Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I am a sexist pig, part 2

Okay, so my last post now has me thinking about my characters. I don't have a lot of female characters, though I do have some.

Adara Corvus is a major character in my trilogy, probably one of the most important characters, though she's not the protagonist. Keritha Jarnac is a somewhat minor villain, though she does have a few important roles to play. There are one or two other minor female characters, and that's about it for the trilogy.

As for my short stories, much the same can be said. I don't have a lot of female characters.

Is that sexist? Or is it just Ty writing what he knows?

Probably a little of both, though there's no intentional goal on my part to exclude women characters.

To me, it's a matter of realism, at least within the world of my trilogy. In the world of Kron Darkbow, the continent where the trilogy takes place has just entered a Renaissance-type era. There are no guns. Magic is around, but until very recently (the last 60 years) it has been extremely rare, and is still uncommon for the average person. Thus, swords and armor are still common, though on the way out in civilized urban regions. Magic is the main reason armor and heavy weapons are on the way out; heavy weaponry and armaments generally can't stand up against magic on the battlefield.

So, all of these means is there are not a lot equalizing options available when it comes to physical force. Which means, in my trilogy's world, women are still considered a weaker sex. In some countries of the continent of Ursia, women have a lot of rights, in some places even on equal standing with men. But, unfortunately, in most of the world that isn't the case. Women are still doing a lot of menial tasks while men make most of the political and monetary decisions. Again, to me that's just the reality of the world I've created. For that matter, bigotry and racism and even slavery are quite prevalent in my world, though those things don't come up in the trilogy (but they might in future stories or novels, obviously).

I don't mean for this to be sexist. I don't mean for it to be a throwback. If anything, I mean for it to be one more crisis my female characters have to deal with, especially Adara.

As with many things, all of this (if any) doesn't come up in the trilogy, at least not directly. But I know Adara's past, and I know her thinking. She's not a weak female at all; in fact, even her combat skills are quite superb, though she tends to use lighter weapons (not because of any real or perceived weaknesses due to her sex, but more because of her patrician background). She is not a Red Sonja type character at all. She is a fighter, a professional duelist, but I hope she does not come off as a stereotype.

Yackity, yackity, yack. I just keep digging deeper.


cyn said...

ty is a sexist pig. haha! happy?
i do think we write what we know and what we are comfortable with. i have two men in my tale, the hero and the sidekick. there are feminine themes in my book. what i wrote is something you would not write and vice versa. there's a vast difference to how we percieve the world, not just due to gender, but everything else. it comes through in our writing.

Howard von Darkmoor said...

yah, what cyn said, so quit whining! Durned ol' fool.