Sunday, December 12, 2010

9 Bad Excuses to Not Write Women: Excuse #5

(Been sick. Getting better. But the blog must roll on ... )

5) It's unfair to put in a woman character, just to have a woman character.

Is it unfair that women want to buy books in which they are represented? Why? An author writing only, or even mostly, women is often called "feminist," and many men wouldn't buy such a book, even if the plot sounded spot on and the world sounded interesting. And yet, women are expected to buy the books in which men are the main characters, and learn to live with having a lack of role models and characters that share their experience?

Many authors don't put in female characters because they're worried about “tokenism.” Here's a simple solution: Don't make your female characters the only women in the world. Unless you're writing a story in which genders are different, or nonexistent, there are women in there somewhere. There are mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, nieces, cousins, friends, girlfriends and random women on the street. For the men in your story to exist, there must be women. Most often, there is room for a female POV, especially in genre fiction, in which there are often multiple changing points of view. Just because an author doesn't think to add one, or doesn't take the time to consider how the women fit into their plot, doesn't mean that they aren't there, or that they don't fit in.

So, before you start writing, ask yourself a few questions: Where are all the women? Did you create a whole new species and then put in a POV to show that off? Is your spaceship sentient, so it has to have POV of its own to show it off? Why wouldn't you put in a female POV to do the same, to show off the work you've done?

Last Excuse | Next Excuse

No comments: