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Women in fantasy

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Chilari, Mar 10, 2013.

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  1. Nebuchadnezzar

    Nebuchadnezzar Troubadour

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    Barbara Hambly's Starhawk or Jennifer Roberson's Del. Starhawk probably gets the nod since Hambly didn't feel the need to make her really attractive in addition to being a good fighter and soldier. I also like the fact that her male companion Sunwolf is getting a little long in the tooth and developing a bald spot. We don't all have to be models to be heroes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  2. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    Mine. Her name is Amra.
     
  3. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I don't have a hand-to-hand specialist!!!! :eek:
     
  4. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    ...Wow. I missed a lot. Ascanius came out swinging. :D Glad the thread is still open though.
     
  5. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

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    I just realized that, not counting video games, things I've written, and the video game I've written, the only stories I've read with female martial artists are realistic fiction. Fantasy heroines are much more likely to be archers.

    (I do have two close-quarters fighters in Gracie, though they might not count. One's a nonhuman, very strong for her size, and prone to biting and clawing. The other's a knife-fighter, although she's formally trained and considers herself a martial artist.)
     
  6. Chime85

    Chime85 Sage

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    From what I have read of this thread, I think we are all in a general consensus. That is, to write about what we want. Now, I have no obligations, or any right to remove that ideal from anybody. By all means, I may not agree with what someone says (or doesn't say), but I'll put my life on the line for their right to say (or don't say) it.

    That said, I see no reason why we cannot double check our works, questioning ourselves on our own merits. Are we writing decent characters? If you can answer yes, to that simple question, you are well on your way to dis-barraging the social adepts that separate our conceptions regarding gender roles.
     
    T.Allen.Smith likes this.
  7. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    Dis-barraging... the social adepts... Sorry, I just had a really rough derby practice, so maybe I'll be able to parse this in the morning. :p
     
  8. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    Not sure if this counts as fantasy, but Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
     
  9. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Let's see... vampires, werewolves, demons, witches... pretty sure that's fantasy. ^^ I second your opinion, Buffy's awesome.
     
  10. Mask

    Mask Scribe

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    Anyone know good examples of a strong, feminine female character?

    I remember someone telling of their time in a fencing club, how there were these women who loved being girly and wearing pink armour for fencing. They described them as, "scary", because of their tendency to beat all comers in fencing, despite embracing girliness.

    That seems very interesting, to me. But I have trouble thinking of examples in fiction who are both strong and feminine. Best I can think of is Lana from Future Boy Conan and the girl from Laputa.
     
  11. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    It is a constant struggle to be taken seriously as a woman in the martial arts. As a general rule, if you find yourself facing an opponent wearing Hello Kitty apparel or something, that is the person to be scared of- She is good enough to not give a crap about how she's coming off.
     
  12. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    Buffy Summers and, eventually, Cordelia Chase both qualify. I recall an episode of Angel where the titular character was being a bit of an arse for most of the season and everyone had basically forgiven him except Cordelia, whose opinion was really the most important, and Wesley was giving Angel the talk about how he's going to have to earn her trust again and then you just hear her scream from the other room and run in with six bags of clothes and instantly forgives Angel for everything because he bought her cute jeans. :p But she's also fierce as heck, and eventually she gets pretty powerful as well. But she still has sass battles with one of the lady villains over who was better shoes.

    Snow White on Once Upon A Time is one of the strongest female characters on her show, save perhaps for Regina and Mulan. A lot of supernatural TV shows have at least one femme vampire/werewolf. Caroline from Vampire Diaries, Erica from Teen Wolf (and Lydia, despite not being a werewolf, seems to be pretty strong herself). Ciri from The Witcher novels. A couple of Tarantino's female characters probably qualify - Lucy Liu's from Kill Bill was wearing a pretty white kimono during her fight scene. And if you start delving into comics and anime, well, you won't ever leave. Japan practically has an entire genre just for that, with 'magical girl' shows like Sailor Moon.
     
  13. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    Strong (in this case, both possessing developed character arcs and motivations, and wielding some measure of power or making progress toward accomplishing a goal), feminine (as in not transgressing gender roles in their society, which frequently mirror such roles in our own) female characters are all over ASOIAF, as well.

    Sorry for the long-winded parenthetical asides; the phrase "strong female characters" can be, and frequently is, used to mean absolutely anything.
     
  14. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Really? I haven't noticed this prejudice much. But then again, my martial arts experience is extremely limited. Only two years or so. But still, all the female martial arts I've had contact with seem to be well respected, regardless of rank.
     
  15. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    Oh, the misogyny is there; although usually moreso with civilians than other MA students or teachers. But it's there.
     
  16. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    "Civilians." lol.

    Although I'd be a tad more careful about using the word "misogyny." Disrespect of women, casual or blatant, doesn't necessarily imply outright hatred.
     
  17. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    Misogyny is misogyny IMHO. Yes, there are gradients of it, but I call it what it is.
     
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  18. saellys

    saellys Inkling

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    Is this the part where we try to limit use of the word misogyny only to situations where women are indisputably treated as second-class citizens and systematically persecuted by everyone around them, thereby making it inapplicable to situations we in the western world encounter every day? The part where we adhere strictly to the dictionary definition of the word and ignore its more insidious manifestations? Can we skip this part? Because not only is that straying into politics and therefore verboten, but disrespect of women is misogynistic behavior. Saying, "Hey, that's misogyny!" might actual wake a person up and make them think about the crap that comes out of their mouth, the same way saying, "Hey, that's racism!" might make someone think twice about repeating racist jokes even though they themselves would never identify as either misogynist or racist.
     
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  19. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Most people don't want to admit their own bigotry, and I do believe that some don't realize it, so let's call it what it is to wake up the most people. I myself was always unaware of the hurtfulness in saying something was "gay", although this was also encouraged by the gay people that I was friends with. I know now and modify the behavior.

    However, let's also bear in mind that we are on a writing forum, so if there's one thing that can start an argument, it's one on semantics :p
     
    saellys likes this.
  20. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Actually I'd advocate avoiding the word misogyny because it politicizes the conversation. It immediately makes the matter a political issue instead of one of simple respect and courtesy. Sticking to the dictionary definition, which you seem dissatisfied with, helps avoid this. And the comparison to racism is not accurate, I feel, because someone doesn't have to actively hate something to be a racist. Casual discrimination is enough. Not so with misogyny. The word explicitly means hatred of women. And I would be cautious of construing a simple act of disrespect, egregious though it may be, as an act of hatred. That would be tantamount to accusing every white woman who glanced nervously at me as if I would steal her purse of being in the Ku Klux Klan. Somehow I don't think calling her a Klansman (Klanswoman?) is going to help my cause. And in general, I don't think shock value is the best way to go about convincing someone to reflect on their actions and choose to better themselves. What's more, I'm kind of an uptight, logical sort (most of the time. I can be positively Vulcan until my human eccentricities kick in), so I think dictionary definitions are important. Sticking to them helps curb semantics arguments like this one. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
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