Seven reasons why women should write fantasy by Rebecca Zahari, author of The Collarbound

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1. So younger ladies cease getting offended

Once I was 12, I learn a e-book by which the primary character was a sorcerer, and there was a college of sorcerers, largely (solely) for boys. Later within the books, his buddy turns into a knight. And the varsity is generally (solely) for males.

Rebecca Zahari, The Collarbound

Rebecca Zahari, The Collarbound

That’s once I turned a author. Filled with righteous anger, I sat down to write down a narrative a few younger woman changing into a knight. I’m not the one particular person to have had that urge: a lot later, I found Alanna: The Music of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce, in regards to the first feminine knight of the realm. I realised girls have been feeling pushed out of epic fantasy – swords and sorcery and magic and enjoyable – for many years.

Ladies want to write down fantasy so that they cease getting excluded from of the narrative.

2. So now we have a couple of role-model

Just lately there’s been extra fantasy tales with feminine characters however, crucially, there tends to be just one lady within the story, and all the time the identical lady: the Robust One.

Now it looks like girls are solely allowed to be one sort of character in fiction, highly effective, pushed. That is partly as a result of if there’s just one lady within the story, she must be excellent as a result of she’s compelled to symbolize All Ladies. Multiple lady, by herself in a world of males, we’d like a plethora of girls, in all their wealthy selection.

Which brings me to my subsequent level:

3. So feminine characters will be flawed

Ladies should be allowed to be flawed. We want feminine characters who’re liars, cowards, petty criminals, villains. We want mad, unhealthy and wild girls – heroes and anti-heroes alike, we have to present ladies they are often who they need, in no matter manner they need, and that there’ll be a spot for them.

We should be allowed to make errors, to fail, and to nonetheless be counted the hero of our personal story.

4. So feminine characters don’t have to adapt to a male concept of power

And that’s one other drawback for the Robust Lady in fiction: she’s typically sturdy in a historically ‘masculine’ manner. She will be able to punch more durable. She will be able to unfold her legs and communicate in curt tones and carry weights. She’s gruff and hard.

And whereas all of that is tremendous, it may be limiting. If the one manner for ladies to be included is that if they copy the poisonous masculinity tropes of the male heroes, what’s the purpose?

5. So feminine characters don’t need to be attractive

There may be typically just one non-masculine trait allowed for sturdy feminine heroines: being attractive. Ladies’s tales and backstories are sometimes linked to who they cherished or didn’t love, how typically they’ve or haven’t had intercourse – they’re outlined by their relationships reasonably than their achievements. Are they attractive and had numerous steamy intercourse, like Yennefer in The Witcher? Are they virgin warriors, like Brienne in Sport of Thrones? We shouldn’t must know, or care.

Much more dangerous, in Medieval fantasy particularly, is the truth that girls’s tales and backstories are inclined to boil right down to being raped (or, extra not often, how they averted being raped).

Let’s write narratives by which the lust individuals really feel for our heroines isn’t what defines them.

6. So we struggle interiorised misogyny

In fact, girls can write sexist tales. It’s because we repeat the narratives we’re fed – therefore the significance of fixing the narrative.

Having extra girls writing is essential; having extra girls difficult the present narrative is important.

7. So we use fantasy as a brand new manner of exploring gender

Quite than being a inflexible, patriarchal Medieval panorama, fantasy fiction might change into the best taking part in floor for exploring gender roles. There’s magic, in any case – nothing prevents the author from making characters capable of shapeshift between genders, create species which don’t have the male/feminine dichotomy, create different worlds the place gender roles are wildly totally different from our personal.

We merely want the creativity to make our fantasy tales as wealthy as they are often.

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