misscam: (Not in the mood to indulge)
[personal profile] misscam
So there was this secret posted over at [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets and this resulting huge discussion. With bonus slash mentions.

Now granted, it is very possible to dislike a female character due to the writing of her - finding it sexist, unrealistic or otherwise. But if you can't find even one you like? Then I start to think it's a deeper issue.

See, the problem with sexism isn't just that it lingers in a good deal of men - women can be incredible sexist about women. Old shit lingers, and a lot gets fed into us as young. Sadly, we often pass it on. (We being humans in general, in this case.) Prejudice, sexism, general stupid - hoo yeah.

I've seen female characters get raked over coals for things male characters get a pass on. I've seen flaws turned into vilification. And my own pet peeve, sexual slurs used against women (whore, slut etc) when the character might not even be that sexually active. And even if she is, it's still nasty. (Because really, sex being used against women as if it's something wrong with them? Deeply troubling on several levels.) I've seen female characters get slammed if they're not badass, if they are badass, if they're feminine, if they have "too much balls", if they're pretty, if they're not pretty enough, if they're selfish, if they're selfless and thus deemed "pushovers", if they don't rise above society's prejudices, if they do rise - being too "above their station", gag me with a spoon.

It bugs me. Because too often it's impossible standards and too often male characters get tons of admiration for 'being flawed' when female characters get only judgment. And often fics that smack them around some.

Now, I'm not saying you must love all female characters or be sexist. There are characters I don't like, or are indifferent to. But I do think that sometimes, it's good to consider your own motivations and what prejudices might linger in you.

There's a lot of old shit out there. That doesn't mean we have to accept living with the smell. If you can't even find one female character to like, maybe it's time to clean a little.

Meanwhile, here are some female characters I love - with their flaws, for their flaws, despite their flaws and sometimes all three at once. (Some - these are not all my favourites, just some of them.)

Galadriel. Passes her own test to not take the One Ring even when offered, and keeps her kingdom safe until the end of times. Also a little scary.

Laura Roslin. Proof that it is possible to grow into unexpected responsibility and also that responsibility carries a heavy toll. Realistic and pragmatic and a little scary as President, also lovely to see her heart with Bill.

Donna Noble. Rude and ginger. Perhaps in some ways considered "average" by people around her, but you know what? Average people have a lot of awesome in them. There's just not always the chance to develop it or show it. Donna did. (And under here, I could have put so many of the Doctor's other companions too.)

Miranda Bailey. Bailey is scary, strict and one to make your life hell if do something fucking stupid. Because caring is not always the same as being nice constantly. Bailey kicks ass, and is awesome at it - and a loving mother at the same time.

Tyrande Whisperwind. Arrogant and occasionally bitchy, Tyrande has lead her people as priestess and warrior both. She'll make her own decisions, and even if her heart - Malfurion - sleeps in the emerald dream, she stays hands-on to guide the night elves into a future without immortality.

Barbara Havers. A lot of people would count stuff against her. Working class, family issues, pain in the ass about accepting authority, unflattering wardrobe and trying to hold her own in a male-dominated police force. Therefore, it's all the more admirable that most of the time, she does hold her own.

Lady Sybil Deidre Olgivanna Vimes (née Ramkin), Duchess of Ankh. Kind, compassionate and darns socks despite being rich as whoa. Married to Sam Vimes, which in itself is grounds for awesome, but I love Lady Sybil because she has the fortune to do everything she wants and still chooses to do things for other reasons. Could probably run the whole Discworld with her friends from schooldays if they don't already.

Feel free to add your own female characters you deem awesome.

I'm looking for an icon maker again. Yeah, I know. Am willing to pay, etc. It's one icon for a friend of mine, and a lot of WoW icons from screencaps I have and a few BSG ones. Poke me if you're interested.

So the world is really worried about flu outbraks in Mexico. With only twenty confirmed deaths (so far), it does come across a bit like hysteria at first, but then I read a book last week about the great flu pandemic of 1918 - and I'll take hysteria over ignoring outbreaks, quite frankly. I like people. I don't want millions to die. Just don't freak the frak out totally, yeah?

Swiss canton decides to fine naked hikers. What truly made me boggle was the small note about how conservative this canton was and women got the right to vote in 1990. Um. Wow. 1990? I even remember 1990. I broke my hand at school that year. Ow.

So sexism? It ain't that dead and it ain't that ancient.

Meanwhile, my shit weekend of shit continued that way and also included my team losing their match, my knee acting up and my guild doing a stupid amount of wiping in Ulduar when trying Boss With Most Annoying Voice Ever. Sigh.

This morning, it rained and NSB was up to the same stupidity as always. That's three times in one week, which is bad even for them. I swear, if I don't get just one happy yay thing soon, I'm going to go emo Viking and sulk in my longboat for a week. Or something.
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Date: 2009-04-27 11:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moon-very-thin.livejournal.com
I agree with you hard on these female characters. Especially Havers and Sybill Vimes. I love Sharon Small's cute, dorky Havers. Especially in early seasons where she has the really bad hair and the anorak. But I think I may even prefer book!Havers, who is a sartorial nightmare, has broken teeth, is inclined to walk around with ketchup spilled down her front, and still repeatedly out-awesomes even Lynley not through super-inflated girl power, but simply through being a very decent human being and damn good at her job.

I was typing out a few additions to your list, but when my comment got too long for LJ I figured maybe I should follow your lead and make my own post about this sometime. :)

Date: 2009-04-27 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
I read the books first and watched the series after. Both are pretty awesome, if with some subtle differences. Havers is awesome either way.

Do an entry! Spreading the love for awesome is all good :)

Date: 2009-04-27 11:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] canadian-kazz.livejournal.com
Just about all of my favourite characters in my fandoms are male - often the slightly older, charasmatic ones. (The Doctor, Captain Jack, Hawkeye, etc.) However... one character came to mind when you mentioned awesome females. I think Evey Hammond from V for Vendetta is awesome. She goes through a hell of a lot, and comes out a stronger woman for it, I think.

Date: 2009-04-27 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
I do like a lot of male characters, it's not that.It's just the disproportional love they get and female characters often don't that gets on my nerves from time to time.

And yeah, sometimes you go through hell and do get stronger for it, otherwise you wouldn't have made it.

Date: 2009-04-27 11:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honorh.livejournal.com
It bugs the hell out of me when female characters get bashed for things male characters would be cheered for. I've said repeatedly that Jack is the biggest Sue that New Who has yet seen, and if he'd been female? Whoo, nelly, he would not have a spinoff show! But people loved Jack, and Rose and, in her turn, Martha got the Sue label flung at them. Not to say I don't love Jack, because I do, but seriously.

And then there's the Gwen bashing. "The Whore of Cardiff," I've seen her called. Really? Because we've seen her sleep with two men, one of whom is now her husband. Hmm, same number of onscreen sexual contacts as Tosh, that. And who flirted his way into Torchwood and was possibly screwing Jack while keeping his Cyberized girlfriend a secret? That would be sweet woobie Ianto. And we won't even get into Owen and Jack. But Gwen's the whore.

Unfortunately, it goes way back. Those are my two latest fandoms, but the same ugliness has occurred in every single other one I've had.

I'll celebrate the women of the Dresden Files:

--Karrin Murphy, a little five-foot-nuthin' gal who's been known to put the hurt on men twice her size and is one of the only people who can call Harry on his shit when he ventures shit-ward.

--Susan Rodriguez, Harry's old lover who must now struggle against her semi-vampiric nature. She lost the man she loved and gained a mission, and last we saw, she was still going strong.

--Charity Carpenter, mother of seven, who went marching into a literal frozen hell to rescue her daughter, and who is still one of the only people who can outright scare Harry. Her husband may be the Knight of the Cross, but she's a warrior in her own right.

--Molly Carpenter, the aforementioned daughter and Harry's strong-willed apprentice. She's had a lot of hard, hard lessons in the past few years, but she's shown she can learn.

--Lara Raith, White Court vampire, occasional wary ally of Harry's and all-around bad news, but wow, she rocks. She made a puppet out of her own father and now runs the entire White Court from behind the scenes. Trust me, you do not want to get on her bad side. Mess with Lara's family and she will take you down--and she'll enjoy doing it.

Date: 2009-04-27 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Don't even get me started on Rose and Martha and some of the stuff I've seen about them both. I mean, I eyeroll at some of the overdone idealization of either, but no need to so far in the other direction that becomes too extreme too.

I tend to stay away from TOrchwood fandom and some of the stuff I see flung around about Gwen is part of the reason. And whore should just be banned from used against women ever unless they're actually prostitutes. And even then I am not that keen on it.

Never watched Dresden Files. Sadly?

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Date: 2009-04-27 12:08 pm (UTC)
ext_104931: Beauty And The Books (Default)
From: [identity profile] melliyna.livejournal.com
I need to make my own post about this as well I think. But some women of awesome, from varoius fandoms.

-Eowyn, because when I first read Lord of the Rings I wanted to be her in all the kickass "I am no man" way. She defends her home, in more ways than just with a sword but who defeated the freaking Witch King.
-Susan Sto Holt from Discworld. Who is sensible and has A Look and The Poker.
-Of course my childhood heroine was Aravis from the Narnia books (and yes, Lucy Pevensie as well. And Jill).


Date: 2009-04-27 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Eowyn is also a favourite of mine in Lord of the Rings, about equal with Galadriel.

Discworld has a lot of female characters I like, come to think of it. Pterry has really gotten better at characterization along the course of the series.

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Date: 2009-04-27 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] colorstoobright.livejournal.com
True story: I don't notice most of the time whether a character is male or female. Awesomeness is awesomeness, plain and simple.

But if you want my two cents on my favorite female character... I would have to go with 24's Michelle Dessler. Everything about her, especially in S3, was pure badass, but she still was female and emotional, but wasn't a Mary Sue in any way.

Date: 2009-04-27 12:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] denorios.livejournal.com
Michelle! Oh Michelle. I loved her so much. Her death in S5 came this close to making me quit 24.

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Date: 2009-04-27 12:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluerosefairy.livejournal.com
I saw that secret and was not well pleased. I must get some of this off my chest.

Whoverse:

Sarah Jane Smith - Just, full STOP. Sarah Jane has traveled with three Doctors and met six of them. She helps take the Master out of commission in "The Five Doctors" and faces down the worst scum of the universe with alarming regularity. She doesn't scream and faint when confronted with two of her worst fears ever (the return of the Daleks in "The Stolen Earth", then Davros in "Journey's End"), and she unflinchingly holds up a warp star, ready to take them all out with her. She is a smart girl who matures into a brilliant woman and mother. And she can kick your ass with her sonic lipstick.

Nyssa of Traken - Girlfriend helps save the universe her very first go-round, rewiring one of the biggest psychic collectives in existence when she's really not supposed to be doing it. Then her father gets bodysnatched by the most evil Time Lord around (the Master, if you were at all unsure) and she resists his mind control long enough to save Adric. And then her planet gets destroyed. And she still goes traveling with the Doctor, helping save his life on Castrovalva for starters. She is tiny and scary-brilliant and very plainly awesome.

Tegan Jovanka - Mouth on legs? Yes. Awesome? YES. Tegan is brave and strong and flies the TARDIS by herself (and okay, a little help from Nyssa and the TARDIS itself). She survives possession twice and almost gets killed by Daleks and like Martha Jones, knows when to walk away from the Doctor.

Ace McShane - I have seven words for you, and that should be all: Kills. A. Dalek. With. A. Baseball. Bat. Because it called her small. There's also the rocket launcher. And the Nitro-9. And the time she almost became a Cheetah Person. And the time fought the Daleks. And the Cybermen. And the Gods of flipping Ragnarok. No wonder she was supposed to become a Time Lady if the show had continued.

And some more awesome women:

Alex Drake, Ashes to Ashes. Because she calls everyone in 1981 "constructs". To their faces! Because she can chase down suspects in four inch heels and give Gene Hunt a stiff uppercut straight after. Because she tried her hardest to save her parents and all she wants to do is get back to her daughter. Because she let CID stamp her arse and dragged the men into a gay bar and keeps hitting on her own godfather.

Abbey Bartlet, The West Wing. Who never decided that women were stupid and gave a made-up award to Marion Coatesworth-Haye because her ancestors were privateers. Because she's the Medea to Jed's "Jackass", and takes Lord Marbury's ridiculousness with remarkable aplomb. Because the entire Senior Staff are terrified of her and she knows it.

Iris Crowe, Carnivale. The woman knows EVERYTHING. She is sneaky and smart and scary as hell. She's devoted to her brother enough to do some terrible things (without being too spoilery) and tell him to his face that it was all for him. She can lay the smackdown on the Antichrist himself, because big sister knows best, you little twerp, and don't forget it.

Rita Sue Dreifuss, Carnivale. Lady Macbeth is a size 16, and she both strips and whores for a living. Do not fuck with her family, you will most certainly regret it. Rita Sue is awesome and strong as hell and bitter and regretful and bitchy and scathingly sarcastic and takes no shit.

Zoe Alleyne Washburn, Firefly/Serenity. Browncoat for life, second-in-command for life, but still courageous enough to reach for married life with both hands. Carries a gun, kills if need be, wins more barfights than the men, but you'd better believe she can wear a slinky dress.

Penelope Garcia, Criminal Minds. Do not malign the Oracle of Quantico, as her knights will kill you dead. Computer genius, sweetest girl on the planet, and loyal as hell to her team. She even sinks into profiling if they ask, even though it makes her cry. Will do unspeakable things to your credit history should you mess with her people or her coffee. And she's hot - "Baby Girl" got back, and no less than sex god Derek Morgan would hit that.

