Friday, April 24, 2009
So how long have you been a woman?
I think it's because I'm following a friend's blog, The Cliterature Blog, that I've been thinking about gender issues more than usual. I commented -- that should be ranted -- to my wife about how gendered some of the cartoons my eldest child watches are. How, for example, the male powers in one superhero show are all physical, and the female powers are more mystical and magical, and somehow weaker.
Then it hit me. My current writing was very gendered. Straitjacket Ninja is a bit of a boys comic. It's a throwback kind of strip. The women in the first episodes are either victims or delusional. I immediately put on my hair-shirt and chastised myself. Woe was me. How could I atone?
I looked at my episode plan. Strong male characters, delusional females. One nice female villain, but still rather insane. Then I realized that a major character in the current storyline was male in my head for no good reason. In fact, making the character female made more sense. Suddenly the whole storyline seemed better, more logical, and -- dare I say -- deeper than it had been.
I'm a big, dumb male. Most of the stuff I have read or watched over the years has had a strong male bias. It rubs off. But hey ... I'm trying. After all, I have some very strong females around me who have been known to (mostly metaphorically) kick me in the bollocks if I get too stupid.
Art copyright Simon Morse