addresses the challenges she had to go through as a deaf person and how she came to terms with her sexuality.
* All day yesterday, the Facebook page “I fucking love science” posted pictures of women you should know, such as Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin who discovered that the universe itself is mainly composed out of hydrogen, but she never received credit for her work and a few years later, a man claimed to have come up with that theory. I put an album together on Facebook for you to flip through them.
* Another woman I want to bring up is Chantelle Winnie, a black model with Vitiligo, which causes a loss of pigmentation. I think it’s admirable that she doesn’t let other people’s prejudice affect her judgment or her view of herself. The Guardian posted some photos of her on tumblr with the quote: “If one day I’m all black, I’m still a model. If one day I’m all white, I’m still a model. I am not my skin. I am a model with a skin condition.”