Sorry for the lack of posting; real life is hectic. (Not bad, just busy.) I’m working on, like, three different entries when I’ve got the time and haven’t managed to finish a single one of them. Go me.
In the mean time, here are pictures of my cat, who loves being upside-down.
Actual content soon, hopefully.
Like I’ve said before, NBC’s Scrubs is one of my very favorite shows on the air now, and perhaps my favorite sitcom of all time. Despite the awesomeness of its recent musical episode, I think this season represents its shark jumping (and is likely the last season, regardless); but still, the show remains an excellent watch with one main problem: I absolutely can not stand the JD, the show’s protagonist (played by Zach Braff). And yet my completely loathing of his character is evened out by my admiration for Elliot (Sarah Chalke), who I think is not only one of the best written female characters on the air right now, but is the character from the show who has had the most development and growth in its six seasons. So, a two part series; in this entry, I explain why I adore Elliot, and in the next, I’ll get into why I find JD to be loathsome.
So. When we first begin the show, Elliot is uptight, neurotic, repressed, scatter brained, clumsy, prone-to-crying, and severely lacking in any kind of confidence. As a doctor (a first-year intern, actually) she’s inexperienced and barely able to keep her head above water. In the first season we learn that she’s from a wealthy but distant family and she’s desperate for parental approval; this is a need that, in the hospital, translates to her desperately craving approval of the hospital’s paternal figures, Dr. Kelso and Dr. Cox. She fails to win it from either. Furthermore, her social awkwardness repeatedly gets her in trouble and isolates her from everyone around except DJ. She crushes on JD, even long after their attempt at a relationship fails miserably.
In short, the Elliot we meet in season one is a mess. The reason I love the character is because through the course of the show, we see her grow from this mess into a self-possessed, competent, dynamic woman. In many ways, her character arch is deeper and more complete than anyone else’s on the show.
Through the first three seasons of the show, Elliot follows a fairly typical pattern for designated romantic interests. She has a crush on JD; they hook up, it fails. Then JD has a crush on her, they hook up, and it fails again. Most of Elliot’s storylines revolve around who she is dating, even when it is not JD, though a few episodes touch on her other relationships — particularly her friendship with Carla, a Latina nurse at the hospital. Carla is clearly one of the first non-white people Elliot has ever been friends with (and, more importantly to their relationship, possibly the first person who wasn’t from a similar middle to upper class background). In the first season, they clash repeatedly and only become friends because of their mutual friends; by the third season, Carla asks Elliot to be one of her bridesmaids. Though the friendship is only the focus of a few episodes, it is one of the first clear indicators that Elliot is maturing.
In the first three seasons, Elliot does have one plotline which is only semi-related to her dating life*. In season two, she’s cut off by her father when she refuses to accept his directive that she become a gynecologist. He paid for her college, her med school, and now pays for her apartment; without his money, she’s left unable to afford her extravagant apartment. She also has no background in financial planning or budgeting. Elliot is forced to move abruptly but due to work doesn’t have the time to find somewhere to live. For a few episodes, Elliot lives out of her van, with all of her possessions stored inside it. Then she spends a few nights sleeping on JD’s couch. Eventually, her van — and everything she owns — is stolen. She hits rock bottom and her recovery from this lasts into season three, and marks the real turning point for her character.
In the season three premier, Elliot (still reeling from losing all of her possessions and feeling generally awful about herself) realizes that her friends now pity her, and no longer think she’s capable of helping them out when they need it. She finds this unacceptable and for the first time gets pissed off instead of depressed. She begins to demand that they — and everyone else — take her seriously. (Of course, our visual cue for this transition is a montage of Elliot getting her hair cut and wrecking her room, the end result of which is that she begins to wear outfits where her bra strap shows, accompanied by way too much eyeliner [which, of course, the show jokes about]. I like the character development, even if I think this isn’t the best way to do it — if I recall DVD commentary correctly, this was actually in result of getting the note that the show needed to be “sexier” to boost its ratings.)
