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Breaking through stereotypes

the_female_fellowship.jpg

Why is it so hard to break through stereotypes?

I know it will not be an overnight thing, changing the face of speculative fiction, but I swear to God! The submissions I'm receiving are so demeaning that it really hurts. Not to mention the first person who answers the art call has primarily scantily clad females in his fantasy art. GAH! It's no ______________ wonder the world thinks were such cretins. We are so obsessed over the female body that one dare not do anything to go against what has been put forth as the accepted ideal. Women cannot be fantasy women unless they are perfect, despite the fact that so many men deny wanting "perfect fantasy women" as their own, personal fantasy. I am so very sick of this.

I feel so...well, objectified is the only word for it.

Declination in a society is most prevalent when objectification of women is one of its only "claims to fame."

~BJS

(Artwork by Frederick K T Anderson of Elfwood.com)

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My daughters also feel extremely strong views about this. It is extremely hard to find a 'teenage' book that is not about relationships or just plain sex. It is something they feel need to change and said I should do a little cheer for you for trying to change it!

They say too many series start off good with a strong heroine who is interesting and strong but suddenly she is turned into a weak one when a male hero comes along. They are actively working on writing some stories where there is an actual story to tell and not just scenes of a relationship.

It is something that is important to talk about with your daughter, your niece, your little sister or even just a female friend. When we talked about this it was brought on by a role-playing game we play. My character is one who loves clothes and changes them often and loves to dress in anything that I feel looks good on her. While some are little more then strips of clothe others are full length robes that cover everything. We talked about it a lot and I explained that I like having that choice that I make for myself. That is part of the problem though where the female is often forced into a sexy image.

So the girls wanted you to know that they are here off to the side cheering you on!

Maria

Bonnie J. Stone's picture

Thank you very much!

Tell your daughters that I applaud them and will definitely look out for their writing!

I enjoy a romance as much as anybody, but teaching girls (and boys) that all girls are supposed to expect IS a romance, and no adventure or personal strength/growth, is a sin. Teaching any of our children that they should only seek to be what has been traditionally thought a person from each sex should be is wrong and needs to be changed-and the way to do that is to change our entertainments. Thus, fiction, film, music, games and the internet are the primary places to begin that.

Thanks again, and hugs to you and your family!

~BJS

Maria de Chirikof's picture

hi again

The girls think it especially needs to be applied to the computer gaming area. In some of their favorite games back when they were younger (like Harvest Moon where you start with a small farm and help build the town) and how when they made the 'girl' version of it had way too many annoying stereotypes in it. They say in the current games like Pokemon Platinum version there is a 12 year old girl who is dressed extremely sexy and they really hate that.

They say they can go on for hours with examples so are really glad you are taking an active role to help fix this! They wondered where your site is that you mentioned earlier?

Maria & girls

aliĝngix's picture

Agree

Stereo types are annoying! I look forward to any stories you develop, because we can use more like them at the market.
I can understand that art is an outlet, a freedom for expression...When a character is that way...
But totally disagree when, as one guy put it, "glorifying the female anatomy",
Yes, let us break stereotypes, all stereotypes, for the sake of future art and books, where there is real discussion or just fun about talking about books...even fantasy ones.

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