Yes, rambly, but c'mon! How can you not love such awesome women?!

Date: 2009-04-27 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Yeah - I wondered briefly if that secret was a troll, really, but I've seen the sentiment around fandom enough that it could be very real. Urgh.

Grinned at your list, and hee, Garcia. I watch Criminal Minds casually, and she is proper awesome. Her and Derek's whatever-thing is pretty sweet too.

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Date: 2009-04-27 12:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] denorios.livejournal.com
Havers! Havers is definitely awesome. And Laura is the most kickass female character ever. And I ♥ Donna so much.

I'd probably add Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds, Stella Bonasera from CSI:NY, CJ Cregg from The West Wing, Dana Scully from The X-Files, Michaela Quinn from Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman (shut up, I loved that show) and Abby Sciuto from NCIS. I ♥ those women so much. I want to be like all of them when I grow up.

Date: 2009-04-27 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
I remember my mother watching Doctor Quinn a lot when I was young, so I think she would approve of that, yes.

It's good to have characters that inspire awesome in us watching, too.

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Date: 2009-04-27 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laurandbillever.livejournal.com
whaaaatttttt??? whoever wrote that "secret" is a sexist idiot, just like someone in the community said. no comment here. this is why I just hate men, why do men have to exist at all????

( don't listen to me- i am having a bad day..... I am sure there is some reason for men to exist, I am just unable to see it right now.... )

Date: 2009-04-27 01:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
I am pretty sure whoever wrote that is a chick. Because as I said, a lot of sexist shit about women come from women themselves at times :(

As for what men are good for, often the same thing as women. Just with a penis attached, if you like that. But of course there are some asshats among their numbers. Sadly.

Sorry you're having a bad day. Know the feeling. Hope it gets better!

Date: 2009-04-27 01:33 pm (UTC)
ext_2721: original art by james jean (jamesjean.com) (Default)
From: [identity profile] skywardprodigal.livejournal.com
Nasty secrets. If it was wankbait it succeeded. If it really was from someone who's all 'Ew, girl parts." I wouldn't be surprised.

Lots of women male-identify and can't or won't see women as interesting or admirable no matter what.

Date: 2009-04-27 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Yeah. Which says some sad things about our society, really. Quite a while to go yet before we get it right - on many issues.

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Date: 2009-04-27 01:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] manicr.livejournal.com
Yeah, female characters in fiction have a hard life, most of the time they are disliked or ignored in favour of the men and that's just NO because there are awesome women in fiction too. Sure most my favourite characters are male, which is something that bothers me quite a bit but I do have women I like.

Sybil rocks, as do most Discworld women in my eyes. Katherine Kerr's main character Jill in the Deverry series is badass, a female "magician" who kicks everybody's behinds. And I'm growing fond of the most recent incarnation of Marvel's Domino. Doctor Who has bad ass women, like Donna and I think the Rani who is just too great for actually being capable of putting up with all the batshit around her and still get her shit done.

Date: 2009-04-27 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] manicr.livejournal.com
BTW, would you mind if I linked to your post and quoted you? I felt like I wanted to write about this too now that you've brought it up. (My LJ is f-locked if that helps matters)

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Date: 2009-04-27 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mingsmommy.livejournal.com
Average people have a lot of awesome in them. There's just not always the chance to develop it or show it.

And for this comment alone, I will now be starting a religion in your honor. Do you prefer Camism or Camilanity?

As a mom of a girl, I have found myself looking more closely at female characters (you would not believe how few there are for young girls). I care about strong, I care about smart, I care about compassionate. One of the reasons I loved BSG, so very many strong women.

But, no, I am not above disliking a character when they do something that violates my personal moral code. I had this discussion with someone recently about flaws vs. morality, mistakes vs. moral lapses.

But to find no character you can identify with or admire? I'd worry that was more sociopathic or narcassistic than sexist.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Hee. Well, I find that statement a bit obvious, but that's just my experience with people. *shrugs* I always like them -isms best. Very social democratic thinking of me, I suspect.

BSG has a lot of strong women - and in different ways, too. Because strength can be so many things - of mind, of heart, of body - and I think it's really important for young girls to understand there are options and to find their own way. Not to be forced into someone else's.

I think Norway has come a little bit further than the US on gender, but we all got ways to go. And for the next generation, should damn well get there.

And yeah, as I said - I'm not talking about the dislike of one character here. I dislike certain characters because there are certain standards I do hold them to - it's that standard not being equal for men and women that bugs me. If you're going to be harsh, be harsh across the board. Like no female characters? Then you better be liking no male ones either, or I will think double standards.

Date: 2009-04-27 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slickmeister.livejournal.com
To be honest... I have a lot of difficulty with female characters. I usually male-identify, and tend to be a lot harsher on my own sex when it comes to characterization. Not to say that there aren't some amazingly kickass girls out there, though. *l*

Recently I read a book who's female lead had me gritting my teeth for some reason (though looking back, if a male had been carrying on in the same way, I would've still been on edge) and I had to write myself a list of cool heroines to convince myself that my sex isn't a lost cause. It was on hand, so I just copied a few here.

Aeryn Sun, Zaahn, and Chiana (Farscape): Lovely for all different reasons (ranging from simply badass, to otherworldly, to roguish) able to hold up against, and most of the time completely surpass, the abilities of the guys on board.

Grannies Weatherwax and Ogg (Discworld) I really don't think I need to explain this one.

Samantha Carter (Stargate): Kind of started out as the Token chick, but you really feel the hole she leaves when she's not there. Plus, she's a Doctor, a Captain (later, Colonel) a pilot, and a whole lot more things.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
To be honest... I have a lot of difficulty with female characters. I usually male-identify, and tend to be a lot harsher on my own sex when it comes to characterization.

See, I think society feeds a lot of male-as-the-default into us, which often does lead to women being harder on women than they are on men.

I don't think that's right at all.

Of course, a lot of media has ways to go with female characters, which is not helping.

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Date: 2009-04-27 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vulgarweed.livejournal.com
What seemed especially trollish about that secret was how different all the women characters she listed were. They don't have much of anything in common except (a) they're all female, and (b) the poster doesn't like them.

I bet she wouldn't like me either. Especially when I'm angry. ;)

I'm working on a good list for you but in the meantime I want to second all the praise for the women of Discworld. I love the Witches and the whole cast of Monstrous Regiment. As far as I'm concerned, Pterry deserves a special award for being He Who Writes Women Better Than Any Other Man I Can Think of Right Now.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Yes, troll did very much occur to me. But even if it was one, I've still seen that sentiment in fandom. Just usually a lot more unconsciously.

I love Pterry. Especially reading his books and seeing the development in his writing along the way. He's really matured, and nuanced, and his characters are amazingly alive - male, female and Nobby Nobbs.

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Date: 2009-04-27 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bibliodragon.livejournal.com
Definitely noticed that female characters get harsher criticism than men, which was something I could never understand, but then I like both men and women.

Got to throw in some love for Granny Weatherwax, scary yet awesome. Though it's probably quicker to say which of Pterry's females characters I don't find awesome.

I adore Alex Drake from Ashes to Ashes, and she gets a lot of criticism, though I wonder if that is in part due to the contrast with great big woobie Sam Tyler.

I call troll on that secret, otherwise I'll just have to despair.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
I haven't seen Ashes to Ashes, only LoM, so can't really say on that. I liked Sam Tyler, though in his own reality he seemed to be a bit of a dick. It wouldn't surprise me if he got more of a pass than Alex, though. I've certainly seen similar shit around fandoms enough.

I like both males and females too, but I do tend to focus more on males at times. Mostly because they often fall into lust object status. I've tried to get better at a bit of balance in attention and not just engage my heterosexual impulses.

I frequently despair. Woe.

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Date: 2009-04-27 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zinke.livejournal.com
Because too often it's impossible standards and too often male characters get tons of admiration for 'being flawed' when female characters get only judgment.

Yes, THIS! And I think male characters are allowed much more leeway when it comes to meeting standards as opposed to women. If a male character falters, it seems as if they are always afforded a second chance. But if a female character falters in meeting the high standards to which she's been committed, well, that is utter fail without hope of redemption. Which is a rather annoying dichotomy, given that the motivating concern here is sexism!

I would have to add Dana Scully from the X-Files to the beloved and kickass list. After all, she did manage to keep Mulder more or less in line for the better part of nine years.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Yes.

Sometimes, it seems a bit like some parts of fandom wait for a female character to make one mistake and then pounce on it, as if that proves how right they were to hate her all along. Granted, certain things you should judge a character for, but... Come on, even females are fucking human.

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Date: 2009-04-27 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regala-electra.livejournal.com
Mmm, good to read, especially your lovely list of awesome female characters. My adoration of Donna Noble knows no bounds.

It's interesting because Supernatural fandom got "called out" by the lead actors of the show for not taking kindly to female characters. And it's really disappointing to see female characters get bashed, especailly when sexist terms are instantly tossed out by the fans to explain their dislike. *sigh* But that's a long battle to fight and whatever, I'll sit over here, loving on female characters, and acknowledging the flaws of characters regardless of gender.