After this, people finally begin to respect Elliot (though it does not happen all at once, and she backslides repeatedly, even as she makes progress). She also gets into her first mature relationship, dating Shawn, the world’s most perfect boyfriend. This is where we see her begin to decide what she wants in a relationship and go after it; for example, she acknowledges to Shawn that her job has to come first, but that she’ll make him a priority when she can — and if that’s not acceptable, they can’t be together, and that while she’ll be sad, she’ll understand. She also goes after him when he tells her he’s moving and doesn’t want a long-distance relationship, telling him that she thinks the relationship is worth fighting to keep together for the six months they’ll be separated. In season one, Elliot had neither the strength nor maturity for these actions (in fact, we know that for sure, because she first meets Shawn in the first season and they date very briefly). Now she does.
Unfortunately, JD’s main plot in season three is that he realizes he still loves Elliot after one of their failed attempts at dating, and spends the season pining for her. She makes a mistake while she’s feeling vulnerable and sleeps with him (I don’t think the writers handled her end of this well, as we never really get much of a glimpse into why she does this); then, when she’s finally at a point where she’s ready to live with Shawn and take their relationship to the next step, JD professes that he thinks he, not Shawn, is right for her. Elliot makes the decision to dump Shawn for JD — who immediately realizes he doesn’t love her after all, and they break up. But even this, as frustrating as it was as a viewer, shows Elliot’s maturity. JD attempts to patching things up between her and Shawn with lies; Elliot tells Shawn the truth, even though she knows that means he won’t want to be with her again. And, of course, in the moment when JD first breaks up with her (at the rehearsal dinner for Carla’s wedding), he looks terrified and says, “Please don’t cry.”
Elliot, who has been crying regularly since the first episode, says, “Ohhh, I won’t,” and proceeds to shove him across the table, then brushes her hands clean, sits down, and asks for a glass of wine.
And despite the fact that JD has been Elliot’s crutch and closest emotional support for the last three years, Elliot does not immediately forgive him. Her very understandable anger carries through into season four, where we hit the next Elliot story arch — and my favorite. After the breakup, she feels isolated because JD lives with their closest mutual friends, making her uncomfortable spending time with them. While off alone, she meets the hospital’s new resident psychiatrist, Dr. Molly Clock. Molly is a relentlessly upbeat, confident woman, who becomes both Elliot’s closest friend and her unofficial mentor. Through this relationship, Elliot finds her own inner confidence, and finally hits her stride as a doctor. For example, she’s able to present and defend her point (that a former drug addicted patient should be allowed to have a heart valve transplant despite being a “bad candidate”) at a meeting of the hospital ethics committee, which would have sent her into hysterics not long before. I find this relationship to be beautiful and well done — considering that all too often, television portrays women and shallow and backstabbing (particularly towards other women), it’s exciting to see how Elliot and Molly support and help one another. And as a direct result of this relationship, Elliot finally stops craving acceptance from Dr. Cox. The episode after Molly leaves to take a job at another hospital, Elliot runs afowl of Dr. Cox, but when he opens his mouth to tell her off, she cuts him off, declaring that she did what she had to to treat her patient, and that she doesn’t care what he thinks. (In season five, she goes out of her way to help Dr. Cox and he responds by being incredibly rude and condescending; she glares at him and comments that she doesn’t care anymore, but the one thing that’s been true since she started is that he’s unsupportive and mean to her. Upon realizing that she’s right, he apologizes and begins to treat her as something akin to a colleague. Considering that Dr. Cox is a misogynist if you read not too far between the lines, this is particularly impressive.)
Elliot’s relationships have also moved forward as the show progressed. Elliot’s type through the series is controlling, and her craving for approval (particularly from men) means that she’s consistently let herself be controlled. With the exception of Shawn, this was the pattern through season four. But in season five, we finally see Elliot break out of this pattern, and with a real snap, too. She and JD (having finally become friends again) agree to go after booty calls together, neither of them really wanting a full relationship. JD backs out, but Elliot finds a guy she thinks is attractive and goes for it. At first, it is just a booty call: he’s there when she wants sex (and Elliot, through the five seasons, has finally become comfortable with the fact that she does want sex) and she doesn’t have to worry about him the rest of the time. But eventually Elliot finds that she actually likes Keith, the guy in question, and they get into a real relationship, and unlike past guys she’s dated, this is a relationship on Elliot’s terms. Which isn’t to say it’s perfect — there’s still a vast power imbalance, though it favors Elliot (who is Keith’s boss) — but for Elliot, it’s a big chance.
If nothing else, the ways Elliot has grown up can be symbolized by this: in season two, Elliot hit her lowest point when she was temporarily homeless. In season six, she’s got her relationships, career, and finances under control to the point where she buys a house of her own.
And finally, there’s this: Elliot does all this while remaining neurotic, repressed, scatter-brained, and clumsy. She is still the same character, at her core; much like a real person, Elliot stays herself, while she grows and matures. Furthermore, I think it’s interesting that she is this complex, developed character and she still hits a lot of the traits that television tends to apply to all women: she’s consistently worried about her weight and the way she looks**. She wants to get married and have babies, to the point where she’s occasionally desperate to find a man. On a lesser show, those would be the traits that define her character; here they’re part of her larger neuroses, and what defines her is her struggle to conquer them and grow.
*I describe this as semi-related because I think it’s clear the situation is still a set-up for her second season hook-up with JD.
**Actually, there’s an episode that’s about how hard it is to dress professionally as a woman: the female doctors who don’t take time to dress up or worry about their looks get mocked by everyone at the hospital; when Elliot gets her makeover, she isn’t taken seriously because she does put time and effort into how she looks.
I read Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies trilogy a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve wanted to blog about it since, but everything I’d planned to blog in the last month kind of got pushed aside in favor of doing the Carnival. And before I get to the meat of this entry, a quick wrap-up on that:
I loved doing the Carnival. It was really an excellent experience for me, on a number of levels, but the major one is this: I know that I’m not alone. I’ve viewed most of what I read and watch through a feminist lens since almost before I can remember (the advantages of being raised in a very feminist household, thanks to my awesome family) and have started taking it a lot more seriously in the last few months. It feels great to know that it’s not just me, that other people care about the same things.
One other awesome thing about the Carnival was that I stumbled across a bunch of new sites to follow. A bunch of them are linked over at the side now, in fact. The only reason I drew a distinction between “media-based” and “political” feminism is because I like to keep the categories about the same length, for my own sense of aesthetics.
Anyway. It was a lot of work and took up a lot of time, but it was definitely worth the effort. I highly recommend hosting a Carnival to anyone who’s looking for a way to get more involved in the blogosphere — you find a lot of great sites, read a lot of very interesting stuff. It does take a time commitment, but it’s a particularly enjoyable one.
Speaking of the Carnival, the call for the eleventh edition is up.
Okay, one last note before the real entry: I’m trying to get onto a schedule of updating at least twice a week, which is more-or-less where I was before. However, I’ve just accepted my first actual 9-5 type full time job, and I don’t really know what that’s going to do to my free time and energy levels. So there might be a period of adjusting. (On the other hand, I have a real job! Doing what I moved to the city to do! Yay!)
And now, the post. Forgive me for it still being somewhat scattered — this series made me think a lot, but none of it gelled into an actual thesis. So here we go. (As usual, there are spoilers; I try to keep them general, but bits and pieces of the plot will be spelled out.)
The trilogy (Uglies, Pretties, and Specials by Scott Westerfeld) is a science fiction dystopia, set a few hundred years in the future. Our society finally fell apart, and the grand society that comes after it is (as far as they’re concerned) far superior — not just in technology, but in culture. They realized that the reason humans became violent was due to feelings of anger and inadequacy, brought on by the unfairness of nature. To counteract that unfairness, at the age of 16, everyone receives a major operation. It takes people from being ugly, the natural human state, to almost god-like in beauty. Every flaw is done away with, and as a result, everyone looks beautiful, and eerily similar.
Our hero, a 15-year-old named Tally, is waiting eagerly for her own operation. Her best friend has had his, and now lives with the rest of the pretties. She visits him, but he seems different, selfish and silly, and like he’s forgotten her. But while she’s waiting to join him, she meets a new friend, Shay, and they band together to spend the rest of their last year as uglies pulling pranks — including running away from the city to examine the ruins of the fallen culture. Through these adventures, Tally slowly learns that Shay doesn’t really want the operation; she doesn’t see what’s so wrong about looking natural. The week before their birthday, Shay runs off into the wild, claiming there’s a whole group of runaways who have decided not to have the operation. Tally is horrified — and it gets worse when the city’s secretive police group, Special Circumstances, tells her that she will not be allowed to have her own operation unless she follows Shay, brings her back, and betrays the location of the runaways. Stuck for options, Tally agrees — but when she finds Shay and the runaways, she learns that the operation doesn’t just make you pretty: it messes with your brain, making you stupid and complacent. That’s why the new society has no wars or violence; everyone is kept in a state of perpetual bliss, and rendered incapable of seeing what’s been done to them.
