Mistdork

Female Villains in Epic Fantasy (General Spoilers)

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I rather hope people don't complain that I'm...errr...complaining...but anyways. On to the show.

 

We all know that Brandon's books (particularly his Cosmere books, I can't address his other books, but I mainly want to talk about epic fantasy anyways) have strong and polarizing female characters. This is wonderful, women like Vin, Jasnah, Shai, and Siri are fine characters, and yes, Shallan is alright too, although she isn't personally my favorite. But, these strong characters are...well...all on the side of "good".

 

It's funny. since, that's what I have a problem with. All the women (generally speaking) are on the side of good. Most of the villains (particularly the major ones) are men/male, and while it might seem odd, I have a bit of a problem with this. It might be due to genre, but I would like to see an intriguing female villain, or even a super-powered one...just because, I can't exactly remember when a female was the "big(ger) bad" of an epic fantasy novel (think Ruin sized, I guess). A part of me finds this...unnerving, strange as that may sound.

 

All I really want to see, though, is a well-written/powerful/cool female villain. So, a few topics of discussion for you guys:

 

1. Do you feel there's a lack of (well-written/powerful) female villains in epic fantasy, and if so, what do you think contributes to this. (Perhaps I'm not reading the right stuff?)

 

2. Is this perhaps linked to audience expectations? Why can't women be evil (and "strong") when men can be?

 

3. Finally, in the Cosmere novels (this is why this post is marked for spoilers) do you think their may be a problem that there really are few (I can only think of that Mistborn-chick in Finale Empire at the moment) female villains? Yes, this what got me thinking about this topic in the first place, and since Brandon often seems to like reversals, I'm a little surprised this is the case...

 

Yes, I kind of realize this topic makes me into a super-feminist weirdo, but yeah. Also, if this needs to be moved, that's fine. I wasn't exactly sure where to put it...:P

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1. Yes, I do. But then, I haven't read very widely, so don't take my word for it.

 

2. I think it's a combination of many things. The main thing is that big publishing houses change slowly. I actually started a thread about female authors in fantasy few weeks back and we concluded that its probably a publisher thing - the publishers won't publish epic fantasy written by females. It's got to be romantic urban fantasy or YA fantasy.

Maybe the publishers think the majority of fantasy fans are male and would therefore not enjoy a female villain? Maybe male writers don't like the idea of writing a female villain? I don't know. Just spitting out random thoughts here.

 

3. I'd have to think on this one for a while....

 

In terms of some books I've read with great female villains, try Empress by Karen Millers, maybe? I hated almost every character in the book, yet some how I feel like it was a great book.

The Paradox Series by Rachel Bach also had an interesting female villain-type female, though it's actually a sci-fi opera, so dunno if it's what you're looking for. And I haven';t read the last book, so I don't know if it ends well.

 

that's about all I can think of off the top of my head. 

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Hmm. Just glancing at my shelves of fantasy I'm only really seeing two series with main female villains. I didn't really think about this before.

-

The two series are The Mallorean by David Eddings and The Dreamers also by David Eddings (Though the main villain in The Dreamers isn't really human... more of a insect... lizard... mammal... bird... arachnid... thing).

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Yeah, now that I think about it, I've rarely seen a female villain. Brian McClellan's Promise of Blood kind of has one, but she is not the Big Bad. Lady, from The Black Company series, could be considered a villain too, I guess, but if you've read the books, you know she is not a good example; the same applies to Sabetha in The Republic of Thieves, but she is an even worse example, as she is not so much a villain as an antagonist, or even better - a foil. Jim C. Hines' Princess series might be the best example I can think of.

 

I don't know, it's a weird phenomenon. Let me go ask on Reddit for some examples.

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The wheel of time series is rife with female villains. In fact, there's a dedicated group of evil female magic users.

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That's not the same as having a female villain - I could argue that most of the Black Ajah are closer to the evil henchman stereotype than the villain one. Plus, none of them are really the Big Bad of the story.

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That's not the same as having a female villain - I could argue that most of the Black Ajah are closer to the evil henchman stereotype than the villain one. Plus, none of them are really the Big Bad of the story.

 

 

Well, the big-bad of the story is the concept of evil, and an immortal being acting through proxies. Kind of hard to assign mortal genders to it (though they do refer to him as the "father of lies" and "he" pretty often, but I think that's more of a convenience in linguistics than a concession that "he" is male)

 

That and various female villains play the "big bad guy" of certain story arcs, such as the various female members of the forsaken. As far as the WoT story is concerned, this is about the best you can hope for in regards to "villains" actively participating in the story.

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 A similar thing came up in the Reddit thread, only about the Forsaken. In short, I could probably buy into the female Forsaken being the villains of some some of the story arcs. They are not without their issues, but I could agree to it.

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2. I think it's a combination of many things. The main thing is that big publishing houses change slowly. I actually started a thread about female authors in fantasy few weeks back and we concluded that its probably a publisher thing - the publishers won't publish epic fantasy written by females. It's got to be romantic urban fantasy or YA fantasy.

Maybe the publishers think the majority of fantasy fans are male and would therefore not enjoy a female villain? Maybe male writers don't like the idea of writing a female villain? I don't know. Just spitting out random thoughts here.

 

Because a woman never made it writing about dragons. Though, there are still problems with the books she wrote (for the modern-day reader, though, not at the time she was writing), I guess publishing houses have all forgotten about The Dragonriders of Pern, nowadays. ;)

 

But yes, I feel the same way. It's why I posted this topic. It's also, I think, a problem with our society in general, what would people think if a best-selling novel had a female-villain? Would that make the author sexist (if it's a man) or would that somehow derail the feminist movement? "Girls need role models" after all (and so do guys, but this is a trend in reaching girl-audiences), and to make a villain out of a woman would certainly be counter-productive!

 

So, yes, I agree that publishing houses are part of the problem, and probably a lack of female authors too. I once bought a book written by a woman (who writes epic fantasies), but found her work wanting, but that may be because it was more of a romance, and I tend to not like reading books that are overly romantic. I have a low level of tolerance for that sort of thing. But perhaps most female authors feel that is what they can write/publish too... I would like to see more women in epic fantasy (or see Mary Robinette Kowal write something that isn't a fantasy based on Jane Austin/Regency England, especially after reading her short story in Shadows Beneath. I happen to have a problem with historical fiction/fantasy in general, though)...

 

 

That's not the same as having a female villain - I could argue that most of the Black Ajah are closer to the evil henchman stereotype than the villain one. Plus, none of them are really the Big Bad of the story.

 

Well, the big-bad of the story is the concept of evil, and an immortal being acting through proxies. Kind of hard to assign mortal genders to it (though they do refer to him as the "father of lies" and "he" pretty often, but I think that's more of a convenience in linguistics than a concession that "he" is male)

 

That and various female villains play the "big bad guy" of certain story arcs, such as the various female members of the forsaken. As far as the WoT story is concerned, this is about the best you can hope for in regards to "villains" actively participating in the story.

 

Having read the Wheel of Time, I do agree with you somewhat, though none of them quite fit. Sure, they were villains of their own arcs, but they were often co-villains with the other Forsaken, and, in some ways, not the most memorable ones either...though they fit better than most sometimes though, I think most of Jordan's women were antagonistic (this excludes Min and Moiraine...to an extent). That was being nice.

 

--

 

Anyway, I feel like I'm trying to capture the moon, a little.

 

So, since a lot of you are guys, how would you feel about reading a female antagonist/villain (it can be either a downright big bad or not, it really doesn't matter) in this genre?

 

And to everyone else: what do you think would you like to see in a female antagonist? What traits would make her memorable?

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I've never really thought about it, but it does seem to me that there's a lack of female Big Bads. Even in Sanderson's works, most "big" antagonists are male - TLR, Ruin, Odium, Miles, Hrathen/Dilaf to name a few. There's the occasional female "henchman" thrown in there (Kaladin meets a few arrogant lighteyes, Vin has troubles with some female noblewomen, Warbreaker has one), but overall when I think of antagonists I think overwhelmingly of male ones. This pattern seems repeated in other books that I can think of. It's interesting that I never really noticed that before.

 

In regards to the Wheel of Time, the Forsaken were all generally incompetent and their scary reputation was never lived up to. Sure, the Forsaken included some females who were antagonists for some arcs, but they just never felt that strong. I'm trying to think of viscerally terrifying female antagonists, and not coming up with any except maybe for the ones in The Fifth Sorceress, but that book was not very well written, generally crude, and there was a big stink where the author was accused of sexism as I recall.

 

I'm not opposed to female villains at all, and I'm not sure why they would need special characteristics distinct from male villains. I feel like maybe there's an inequality problem, but I'm not sure how or even if you'd try to fix it. Perhaps it's that there's a relative paucity of female authors?

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I think it's mostly an inconscious thing. even when the society emancipated, there are still concepts that people keep believing, unless they stop to think about it. for example even now lots of people think that women should care for the children more than males, that men have no interest for romance and females have no interest for sex, or many other things that are plain wrong. so, i gueess to writers it just come more natural to write male villains.

 

on the other hand, there's also the fact that fantasy soocieties tend to be at a middle age level, and societies then tended to be very sexist, with men having power and women being relegated to caring for children - or, in a few exceptions, the opposite roles, but still roles were gender-defined. so in those societies it is normal that men would be in a dominating position, and that extends to the big bad hierarchy.

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I BLAME SOCIETY

 

Okay, always wanted to say that and actually mean it, sorry. It seems a societal thing. I can't really speak for Yolen, but on Scadrial we had gender roles that applied to most people, Warbreaker doesn't really have a big bad yet as far as I'm concerned. It has a lot of bad people, but nothing akin to the other Shardworlds. Roshar has this exact same issue, it's just really hard for a woman to wind up in that large shadow-draped throne. I won't lie, I'm expecting it to happen sooner or later on one Shardworld or another (Probably Scadrial IMO), but I'm not overly annoyed that it hasn't happened yet. None of these worlds are developed well enough on a social level for that to happen very easily. I'm rambling now, so I'll quit while I'm ahead and hope you get my point.

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It could also stem from a lack of archetypes, I think. Just look at all the male villainous archetypes there are. Off the top of my head, we have….

 

The Dark Lord

The Lex Luthor

The Mafia Don

The Unethical Lawyer 

The Dictator 

The Joker 

 

All of those villainous archetypes are interesting, with a wide array of examples in fiction. They've been played with and explored, tried and tested. And on their own, they're interesting. The Joker would be an interesting character without Batman, the Mafia don would be interesting without cops or the FBI opposing him, and so on. Yet for women, we have….

 

The Evil Queen  

The Harley Quinn

The Catwoman

The Mafia Princess 

 

Very few of those archetypes would be interesting on their own. The Evil Queen wouldn't be worth reading about if she didn't have a Snow White to torment. Harley Quinn and Catwoman are practically sidekicks, and without the men who define them, they would not be the characters they are. (Without the Joker, Harley would still be a prison psychiatrist.) The Mafia Princess would have no kingdom without her father or boyfriend twisting arms for her. 

 

I think what needs to happen for there to be more interesting female villains in fantasy is for authors to treat female characters as independent entities. What makes the evil queen interesting? Who would she be, without Snow White? Is there a way for Harley Quinn to become a super villain on her own without ever meeting the Joker? 

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I believe there's a female-exclusive version of the Evil Overlord List somewhere out there on the net. Build a villain off a few of those rules, and you might have something going.

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It's not epic fantasy, but the first female villains that came to mind were from the Powerpuff Girls.  There are only two of them, but they seem pretty set on being evil without having it out for one particular person (like Snow White) or being sidekicks.  The one girl, Princess Morbucks, does kind of need her rich father to make her villain status possible, but Sedusa just causes trouble because she wants to.  She might use some other baddies to help her, but she's doing it for her own reasons.

 

I would definitely like to see some seriously evil lady in an epic fantasy who wasn't in it just for revenge or because some dude was supporting or pushing her to it.  I've got a nice evil laugh all ready for when I read her voice out loud. ;)  Why can't a girl be into world domination for no other reason but that she wants to?

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There's always this list here for creating a female villain who doesn't fall into sexist and frankly idiotic pitfalls.

 

I guess you could always make a sociopath character, with real-life people to base them on. Or have a darker take on a powerful child-character like minus from the webcomic of the same name, or you could just saw "screw it" and make an evil empress in it for the same reasons everybody else is: Immortality, Power, Control, and other things that are certainly not male-exclusive desires.

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I think what needs to happen more, in general, is to have authors create their characters independent of gender first, and then after that, happen to make them male/female/non-binary, rather than agonising over creating a character to be female. There should be some consideration given to numbers of characters representing typically under-represented people there, but still. Or hell, just make your characters as you like, then switch around their genders! The latter option seems to me like it would certainly help some authors realise a certain gender bias they hold, and ultimately prove to be more interesting with more varied representations of actual people.

 

I'm more iffy on blaming in-universe societies for the inequality in our cast of characters though! The author chooses what kind of society to create, and what kind of characters they create and use. A sexist society doesn't preclude a female cast of characters from being a focus, and if anything, I'd say that creating a sexist society encourages using female characters for the narrative, in order to challenge the status quo and/or examine social roles, especially when we have so many books where corrupt moral authorities that need to be challenged exist.

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I'd love to see more female big bads! It's always fun to read a trope being turned on it's head. 

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My question on Reddit collected quite a few responses, many of them with suggestions and recommendations for novels (and a few other mediums) with female villains. They are still underrepresented, but at least now I have a few titles I go read if I want to check that representation out.

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This is an interesting topic and as a woman myself I fee compel to pitch in...

 

I believe most answers are sound ones.

 

Fantasy has been a man guarded realm for so long habits are hard to change. As a woman, coming forward and claiming I enjoy reading these books got me all sort of reactions throughout the years. Not so much lately with GoT and LoTR being such great on-screen successes, but a few years ago you just didn't mentioned your reading habits unless you interlocutor already was a fantasy reader himself. I must also say I have met, with time, many other women who enjoy reading fantasy so it is false to believe all readers are male. There are quite a few of us female readers out there, but I would hazard we tend to be quieter about it.

 

Also, society dictates young women are supposed to enjoy certain things such as romance, make-up, clothes and appearances. These are strongly ingrained, even in the most egalitarian societies, from the beginning of the teenage years and even before. Young teenagers tend to want to blend in, so tastes are being sub-consciously moved towards what society believes young women should like. Trust me when I say that reading LoTR at 13 does make one stand out as a weirdo, maybe not so much now, but 20 years ago, it was such. I thus believe, that based on these preconceptions, editors and authors alike are reluctant to write/publish about strong women character who evolve outside the common cliche. However, I believe this will eventually change as women are getting more and more interested in fantasy. I have seen many more female protagonists in the recent years in fantasy then say a few years ago. For this I must give Jordan ta palm up for daring to write about a matriarchal society where men are deprived of both political and magical power and this, 30 years ago.

True most of the female characters came out strange, bitchy and sometimes plain annoying, but I have enjoyed having so many female characters in a book.

 

I would also hazard many authors do not trust themselves to write convincing women antagonists. Traditionally, women are described as care-takers and emphatic so writing about a women character who is sociopath must be harder. I personally have enjoyed the Cersei in GRRM. I have hated her whole-heartily and I felt she was a nice villain, not a traditional one, but a villain nonetheless. I must also give the palm to Brandon as he does try to write many various strong women characters who are not solely driven by their desire to be in a relationship, as if the only way to achieve oneself was through having a decent boyfriend or getting drunk crying over the fact you can't get one (chick-lit.... yeah I do read it...sometimes :ph34r: ).... I know he has yet to write about a female antagonist, although I see a few potential prospect in SA which I hope he'll elaborate on.

 

Personally, for me a good antagonist (women or men alike) should be strong, appear unbeatable, untouchable. It needs to have power of some sort and it does not need to be physical force. Also, a good women antagonist must be positioned as such not as a result of failed relationships or because of a man. Women have been to often written as victim of their hearts so reading about a rational woman making decision based on cold logic would be interesting. Not all women are emotionally driven, many of us are just as rational as men are supposed to be, just like many men are very emotional and not rational at all ;)

 

This is how I see it anyway.

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Well put maxal, very well put indeed. There's always going to be the sexism issue as well, unfortunately. People can whine that there aren't enough female big bads, but I can also imagine a lot of whining about women being portrayed as evil in a work just as easily. It's a gutsy move to make a "minority" (Only now as I type that do I realize how much I hate that term in this context) a big bad or something close to it. Also, remember, Most Writers Are Male, and getting emotions and motivations just right has always been hard either way, and creating a flat and/or unbelievable female character is often far worse than not having one at all. Not everybody can make a Vriska Serket, and not everybody wants to risk failing. This is starting to dry up and die, but I'm guessing it'll be a while before we have anything close to a similar number of female and male villains on the shelves.

 

EDIT: Because posting for clarification is overrated. I was referring to the fear of screwing up the creation of a female villain/anti-villain (depending on the view) by making a "meh" character or somebody who feels one dimensional. I wasn't talking about actual evildoing or threat value, as that is something totally different that I'm not really qualified to talk about. Vriska just happened to come to mind as an evilish female character who didn't feel like a botched attempt because of the evil known as summer thought repetition. As you said, kind of beside the point, but I still felt like adding this edit.

Edited by Observer
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Well put maxal, very well put indeed. There's always going to be the sexism issue as well, unfortunately. People can whine that there aren't enough female big bads, but I can also imagine a lot of whining about women being portrayed as evil in a work just as easily. It's a gutsy move to make a "minority" (Only now as I type that do I realize how much I hate that term in this context) a big bad or something close to it. Also, remember, Most Writers Are Male, and getting emotions and motivations just right has always been hard either way, and creating a flat and/or unbelievable female character is often far worse than not having one at all. Not everybody can make a Vriska Serket, and not everybody wants to risk failing. This is starting to dry up and die, but I'm guessing it'll be a while before we have anything close to a similar number of female and male villains on the shelves.

I would argue that Vriska Serket wouldn't work anywhere she wasn't intended to be ridiculous, y'know. But that's besides the point.
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This is an interesting topic and as a woman myself I fee compel to pitch in...

 

I believe most answers are sound ones.

 

Fantasy has been a man guarded realm for so long habits are hard to change. As a woman, coming forward and claiming I enjoy reading these books got me all sort of reactions throughout the years. Not so much lately with GoT and LoTR being such great on-screen successes, but a few years ago you just didn't mentioned your reading habits unless you interlocutor already was a fantasy reader himself. I must also say I have met, with time, many other women who enjoy reading fantasy so it is false to believe all readers are male. There are quite a few of us female readers out there, but I would hazard we tend to be quieter about it.

 

Also, society dictates young women are supposed to enjoy certain things such as romance, make-up, clothes and appearances. These are strongly ingrained, even in the most egalitarian societies, from the beginning of the teenage years and even before. Young teenagers tend to want to blend in, so tastes are being sub-consciously moved towards what society believes young women should like. Trust me when I say that reading LoTR at 13 does make one stand out as a weirdo, maybe not so much now, but 20 years ago, it was such. I thus believe, that based on these preconceptions, editors and authors alike are reluctant to write/publish about strong women character who evolve outside the common cliche. However, I believe this will eventually change as women are getting more and more interested in fantasy. I have seen many more female protagonists in the recent years in fantasy then say a few years ago. For this I must give Jordan ta palm up for daring to write about a matriarchal society where men are deprived of both political and magical power and this, 30 years ago.

True most of the female characters came out strange, bitchy and sometimes plain annoying, but I have enjoyed having so many female characters in a book.

 

I would also hazard many authors do not trust themselves to write convincing women antagonists. Traditionally, women are described as care-takers and emphatic so writing about a women character who is sociopath must be harder. I personally have enjoyed the Cersei in GRRM. I have hated her whole-heartily and I felt she was a nice villain, not a traditional one, but a villain nonetheless. I must also give the palm to Brandon as he does try to write many various strong women characters who are not solely driven by their desire to be in a relationship, as if the only way to achieve oneself was through having a decent boyfriend or getting drunk crying over the fact you can't get one (chick-lit.... yeah I do read it...sometimes :ph34r: ).... I know he has yet to write about a female antagonist, although I see a few potential prospect in SA which I hope he'll elaborate on.

 

Personally, for me a good antagonist (women or men alike) should be strong, appear unbeatable, untouchable. It needs to have power of some sort and it does not need to be physical force. Also, a good women antagonist must be positioned as such not as a result of failed relationships or because of a man. Women have been to often written as victim of their hearts so reading about a rational woman making decision based on cold logic would be interesting. Not all women are emotionally driven, many of us are just as rational as men are supposed to be, just like many men are very emotional and not rational at all ;)

 

This is how I see it anyway.

 

You, mam, are a genius. 

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This is an interesting topic and as a woman myself I fee compel to pitch in...

 

I believe most answers are sound ones.

 

Fantasy has been a man guarded realm for so long habits are hard to change. As a woman, coming forward and claiming I enjoy reading these books got me all sort of reactions throughout the years. Not so much lately with GoT and LoTR being such great on-screen successes, but a few years ago you just didn't mentioned your reading habits unless you interlocutor already was a fantasy reader himself. I must also say I have met, with time, many other women who enjoy reading fantasy so it is false to believe all readers are male. There are quite a few of us female readers out there, but I would hazard we tend to be quieter about it.

 

Also, society dictates young women are supposed to enjoy certain things such as romance, make-up, clothes and appearances. These are strongly ingrained, even in the most egalitarian societies, from the beginning of the teenage years and even before. Young teenagers tend to want to blend in, so tastes are being sub-consciously moved towards what society believes young women should like. Trust me when I say that reading LoTR at 13 does make one stand out as a weirdo, maybe not so much now, but 20 years ago, it was such. I thus believe, that based on these preconceptions, editors and authors alike are reluctant to write/publish about strong women character who evolve outside the common cliche. However, I believe this will eventually change as women are getting more and more interested in fantasy. I have seen many more female protagonists in the recent years in fantasy then say a few years ago. For this I must give Jordan ta palm up for daring to write about a matriarchal society where men are deprived of both political and magical power and this, 30 years ago.

True most of the female characters came out strange, bitchy and sometimes plain annoying, but I have enjoyed having so many female characters in a book.

 

I would also hazard many authors do not trust themselves to write convincing women antagonists. Traditionally, women are described as care-takers and emphatic so writing about a women character who is sociopath must be harder. I personally have enjoyed the Cersei in GRRM. I have hated her whole-heartily and I felt she was a nice villain, not a traditional one, but a villain nonetheless. I must also give the palm to Brandon as he does try to write many various strong women characters who are not solely driven by their desire to be in a relationship, as if the only way to achieve oneself was through having a decent boyfriend or getting drunk crying over the fact you can't get one (chick-lit.... yeah I do read it...sometimes :ph34r: ).... I know he has yet to write about a female antagonist, although I see a few potential prospect in SA which I hope he'll elaborate on.

