The other morning I was strolling through my e-mail and I happened upon a great article written by Chuck Wendig. (No, he didn’t personally send it to me. I’m too lazy to search out enjoyable things every morning so I subscribed to his blog via email…..much like you can do mine!). He had written this piece on #HeForShe. He also had many links to many things in the article. One link led me to another blog called The Mary Sue. From there I read a few articles and saw one at the bottom that mentioned DC Comics and little girls. I found out it was originally posted over here by a geek dad that was upset over a game lacking the super hero women. I read that article and it just struck a chord with me. FINALLY. Somebody else has the same view as me.
When I was a little girl, and yes I am dating myself, Red Sonja was out on video tape. I had previously liked Conan, but I loved Red Sonja more. I was also equally attracted to things like She-Ra and Jem. Then as I was older I had La Femme Nikita, Xena, and Buffy. What do all of these things have in common? Women in starring roles. Women that had power. Women that I could pretend to be.
I never liked comics much growing up, but when I started college I found Lady Death, Fathom, and other great female-centric comics. Eventually, hanging out in the comic shop, lead to sessions of D&D. That morphed into MMORPGs and RPGs like Guild Wars and Morrowind. Of course, I always played a lady.
My husband always thought it was odd that I refused to play some video games based on the fact that I could not play a female. He was happy playing either gender as long as the game was good. I, on the other hand, was not that easy to please.
People sometimes confuse this line of thinking with being an uber Feminist, a lesbian, or a Man-Hater or something. Because my goodness it isn’t normal to have women in charge or want to see that more, right? I have even been asked if there is a reason my books focus mostly on women characters with the men being in supporting roles. I dunno, is there a reason that Hollywood seems to put the women in the background of the movie posters?
All these years of thinking like this, I never had a good explanation on why I felt like this. But now, after seeing this article I do. I WANTED SOMEONE I COULD PRETEND TO BE! I may be 35 now, but I still enjoy escaping reality with a good book, a good game, a good movie, or even a good TV show. And what do all of these forms of entertainment need for me to be ultimately happy? A woman I can “pretend” to be!
I am always frustrated when I am not able to play a girl character in a game, much like the young girl in the article. I waited ages for Fable to come out, until I learned you could not play a female character. I was totally interested in Assassin’s Creed: Liberation when I saw a main female character. That is until I learned UbiSoft stuck their foot in their mouth about animating women being hard or useless or something. You can read another great article on that over here. Not even going to buy a used copy now b/c I can’t support that kind of thinking.
I am usually frustrated with merchandising too, leaving out the “girl” characters. I think this is one of the core reasons I really wrote my Daughter of Ares Chronicles. I’m not so much worried about the over sexulazation of the characters…heck I’m just as guilty of making a fantasy work with a half naked chick as most men!
But I am concerned with the lack of stuff for girls. Partially because I am still a little girl that gets excited over having cool t-shirts with her favorite characters. I still want that Sailor Moon shirt from TeeFury! The other part is because I have a little girl that is turning out to be much like me and she wants what she wants. (No mom, I don’t want the TMNT shirt you got in a grab bag, even though I watch the show, there isn’t a girl on it and it is brown. LOL).
So, thank you Peter Brett, for putting this out there.
Now if we can just get the merchandisers, video game makers, movie casters, etc to bring forth the female characters!