Women Characters: To Torture A Lot Or Just A Little? Or Not At All…?

That is the question, folks.  I love my female characters to death, but does that mean I shouldn’t torture them, because they’re women?

I was actually supposed to be sleeping, but with NaNo still going on, I kept on thinking about my characters… even in deep sleep. I know, it’s scary. So, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about The Culture of Rape and Violence Against Women. Read about articles on Super Heroines and why so many have so much horrible things done to them just because they’re a woman. Has anyone ever read Women in Refrigerators? It’s an interesting site. A bit old and I don’t think anyone updates it anymore, but it got me thinking again.

So, I have two possible scenarios for one particular character, who’s a tortured soul. I want my readers to sympathize with her for she’s a very strong female. However…and I believe I’ve said this before… it just kills me to have to hurt her. I don’t want to hurt her, because she’s such an interesting character. Of course, this would affect everything in the story.

Now, I could go with one or the other…

  1. A horrific tragedy occurs and she’s scarred for life… blah blah blah, wanders forever lost in the void of time, etc. etc. She suffers some more tragic events, she then seeks revenge on so-called villain, gets help, and then she overcomes.
  2. OR… She escapes this horrific tragedy just in the nick of time, runs away, wandering forever lost in the void of time, etc. etc. Suffers some tragic event or two along the way, then seeks revenge on evil bad whatever, gets a friend (or some help), and then she overcomes.

You see how conflicted I am?

Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t mind conflict in a story. Conflict can be psychology trauma, physical, emotional or mental trauma (I think I said that already) …bad things happen all the time. But would it be safe to say that torturing your characters is a better recipe or not? I’m getting two different sides of the story: one is torture your women characters just like men, and the other is don’t torture women, because they’re not like men…PERIOD! Some say don’t torture anyone at all and go for everyday conflict, like getting late to work or something not seriously life threatening. Yeah, what about a car accident…? I don’t want boring, just give me my drama and action! I love watching movies, some are controversial and others not. If it’s out there on public TV, I probably saw it or read it…err maybe?

She is my first (no second) favorite character…but this is a really tough choice for me, especially since she’s a female character. I have no problems torturing my male characters whatsoever in slow, horrible ways, but when it comes to women…eh, how far is too far?  Comic books haven’t been too kind to women and that’s a fact. Majority of women (super heroines) are seen as sex objects or eye-candy with giant balloons the size of watermelons. How they fight with triple plus size breasts is beyond me…

Yes, I sound like a feminist right now. But I’m not.  Okay… so, maybe I am. I may just have certain limits when it comes down to how people handle female characters.  However, I don’t believe in censorship. Just because you don’t talk or write about rape doesn’t mean it don’t exist!  I think topics such as women’s rights, sexually, and issues of rape should be discussed freely, no matter what.

I don’t know, folks, how to go about this story. I’m a big fan of Xena and I state this quite often. I’ve read a few comic books with strong female characters, who never die. And if they do die, they usually come back bigger or better than before.  Battle Angel Alita is one of my top mangas! It’s very dark, gritty and violent by the way, but Alita kicks ass through and through. If they do a movie with her, they better do it right! And get this, folks, it was written by a guy named Yukito Kishiro.  There is absolutely no depictions of rape and no romantic interest involved…not until the *cough cough* so-called strange ending. Still have yet to read the Last Order, but I’m slowly getting there. I watched a lot of Sailor Moon, Utena: The Revolutionary Girl (best show of all time by the way!), Armitage, Ghost in the Shell (movie’s eh, series is better), and who could forget Buffy The Vampire Slayer?

As you can see, I’m a girl who definitely loves shows from the 80s and 90s. Haven’t really played many video games with strong female protagonists, but I do know Tomb Raider…never played it though. This decision dealing with the plot will probably haunt me for all time. I don’t want to be any way sexist or promote (or condone) violence against women in anyway, especially misogyny. I have read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the sequel as well, The Girl Who Played With Fire.

So, I’m no stranger to reading about violence on women.  Although, a new comic book called The 99 is drawing some attention to strong female characters for children. Don’t know if that’s a good or bad. We’ll just have to wait and see… You know violence… it’s practically everywhere. Believe it or not, I’ve tried avoiding it. But it’s on the TV, news, books, video games, music, and the list goes on and on. Doesn’t make it right to hurt a woman under any circumstances by the way, but that’s the cruel world we live in. Women are most likely to get raped than men, which is sad but true. The only difference in this story is that I would be writing it from a female’s perspective, since I’m a woman. If you didn’t know that, now you know. That reminds me of some of the popular bestselling romance books, you know, such as Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey. I’ll politely say “no comment.” I prefer stories with harsher realities, but all my characters are well-developed and are three-dimensional in every way, who can stand up for themselves. They aren’t pushovers.

Will they be able to fight every bad guy they come across? Of course, they will. Girl power rocks! Will they win every fight? Not always. Will they die or get hurt or maimed? Sure, why not. Not all my characters are super heroes, some of them are just real flesh and blood. Just like male characters they’re all human…eh, except a few. It’s just the gender issues that bother me sometimes, especially when I see things around the world that I don’t always agree with.  I’m the type of writer who draws inspiration from what I watch and read around me.  If some news report bothers me, I’ll do research and write about it. If I check out an article that makes me sad or mad, I’ll write about it.

All my characters (male or female) go through horrible stuff by the way in all my books. So, no gender is safe around me… or from the evils in the world that is. I’m just worried that if I pick one, whether it’s one or two… I’m really hoping that no angry mob of feminists is going to hunt me down and kill me. Seriously, I like to write for myself as well, and I’m aware of the controversy, surroundings topics like this.  Normally, I just write what I feel like, emotions and all, because it’s the most powerful way to get a response. 😐 Without action, there is no reaction. In addition, there’s a lot of terribly written books out there that probably have set women back another 500 years or so. Hopefully, I won’t be one of them. Only time will tell….

I’m just too young to die…


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