She-Ra and the Action Heroine
I do a lot of women characters in my stories. When I was growing up, there wasn’t much representation for women in books, film, or TV. Especially not for the kind of stories I liked: Action and adventure.
I wanted my characters to be part of the adventure – beyond being a victim to be rescued. She-Ra was great for that, but there’s still been far too few of anything for women. She-Ra was 30 years ago!
But it seems like every time the women get any of the action, the men complain, like for the upcoming Ghostbusters:
This echoes what many detractors have been saying about the film: This isn’t about misogyny, they say. Ghostbusters was my childhood. Indeed it was—but one based on a model that snuffed out alternatives in which women, just like men, could lead, fight, and prevail.
I’d tell other writers that I was writing action and adventure for women. The women writers were all like “Cool!” The male writers were not only derogatory; they were way over the top. It was like it was deeply offensive that women might actually want to read about other women having adventures.
Why can’t women have action and adventure in fiction, too?