You may be wondering why I’ve titled this post as “Feminism (1.1)”, well, that’s because I have a post coming up tomorrow in #ThinkAboutItThursday where I’ll be discussing Feminism (not in any great detail, just skimming over the misconceptions, stereotypes and confusions) and in a way, this post kind of ties into that.
For maybe a year now I’ve been a huge fan of the social networking app, Wattpad. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s basically an app where writers (or readers) can go online and get to write books or short stories or imagines or fanfictions without having to worry about copyright or publishers. It’s a good way for aspiring writers to get their works out there and noticed by young adults and possible agents. It builds up popularity for your works and helps boost knowledge of you as a writer before you go on to take your writing more seriously and look at publishing. I think it’s a fantastic app and have been using it as a writer for years now.
However, over the last year I’ve really been using the app as a reader. I’ve been reading different fanfics; and when those got boring I moved on to normal works.
As of recently I’ve had an interest in Italian-themed books (more like mafia-themed books) due to a book of my own that I’m working on with an Italian twist.
However, one thing seems to be occurring to me the more that I read.
Whether it’s just because the writers assume that’s the way all women would react in a situation when they’re entrapped by a mafia (or Italian) man or not, I’m not entirely sure.
But it’s really beginning to piss me off. Not all women would bow down to the man and allow him to treat her like shit. And no, I do not been in an S&M capacity. This isn’t 50 Shades of Grey (I’ve made sure to stay away from those kind of fanfics as that theme is overwritten and overplayed now and just boring). Hopefully, as a writer, they try to keep their situations, scenarios and characters as accurate and as realistic as possible. Because, as a writer, that’s your job, otherwise it’s simply far-fetched and boring and readers will soon lose interest. That’s just the way it works.
So it’s severely bugging the crap out of me how writers out there think it’s okay for these leading female characters to shy away and back down and allow the other characters to talk to them however they want to. Like you’re going to allow a man or otherwise to talk to you like you’re a piece of dirt and then continue to do whatever it is they tell you to. I’m sorry, but even with a gun held to my head I am not going to let some person talk to me like I’m nothing. That’s not stupidity; that’s self-respect. And it annoys me how these writers think that all women would react in that way. There are no disclaimers detailing the writer’s aim for that character (i.e. I understand not all women would allow men to treat them in this way, however for the purposes of this book, this character is an introverted push-over who does allow any one to treat them like this)
Not only that, but with good books comes good writing, and if you are a good writer, you will be able to establish the fact that the character is an introverted push over, and in each occasion the leading character has been a strong, independent, level-headed, control-freak, organised sensual female who would never allow a man (or a fellow character) talk to her in such a degrading and insulting way.
It pisses me off so much how women and Wattpad writers of nowadays cannot differentiate between an introverted push-over and a strong independent extrovert. You don’t have to be strong to be an extrovert and you do not have to be a push-over to be an introvert; that’s not what I’m trying to say. But c’mon writers, where’s your accuracy?!?!?!
If this mafia man comes along and is attracted to the shy quiet girl because he’s used to sensual extroverts throwing themselves at him, begging to be his submissive, then you must stick with the shy quiet girl character and not make her suddenly don a skin-tight mini-dress and give the dude a lap dance!
If this mafia man comes along and is attracted to the sensual curvy woman in the skin-tight mini dress because she’s interesting and controlling and organised and independent and free and dominant, then you must stick with the extroverted character and not suddenly change her into a woman who will bow down and back down to whatever the dude says to her, even if he punches her in the face and tells her to get lost and then have her running back to him the next day because that is not how extroverted women roll.
Accuracy is always the most important detail in writing; even in paranormal / supernatural / gothic books. (Still to this day I am baffled as to why Twilight was ever published due to the lack of this key feature.) In The Mortal Instruments series, the reason they’re such fantastic books is because of their accuracy. It’s because the characters were so strong and never-changing. Clary was a level-headed incredible heroine who did not suddenly change characteristics half-way through the series. Yes she changed and progressed because that’s accurate to life, but she didn’t suddenly become her polar-opposite self. Same with all of the other characters. Simon was an introverted intelligent nerd, and despite everything, he was still an introverted intelligent nerd at the end of the series despite being stronger and bolder and braver.
That’s only one literal example. I understand that not all heroines are extroverts, please, I understand. But as a writer myself it pisses me off when I see other writers completely de-foul female characters by suddenly changing their entire character half-way through a freakin’ book.
Please; (yes writing is a hobby for a lot of people and therefore isn’t a serious thing for many, despite being very serious for others) think of what you’re writing as you’re writing it. And ALWAYS ask yourself if what you’re writing is purely accurate and believable. Ask yourself if that is how you yourself would react in that situation (or if anyone you know would).
Just some advice, and a little rant about the desperate lack of Feminism in most Wattpad books nowadays.
Much love, B xo