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Manic Pixies, Doctor Who and female role models in SF - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
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Manic Pixies, Doctor Who and female role models in SF
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huggyrei From: huggyrei Date: June 30th, 2013 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
My own exprience here is somewhat odd; I suppose I never really saw why I should favour one gender over another in terms of who I wanted to be, which is probably why I picked up my Dad's rolling stridey walk without thought as to how it asn't all that 'feminine'. I identified with characters like, let's see.. the Doctor. Gair from Power of Three by Dianna Wynn Jones, my favourite book at primary school age. Bilbo (although not Frodo so much). Robinton from the Pern books. Benton Fraser from Due South. I don' think I even noticed that my role models all seemed to be male.

Similarly, it's not a thing I tend to think about when writing characters. I once wrote a short story told from the first person of a woman in loe with her female best friend, and showed it to my writing group, who looked at things anonymously. They didn't realise until part way through that the character was female, and agreed that the author was probably male.

This is I suspect very much a product of how I see the world; to me, my gender is really not that important, and I want to be treated like a me not like a member of a gender group (I do remember getting annoyed as a child and saying that I wanted to, well, not so much *be* a boy, as be *treated* like one of the boys, although I didn't mind the idea of becoming a boy if that would somehow mystifyingly fix it).

However, I do quite like the idea of the Doctor being female and this not being a big deal or a reason for them to suddenly be a fundamentally different person, if only because that would be a reflection on my own experience.
lord_sandwich From: lord_sandwich Date: June 30th, 2013 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel pretty much the same way and when I look at characters I really enjoy a large proportion of them are male (and my characters in RPGs are probably more male than female or at least a 50/50 split). Then again isn't that just highlighting the fact that more interesting and well rounded characters are men. I'd like to see more interesting female characters where their gender was just an incidental feature and their personhood came first. This isn't because I think someone needs to be the same gender as you for you to see them as a role model but because it sends the message that women can be complex too.
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: June 30th, 2013 12:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely. Part of the reason River Song is such a failure as a female character is because she spends so much time metaphorically screaming "I AM A POWERFUL WOMAN" at the top of her voice, rather than just demonstrating it through her actions without feeling the need to draw attention to it. It's a common flaw in "strong female" characters within media though.
(Deleted comment)
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: June 30th, 2013 12:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's also almost entirely not present in the double parter she first appeared in. It's like Moffat created this awesome character, then immediately forgot all the things about her than made her awesome and turned her into a stereotyped shadow of herself.

Edited at 2013-06-30 12:22 pm (UTC)
huggyrei From: huggyrei Date: June 30th, 2013 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, this is so. I think it's a good thing, firstly for women who definitely do see themselves as women and would benefit from better female characters, but also for the *men* to see and learn that, as you say, women can be complex too.
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