Yes, I’m going there. Feminism (and equal rights in general) is a topic near and dear to my heart. I’m hardly a people-person, but I’ve had more close female friends than male in my life. And very simply, I get aggravated when I see asinine representations.
Because you see, folks, women are PEOPLE.
Yes, truly shocking, isn’t it? Those creatures walking down the street next to you who just happen to have different genitalia are in fact also human beings. Their personalities, occupations, and interests are every bit as diverse as you should expect.
And their portrayals as characters in your work should reflect that.
Let’s look at the old pulp magazines for a moment. If you’ve ever seen the covers of Weird Tales, you’ll begin to notice a trend. Women in danger. Constantly. And often sharing the precise same body type. Now, there’s a very simple reason for this: back in the day, women weren’t usually characters in the true sense of the word. Instead, they were paper-thin representations of what men expected women to be: beautiful, frail, and a nice prize for the hero to win at the end of the story. Far more a plot device than a personality. And you know what? The spirit of this practice has never entirely gone out of style.
Far too often, women are still forced into specific molds. How many times have we seen the hot wife coupled with the idiot husband? Or the bitchy executive (because she’s competent, she must be a bitch, yeah?)? How about the awkward but lovely teenager who was a mopey brat until [insert handsome stranger] came along?
That stuff is shit. It’s all shit. Don’t fall for it. Don’t accept it. And dear God, don’t perpetuate it. Women are people. People are three-dimensional. They have personalities and motivations for their behaviors. Make damn sure you remember that before ever setting your fingers on the keys. Because skeletons are terribly boring to watch.