So what's really making people feel iffy about our lazy janitor as a woman? I'd say it's simply a matter of what standards have been set already. Really, the problem is that we're just not used to having female characters that don't do what has been already set in our culture as female things to do. And it comes down to, why is the character a girl? People asking THAT, but not ever asking, why is this character a typical white guy AGAIN? And we're so used to seeing men as the stars, that when there's a woman, the rarity calls attention. Calls so much attention that I guess people get more wrapped up in the "why" of that instead of just trying to follow the story.
Another classroom example: In acting class, our instructor drew a big square on the board and asked us to make a character out of it. It was just an exercise in figuring out a character and motivations and goals and all that. Most that were made were male characters, all without any romantic histories or motivations, while the one female character did. I mean, there were some crazy and fanciful ideas for the male characters, but the one girl seemed quite limited to that girl stereotype.
What's happening here is... I guess people are asking the wrong questions. "Why should we have a female character? There has to be a purpose in our character choices! Oh, so logically something significant to this character story-wise would probably be a boyfriend or something."
When these attachments are taken out of a story and we simply have a character that happens to be a girl, it may throw some people off because they're just not used to it.
Friday, January 26, 2007
From Thunder Blossom's livejournal: