Izzy May I: The Write always comes up with some great topics – the latest is about what makes a ‘strong’ female character. And as usual, she covers the topic very thoroughly and one can’t but agree with her assertion that “the strong female character has become a stereotype.” Indeed, as Judy Berman puts it, “we’re now suffering from a dearth of weak female characters — complex, well-written women who happen to also be meek, feminine, neurotic, or otherwise imperfect.”
Naturally, all this got me thinking about Magali, the main character in One Green Bottle, and worrying she might be a stereotype. Although she’s not strong, and doesn’t kick ass either figuratively or literally, she’s stubborn and resourceful. So while being fairly meek, she does have an inner strength that keeps her going even when beset by doubts. Hopefully, that’s not a stereotype.
When workshopping OGB on Book Country, a message I received from Renee Gravelle, whose writings about women I much respect, particularly pleased me: I love Magali, and speaking as a woman, I think you’ve done a great job portraying her man’s world from her psychological viewpoint. That was reassuring, because there’s always a slight trepidation when you set out to “write the other”. Usually that means the opposite gender, though there’s nothing to stop it being anything we want. David Duchovny has written a book from a cow’s point of view, though not, apparently, with wonderful results. I haven’t read it myself, but Emma’s review at Bluchickenninja was less than flattering.
A neat conclusion is provided by another Book Country writer, D.J. Lutz: “The cliche gender roles have blurred so much now, I like to think I write for the human condition instead of delineating male vs female.” Of course, one can also write for the bovine condition, but in that case I humbly suggest one should first consult Mabel Moo. 🙂