For your list:

Farscape, Aeryn Sun in particular, but I have great love for Chiana, Zhaan, and Sikozu as well. All had their own character arcs, their own tragedies, made terrible decisions, had reasons for their choices, good and bad, but they were equal, and in some cases, more powerful, than their male counterparts.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Oh, Supernatural fandom. You know, I don't even watch the show, but I do occasionally watch the fandom. And what goes on there in regards to female characters is fucking scary. Okay, maybe SPN writers aren't the greatest at writing female characters, but no way are they that horrible to inspire that much hate. Not to mention so much of it is targetted at the characters rather than the writers, which seems a bit off if it's the writing you got issues with.

SPN fandom makes me sad :(

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this is probably not the usual response

Date: 2009-04-27 04:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evilstorm.livejournal.com
Fuck, that discussion pissed me off. OP is sexist, fine, OP has gender issues, fine, OP probably needs to sort out their head, all fine. Running in with a battleaxe to hack off the OP's knees because you know, you just know that they're incurable sexist fuckheads who can't possibly have reasons in their personal history, fandom or otherwise, that might explain their beliefs...not so fine. And battleaxing at people who call for reasoned conversation? Very much not fine.

Courtesy is dead and I am bitter. And I don't even agree with the OP, though the characters that I truly ♥ are not in that picture.

Adding to the list!

Harriet Wimsey née Vane, from the Lord Peter Wimsey series. Erudite, intelligent, has mother-wit, brave, sweet, fights to be true to herself. Thinks about things, thinks about the way she thinks about things. Doesn't let herself fall into a relationship with the man she suspects she loves anyway, because she thinks it'll diminish the both of them. How awesome is that? Generally, she wins.

Damn near any female character Pterry has written recently, as other people have said. Witches (Tiffany included), Sacharissa (♥), Night Watch girls, you name it.

Integra Hellsing, from Hellsing, i.e. my current obsession (o lol). Duty-bound. Understands sacrifice. Understands self-control. Passionate. Fierce. Takes no shit from fucking anybody, which is saying something considering how many raging batshit crazy maniacs there are in this series. Can shoot, can stunt-drive, can wield a sword, and all of those very very impressively. Hilariously snarky.

And, oh--Luthien. Self-explanatory.

Re: this is probably not the usual response

Date: 2009-04-27 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evilstorm.livejournal.com
...That was ambiguously phrased, wasn't it? I don't mean that it's fine that the OP is all of those things, cos it ain't, I mean saying that about the OP is fine. Oops.

Date: 2009-04-27 08:26 pm (UTC)
ext_23631: Doodle of Beka nomming L's head, captioned "YOUR HEAD IN MY MOUTH!" (Default)
From: [identity profile] starletfallen.livejournal.com
I'm sure you've found someone, but I am willing to put forth myself for icons. *shrug*

On the female characters...

Rose Tyler, because she's a 19-year-old girl. That means that sometimes she has massive mood swings, or is incredibly petty, but she still rises above that most of the time and is awesome. She's loyal and she cares about people and she loves so hard and so deeply.

Katara, who I've only seen in the first season of Avatar, but who I hear gets even more awesome, because she is the perfect blend of maternal and BADASS. She has taught herself very basic waterbending, even though there are no waterbenders left in her land to learn from. She takes care of her brother and Aang with such love, and she has such amazing strength in her. And when she finds a waterbender who tells her she can't learn because she's a girl? A waterbender who has been practicing for years and is probably the best alive, at the moment? She fights him, to prove that she can do it. She stands up for herself, and proves herself, until he acknowledges that just maybe she can be trained after all.

Keladry, from Tamora Pierce's "Protector of the Small" quartet. The first girl in over a hundred years to train openly as a page and squire to become a knight. She doesn't have magic, she just has determination and bravery. She is terrified (clinical phobia levels of terrified) of heights for the first two books, until she has to save someone from an excruciatingly high place, but all through those two books, she tried to overcome that fear. She forced herself to climb trees, and walk on high walls. And yet, for all her badass, she wears a dress to supper every night, so no one will forget that she's a girl. She likes being a girl.

Thayet, also from Tammy's books. I will admit that in many ways, she is a Sue (GORGEOUS, donchaknow) and a Plot Device (brought in so that Alanna and Jon wouldn't have teh sexual tenshuns anymore), but she is a wonderful character all the same. Thayet was the princess of a country who would not allow women to inherit, and daughter of a terribly cruel leader. She fled her country with one female warrior to keep her safe, and picked up a contingent of children along the way, rescuing them as well. She became queen of Tortall and helped to establish a much better kingdom than Tortall had been before. And she created her own "military" force, the Queen's Riders. She did not only CREATE this force, but she helped train them, and she rode WITH them, when she could, and when they needed her.

Karrin Murphy, from the Dresden Files, who I'm sure has been mentioned already, but she's a tiny blonde bit of NOTHING, who will fight to the death to protect people she loves and things she believes in. She will call Harry on his shit when shit needs calling, and he will actually LISTEN to her. And she takes so much crap from her co-workers, being in charge of "Special Investigations" and all that, but she doesn't quit, because she knows this job needs doing, and who else will do it right if she leaves?

Kaylee Frye, from Firefly, because she's a damn good mechanic, but she loves frilly feminine things, she loves romance, and she's sweet as sunshine. And she has a sexuality. Do not START with me on how any girl who's sweet and adorable automatically is asexual, it seems like. This is a sweet, adorable, CAPABLE girl who likes sex, has sex, and is generally sexy. And awesome.

And, hell, YoSaffBridge too, for all she's a backstabbing bitch. She's a backstabbing bitch who knows how to get things done that she wants done and she does them.


...I could go on, but I'll stop now, I think, and go get my poor girlfriend her decongestants.

Date: 2009-04-27 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] honorh.livejournal.com
YoSaffBridge is on my list simply for being portrayed by the luscious Christina Hendricks, brave warrior for curvy girls everywhere. She has hips and breasts and is not afraid to use them! A lot like Donna, actually. Let's hear it for redheads with hourglass figures!

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Date: 2009-04-27 08:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dreamingwriter.livejournal.com
I saw that comment on FS and thought almost exactly what you said here. Because, seriously? There are plenty of amazing female characters out there. (But I skipped right past the potential wank in the comments.)

And I'm just gonna throw out some women I adore because, they are awesome. Olivia Dunham, Temperance Brennan, Renee Walker, Vala Mal Doran and so many more.

Date: 2009-04-28 07:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
There are many, though there could be more. I want even more, because I am greedy about equality.

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Date: 2009-04-27 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aka-paloma.livejournal.com
I've seen female characters get slammed if they're not badass, if they are badass, if they're feminine, if they have "too much balls", if they're pretty, if they're not pretty enough, if they're selfish, if they're selfless and thus deemed "pushovers", if they don't rise above society's prejudices, if they do rise - being too "above their station", gag me with a spoon.

My theory is that part of that attitude stems from jealousy. Women have long been raised to look at other women as competition when it comes to "getting a man" (because as we all know, that is the be all end all and the most wonderful and fulfulling thing a woman can ever hope to aspire to... oh, and popping out the babies, too. *ROLLSEYES*) That sense of competitiveness crosses over to fictional men and the fictional women in their lives. Anything and everything about those fictional women will get picked apart and trashed because it makes them feel superior to the female characters, who are clearly their competition despite their fictitiousness. *more eyerolling*

Throughout high school and during my early to mid twenties, I was friends with women who were very competitive when it came to men and said and did horrible, manipulative things to me. If men were suddenly involved in the equation, they would then perceive me as their competition instead of their friend. Needless to say, that got tiresome and I have since only associated with sane, self-assured women who are able to define themselves by other things in their lives and not by whom they're dating. Perhaps my perception of this situation is a bit coloured by my own personal experience, but I whenever I read about what these "fans" think of these female characters, I immediately get a flashback to that time in my life.

Anyhow, I don't care if the characters are male or female, I just want them to be awesome. I only hate on characters if they're badly written, badly acted, or they kill a kitten/puppy/baby hedgehog or something as equally heinous.

AND TIME FOR MORE VIRTUAL HUGS! *HUGS!!!!*

Date: 2009-04-28 07:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Mmm. Might be part of it, but I see less of that here in Norway. Used to be a woman was judged on getting married and being a housewife only, but this is changing. As getting a man isn't your only way to self-realization anymore, perhaps that competition aspect will die somewhat.

I sure hope so. The alternative depresses me.

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Date: 2009-04-28 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neadods.livejournal.com
In Discworld alone, it's not just Lady Sybil, who rocks for all the reasons above. It's Susan Sto Helit, saving the world between teaching children and dealing with a... difficult family member. Nanny Ogg, a powerful witch with an unapologetic love life. Granny Weatherwax, who had a goal to not only be a witch but to be the BEST witch and achieved it despite everyone who said she'd never make it (or keep it.) Angua, whose special talents have been a great boon to the watch, and who made fast friends with Cheery, despite Cherry's initial prejudice. Cheery, breaking sexual boundaries.

And most of all, Tiffany Aching, who won Terry Pratchett a prize from the Girl Guides for writing "a real girl."