 

Personally, for me a good antagonist (women or men alike) should be strong, appear unbeatable, untouchable. It needs to have power of some sort and it does not need to be physical force. Also, a good women antagonist must be positioned as such not as a result of failed relationships or because of a man. Women have been to often written as victim of their hearts so reading about a rational woman making decision based on cold logic would be interesting. Not all women are emotionally driven, many of us are just as rational as men are supposed to be, just like many men are very emotional and not rational at all ;)

 

This is how I see it anyway.

 

Maxal, you definitely hit on a lot of good points!  

 

I really think there is a nice size yet quiet population of us who greatly prefer non-stereotypical books/movies/shows as far as our gender goes.  My husband is forever grateful that I'd rather watch a "laser movie" with him 99% of the time instead of some romantically charged thing.  

 

The one thing I find working against us (females who like legit fantasy/sci-fi) is that with the popularity of things like Twilight and all the similar fiction it's pulled with it is that there still might be a stereotype that if you're female and like this kind of fiction, it's the romance disguised as [insert particular sub-genre of fantasy/sci-fi].  For example, at some point in time I was known at my old place of employment as the girl who liked fantasy/sci-fi.  If I wasn't talking about Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, it was something way more obscure.  Two coworkers in particular took this to mean that I would obviously like Twilight and invited me to go see the movie with them.  The only thing I liked about that movie was the soundtrack.  To them, though, it was only natural to assume I'd like it.  It was technically in the genres I enjoyed.  There's a girl I work with now who I learned really loved Harry Potter, which also helped open up fantasy to the masses.  She will also sit in the lunch room and talk about all the supernatural chick-lit she reads without end.  And she always asks if I've read it.  And the answer is always no.  But how do you not completely offend someone while still trying to be truthful?  You just don't say very much in response.  If we suffer for any reason as women who love legitimate fantasy/sci-fi, it's thanks to this movement and the prevalent assumption that being female means that's the type of fantasy/sci-fi we like.  Couldn't be further from the truth as far as I personally am concerned.  I'm sure many of the other women on this site would agree.

 

I'm glad you mentioned Cersei, too.  Yeah, she's got a father and brothers and son all involved and mixed up in her motivations, but for her it's almost more that her FAMILY (not just the males in it) is into power-grabbing.  I've really enjoyed her as a villain in that series, too.

 

I think as we see more women protagonists, we'll eventually see more good female antagonists, too.  I think that will be the next step in the progression and might take some time to get there, but it will eventually come.

 

Also, like you, I find I'm much more of a rational creature.  This caused some consternation with an old roommate who very rarely made rational decisions.  Nearly everything she did was driven by emotion and her feelings toward a situation or person.  She'd ask for my opinion or advice outright, and I would often try to talk her down off the figurative cliff.  Even giving requested advice, she never took it.  My thoughts on her problems usually meant I suggested making logical and conscious decisions to work through or in spite of her sour feelings.  It's nice to know there are other women out there who can not only relate to this ability to be rational but also see how it can be an advantage.  I'm not heartless (as evidenced by the fact I got a little teary eyed while watching Guardians of the Galaxy last night), but most of the time I am able to make choices based less on emotion and more on logic.  

 

If there are readers like us out there, why not some female super villains, too? ;)

 

Edit to add:  Wouldn't it be awesome if a book featured a little girl who grew up with dreams of world/universe domination instead of any of the other stereotypical things little girls are said to dream about growing up?

Edited by traceria
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   When Sally was six, the teacher gave her a white sheet of paper, and printed in big, bold letters across the top was this: "What do you want to do when you grow up?"

   So Sally answered, and gave the paper back, and the teacher took back all the papers from everybody, and she flipped through them, looking bored.

   She got to Sally's paper, and she didn't look bored anymore.

   "Sally," the teacher asked, "What did you write here?"

   Sally looked up from the flag she was designing. "I want to be the ruler of the world."

   "It doesn't work like that," the teacher said.

   Sally shrugged and held up her drawing. "I'll make it work like that. How does this look as the flag for a planetary government?"

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