I am one who leans towards a feminist bent in my point of view. Now saying that, It isn’t because I hate men or any such crazy thing as that. I merely think gender equality should be a duh statement. Part of this is because I am female. Part is because I have a daughter. Too often women are told that they should not be strong and independent. Media has come along way in the last two decades. There was so few in my late teens. When I was growing to adulthood there was Linda Carter as Wonder woman. Really on television (unless you were into British tv) she was it.
However in the last few decades strong female roles have popped up all over the place. My favorites (again limited to American television ) are Abby from Ncis, Bones from Bones, Abby from sleepy hollow, Claire from Outlander, Clarke from the 100, Whiskey from the dollhouse, Deanna Troi and Beverly Crusher from ST:NG, Ivanova from Babylon 5, Regina from Once upon a time. There are a few others, but the principal ideas are there. Many of those are strong intelligent women trying to survive in what is traditionally men’s jobs. That is what I think of as a good female role.
As a writer and a reader that is what I look for in my female character development. What do you look for? Which are your favorites on television?
Hmmm something I miss… cartoons. Saturday mornings with cereal and early morning cartoons. The cartoons of today really are subpar. I have tried to introduce my daughter to the cartoons of my childhood, but to be honest, it really saddens me that cartoons are no longer like that.
Purple. Don’t know why. Just is.
I Grew up watching wrestling. I was basically the only girl among a house full of boys. And though I enjoyed wrestling…. you were what caused me to love it. To look forward to it. For you were equal to the men. You were strong and beautiful… you had an intelligence that was far more than was expected in your profession. Please may you rest in peace, for your light will truly be missed here.
We all have the heroes/characters we root for and ones we hate. It’s partially just human nature. Still part of it is just the depth of the character. What goes into a good character? Is it their description and the well set up scene? Or is it the easy connection the reader feels? Yes…but it is also the concept. For an example I will use Batman. He is a strong heroic character. Described as an attractive athletic male. He has a strong mind and uses it to make the world around him better. Is this what has caused the character to endure? The first time Batman was seen was 1939…take that in…this character has survived.. no he has thrived all the changes of almost a hundred years. I find myself wondering what is involved in creating such a character. Giving it the ability to grow without becoming something outdated and boring.
I believe a lot of Batman’s appeal is that he isn’t perfect. He is not some superpower who knows it all. He is human. He has suffered greatly. He is something that each person could be. So to my mind what that means is when writing, try and keep the characters plausible. Make them either some one you can see existing or someone so unique as to catch the imagination.
Before I climb any soap box, I am a mother. I am not perfect. I firmly believe each child and each family are different. So even though my daughter is twelve, we allow her some media (movies, shows, music, books and video games) that is probably not “age appropriate .” She is more mature is some areas than others. So if the rating is for violence or vulgarity, I don’t worry about her. Her whole life, I have kept a close rein on what she watched. She has had leeway to choose.
She chooses horror, zombies and anime, hard rock, and rpg(shooter style). We talk to her. She understands that these are not reality. So we do tend to be less restrictive. I try to guide her towards intelligent programs. Towards a love of music that encompasses all music. Towards an open mind where media is concerned. I have succeeded and failed. After all, her father and her friends are influences as well.
The reason i am rambling, there have been a few instances where I have been accused of not being a good parent because I let her watch anime and play certain video games. I believe my child should have a chance to make her own choices ( to an extent). I keep away stuff that is heavily sexual. Blatantly sexual is more than i think she is ready for. I have forbidden only a couple of video games( gta5, south park stick of truth) and I don’t forbid music or books( most books with questionable content are still above her reading interest level for now ).
Very few shows are disallowed( got, banahee…basically stuff you would see on hbo, showtime or cinemax…) and it’s only if sex is open and blatant. Mind you not all kids are as mature as her. Some see violent or scary and have nightmares. She does not.
Really parenting is as much about knowing what will and will not be appropriate for your child as it is teaching them how to live. People who take their kids and let them watch a movie then complain about the content just ruin it for everyone. Know your kids, and be aware of what you are letting them be exposed to. It’s not that hard.
Okay, time to release a bit of the fangirl. I love anime. I am not a purist. I don’t like reading my movies, and I do not speak Japanese. Still some of the best movies and shows I have ever seen have been anime. I have had to defend anime because people always assume it’s violent or just cartoons. Anime does sometimes have violence, but so does regular cartoons.
My favorites are Tenchi Muyo, Fairy Tail, Bleach, Soul Eater, Black Butler, Blue Exorcist, Yu Yu Hakasho, High School of the dead, Hellsing(and ultimate), seven deadly sins, hell girl, vampire princess miyu, death note, Fullmetal alchemist ( brotherhood), Sword art online, And Slayers. I end up often disappointed by the fact that many are left unfinished. And finding English dubbed versions is sometimes near impossible. There is at least a couple of streaming options.( i have funimation) but even those aren’t always offering dubbed.