And in Who - Donna rocks. Ace rocks. Sarah Jane, who grew up and became the Doctor rocks. Barbara, the first of the women and unmistakeably a brainy one rocks. Leela rocks. Susan, who was in some ways smarter than the Doctor rocks...

Date: 2009-04-28 01:51 am (UTC)
ext_23631: Doodle of Beka nomming L's head, captioned "YOUR HEAD IN MY MOUTH!" (Default)
From: [identity profile] starletfallen.livejournal.com
Mel rocks, for being so smart even though she's a little shriek-y. Romana rocks, both versions of her, because she's smart and a little bitchy, and isn't afraid to tell the Doctor he's ridiculous. Liz rocks, because she's just fucking smart. Martha rocks because she's smart and brave and willing to do absolutely anything to save the world - and awesome for LEAVING, as heartbreaking as it was. (On a side note, I refuse to believe she's engaged. She should have SO MANY PTSD issues, I highly doubt she'd be able to hold down a boyfriend. It's a cheap way of showing that she's "moved on" from the Doctor, and I think the writers did her a serious disservice with that.)

And speaking of Sarah Jane growing up to become the Doctor - Maria rocks, because she's what Sarah Jane was when Sarah was first on Doctor Who, and is well on her way to becoming the Doctor herself; and Rani rocks, because she's sharp and intelligent and persistent and-- okay, I love her despite the fact that she's practically a Maria clone. She's just awesome anyway.

Yes, the Who girls needed more love from me. I don't know why. I just... love them all. Even the ones I don't like that much (I really can't stand WATCHING Mel, and Tegan grates on my nerves) are strong and amazing in some way, and I just wish I had seen them all so I could tell everyone why they're all awesome.

Also? Shippers? HE LOVES THEM ALL. The Doctor loves EVERY DAMN ONE OF THEM in their own way, and so please stop trying to discredit other people's ships. It makes K-9 sad. You don't want to make the tin dog sad, do you?

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Date: 2009-04-28 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morgulq.livejournal.com
Speaking of the Influenza, I don't know if you've ever seen it but we're currently filming in the old fever hospital in Wellington that was built for the 'flu pandemic. Very cool and very creepy. Also, since people were being sent there to die the doctors did 'experiments' on them, essentially torturing several hundred people to death there.

This is not the thing you want to be told at 10.00 at night in an abandoned hospital with no lights.

In terms of female characters...Harmony Faith Lane from Kiss Kiss bang Bang. Shane Black is getting better at writing women and Harmony is just awesome. She's hot, very jaded, has tons of issues and has no problem standing up for herself or saying what she needs to. Also, getting into a gunfight in a mini-dress and heels. So. very. AWESOME.

Date: 2009-04-28 07:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Oh ew. Yeah, that would be freaky. Funny how freaky any house gets when it's dark and no lights, really.

The flu pandemic of 1918 was nasty. Killed more people than WW1. I sure hope we don't get a repeat.

Date: 2009-04-28 03:02 am (UTC)
ext_100881: Laura Roslin and Bill Adama, cartoon style. (Default)
From: [identity profile] lily-winterwood.livejournal.com
SO SAY WE ALL.

Galadriel and Laura are frakking awesome. :]

Date: 2009-04-28 07:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
They are, and goes to show strength is not just about bodily strength, but of mind too.

Date: 2009-04-28 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siraj.livejournal.com
In regards to Tyrande, I almost want to apologize... then I remember that the Horde apologizes to no one!

... *evil giggle*

Date: 2009-04-28 04:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silmaril.livejournal.com
Following a link here from [livejournal.com profile] neadods; I can only nod about your assessment with female characters. She pointed out that pretty much every female in Discworld is actually awesome in their own way, and I have to agree with that too.

Besides that, I would volunteer to make you a couple of icons, if you're OK with a complete stranger taking a gander at it. Payment not required.

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Date: 2009-04-28 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alex-boylove.livejournal.com
I agree that there is a problem with the original poster's comments, but the subsequent wankfest is what I always fear will happen when I confess to not liking a female character. It generally has nothing to do with the writing or the fact that she doesn't "live up to my standards", she's usually just not someone I'd want to be around.

Granted, I have on occasion irrationally disliked a female character, but usually I warm up to them after a while. I actually really like flawed female characters and I think I like it better when the character expands more, given time. I dunno, the way fandom/society treats female characters will always mystify me.

Date: 2009-04-28 08:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misscam.livejournal.com
Sadly, I think that's because there is so much sexist crap flung at female characters that defenders of them get quite hostile. Hostility breeds hostility and suddenly, there isn't much middle-ground to be had.

As I said, I do think there are legitimate reasons to dislike a female character. It's when it becomes a pattern, I start to think "hmm".

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