The premise is fantastic, and the first book (which contains all of the aforementioned set up) is by far the best of the three. I think there are a number of reasons, but the key is that in the first book, Tally has the most agency, and she’s easily relatable. The society is a parable for the sorts of body and self-esteem issues that today’s teenagers (girls in particular) cope with, and in the first book, Tally is worried about human seeming things. She’s dreaming of growing up and how being more attractive will solve all of her problems. She’s torn between loyalty to friends. She has a friend who’s done something stupid, and needs to decide if Shay really knows what she’s doing, or if the adults are right and Tally should fess up about everything she knows. These are situations which, despite being set centuries in the future, very strongly relate to real, tangible life.
Unfortunately, the series changes tone abruptly between books one and two — for a number of complicated plot reasons, Tally does end up having the operation, and it does mess with her brain. And there’s yet another operation between books two and three. Both times, Tally’s personality gets severely altered. So while the first book presents a struggling young woman and a coming of age story, the second and third books give us a confused character with little resemblance to our original protagonist, whose struggle is first to decide if she wants to go back to what she was, then the struggle to actually do so. It’s especially frustrating because the second book concentrates on Pretty Tally’s struggle to overcome the surgery and get her mind back under her own control (something that’s extraordinary and no one else has ever done without an external cure), and as she finally seems to get there, she’s kidnapped, has another surgery forced on her, and loses everything again. Sigh. It’s much easier to empathize with Tally, and to enjoy her story, when it’s Tally who’s driving the narrative, and making the major decisions. After the surgery, everything happens to her, and, despite her interesting internal struggles, I had a much harder time enjoying the story when the protagonist was muddling through it than when she was actually making the story happen. Or, in summary, book one gives the reader that illusive creature: the dynamic female protagonist. Books two and three give a pale echo of that; perhaps better than most books manage, but a disappointment after we’ve seen Tally as herself in book one.
Then there’s the question of Tally’s relationship to boys. It’s another case where the first book manages it best by far. In the first book, the three main relationships that drive Tally are the one with Peris, her male best friend who has had the operation; her relationship with Shay, her new best friend who doesn’t want the operation; and her relationship with David, a boy she meets in the wild while she’s pursuing Shay. It was extremely exciting for me to realize that Westerfeld intentionally gave Tally a non-romantic male best friend (he said so on his blog), and her changing relationship with Shay is one of the best parts of the trilogy, in that it remains relatable even after they’ve both had operations and have changed vastly. Tally’s relationship with David is interesting, too; it’s clear he’s going to be a boyfriend-type character, and through her relationship with him, Tally realized a lot about herself and grows as a character. I have no qualms with that.
The real problem is in the second book. Once she’s pretty, Tally forgets about David, which is an interesting dilemma when she starts to remember what she thought before the operation. But as a pretty, she meets another boy, Zane, and they become romantically involved right away. But unlike her relationship with David, it read as abrupt to me; and while her relationship with Zane is part of what causes Tally to change and try to regain control of her own mind, the tone is very different. What Tally learned from David was that she liked him, even though he wasn’t pretty, and from there, that it isn’t always outward characteristics that make up beauty. With Zane, on the other hand, Tally is trying to change because he wants to change, and wants her to change with him. Even though the changes are good (and many of the actions Tally takes, motivated by trying to save Zane, are also good), I’m hesitant about a story where female protagonist is trying to change herself to be a better girlfriend. Especially when, at the end of the second book, Tally basically spells out that it was falling for David that made her strong to begin with, and falling for Zane made her even stronger, and gosh, isn’t she lucky she had two boys who made her into such a good person? How can she possibly choose between them? Ick.
