A friend posted that Josh Whedon quote the other day with a tag for me, saying that it sounded like me. “Why do you keep writing strong female characters?” “Because you keep asking me that question.”
Reasonable answer. Mine is more like this. I’m tired of watching women as the victim. Weary beyond belief. I hit that saturation point watching Criminal Minds. I REALLY like the cast and characters, but I felt the show really went around the bend trying to come up with MORE reasons some deranged individual might want to kill women. It was starting to SERIOUSLY creep me out. I got to the point that the opening scenes were almost impossible to watch. Some woman coming home, putting her keys down, and watching it KNOWING she was about to die.
I couldn’t take it. Not another one. I will probably never watch Silence of the Lambs or Se7en again. And I won’t miss them.
It’s not the violence so much. Violence is a part of our evolutionary makeup. Everything on this planet is familiar with violence in one respect or another, between the Mantis Shrimp with a .22 caliber forearm to the rogue elephant bound and determined to pay those stupid humans back for being such colossal dicks.
It’s the victimization. I would watch those scenes hoping for something I KNEW wasn’t forthcoming. The woman turning around and beating the living SHIT out of her attacker.
I write tough women because we NEED them. We need fewer victims. We need tough women. Not only tough physically, but tough minded. Ones who can take on the patriarchy head on. Women like my wife, who doesn’t flinch from anything.
I want to see more stories in which the take-charge person isn’t the guy with the broad cheekbones, wide shoulders, and cleft chin. I want to see some where the take charge person is the WOMAN with broad cheekbones, wide shoulders, and a cleft chin. Maybe even flat-chested. Or a bit chubby.
Someone OTHER than the STRAIGHT MALE.
So that’s why I write the stories I write. Where the women aren’t victims, but heroes.