I write a lot of stories about boys. I do this for a myriad of reasons, but the one that's the most problematic is that I am hyper aware of the fact that there is a way to Write Women Wrong, and if I do it someone is going to call me out on it. On one hand, I am all for challenging societal expectations and progressing towards a more accepting and balanced world. On the other though, I think characters should be whole people, and some people are just terrible people, regardless of gender. The thing that makes me the most nervous about the almost violent backlash to what people perceive as Wrong is that, by identifying certain traits and weaknesses as Issues, we are telling people who identify with or are in possession of those traits and weaknesses that they are also wrong. Not to mention the fact that womanhood, like art, is open to some amount of interpretation about what it consists of these days. In the Locke Lamora fandom, for instance, there are people who complain because Lynch's female characters are too kick ass. This seems like a rather backwards complaint to me as someone who spends a lot of time side eyeing comics fandom for how they react to what they feel are regressions in female character development. Who doesn't want a world populated by kick ass women who hold their own? Even when you do it 'right', it seems, you can't make everyone happy.
One of my favorite animes is Black Lagoon
. That story is full of women who kick ass and take names, but it's also full of women who are just people and who have pasts and weaknesses. It won't stop them from shooting you in the face, but they're not ignored entirely, either. It's how I'd like to write all of the women I tell stories about, but that type of woman doesn't fit in all stories. Sometimes you need someone who's passive or still learning or willing to use her body to get what she wants. It's a fine balance, writing believable women. Of course, I usually feel like it's a fine balance writing any believable character, and I should worry about gender a lot less.
All that said, I feel like this woman probably kicks some serious ass. Tell me about her, would you?
[This is my new favorite Tumlblr.]
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