And then there was the disturbing. A major plot element introduced in the second book, carrying through in most of the third, involves self-injury. One of the characters, unable to heal her mind on her own, discovers that by cutting her arm she temporarily overcomes the brain altering surgery. She and her friends start a group called the Cutters who do this regularly. Which is pretty damn icky, but is also considered to be disturbing behavior. Tally is horrified by it. But at the same time, the series draws very direct parallels between its world and our world, particularly with regards to the ways self-esteem and body image problems can be very damaging. It touches on anorexia, drawing a parallel where Tally needs to lose weight for a plot reason and worries about becoming anorexic (which they teach in her school was one of the major dangers of our society, because not everyone was beautiful but everyone wanted to be). But there’s no direct parallel drawn between the characters cutting themselves and the very real problem of self-injury. And while Tally and others are shocked and worried that it’s happening, the character who is hurting herself is very sympathetic — we know why she’s doing it, and we actually see her benefit from it. All the more disturbing when, in the third book, Tally joins her group and cuts herself regularly, and the whole group becomes a part of Special Circumstances — shortened to Specials. To spell it out: cutting makes you special. So there’s a bit of a mixed message in that: cutting is a sign that a person is disturbed and needs help (though it’s never condemned directly), but it’s also a way to become special and feel better. It’s bad, but it’s intriguing. And while I’m positive that’s not the message Westerfeld meant readers to take away, it was the one I got, and it made me very, very uncomfortable.
I have a few other minor quibbles; I think the slang of the books got overused and annoying, and I’m not totally sold on the ending. Overall, I’d give Uglies four and a half whatevers out of five; Pretties and Specials would probably get three and a half. I think a lot of my disappointment with the trilogy is that the first book really is phenomenal, and the rest of the series didn’t live up to it. But it’s definitely worth reading; the world is full and fleshed out, the situations are complex and interesting, and when the characters are at their best, they’re fantastic, too. The series has its pitfalls and problems, but it’s still better than average; it made me think a lot as I was reading, which is always a good sign, and without any kind of lens — reading strictly for entertainment — it’s excellent. So I somewhat heartily recommend them.
First off, I’m sorry things have been kind of scarce around here…most of my blogging time has gone to gathering the links for this, The Tenth Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction & Fantasy.
There were a couple of subjects I ran into a few times each; either bloggers responding to one another, or coincidentally covering the same topic from a different perspective. I’ve grouped those together at the top; then we get into posts separated by media.
TOPIC: CASSANDRA CAIN
Things start with Kalinara at Pretty, Fizzy Paradise, whose post,“Of Course She Is…” My Problem With Cassandra Cain, is a criticism of the current Batgirl. Kalinara looks at Cass not as an exciting, unique character, but instead as a collection of traits that the writers thought would be really neat:
Her past is tremendously angsty. Okay, I can dig that. She was trained as an uber-assassin by a villain. Makes sense. He was abusive and scary and raised her without the capacity for speech. It’s a bit over the top for my taste, but it’s original at least. And ties into a particularly neat ability to read people’s body language like a book.
And naturally, she’s not really a killer! After all that, she only killed someone once! When she was too young to know what she was doing! And she ran away immediately afterwards! At the age of 8. And she lived alone, incapable of speech until she hooked up with the Batclan at age 16/17 or so. …now we’re getting to things that I start to find hard to swallow. It’s such a cliche. Someone raised to be a killer, but somehow managing to be so pure that she only did it once. When she couldn’t possibly be blamed? And then immediately left? Because she was so good at heart, she couldn’t take it? Oh, brother.
Even though it’s a modification of the suit, the stitches, as a design point, suits her character as a silent, no-nonsense fighter. She doesn’t make wise-cracks, or intimidate through words. She gets right down to business and fights. It’s actually sort of refreshing that she doesn’t engage in that cliched, belabored hero-villain rhetoric. And another thing the suit adds is the intimidation and mysteriousness factor. “Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot” and all. The fact that “creepy” comes up is some sign that it works, to some degree.
TOPIC: MARY SUE
At The True Confessions of an Hourly Bookseller, Mickle tells us why she considers Mary Sue a sexist term:
So, yeah, any female equivalent of Rocky is going to have aspects of Mary Sue-ness – because Rocky has aspects of Mary Sue-ness.
But we only call River a Mary Sue, not James Bond. And seriously, which is more deserving of the title of Mary Sue – James Bond or River?
In Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary to Popular Belief…, I give my own take on why Mary Sues happen, and why I enjoy them.
(Then, in Speaking of Terms That Need to Disappear, Mickle also tackles the idea of fanservice.)
TOPIC: CHILDREN OF MEN
The movie, a dystopian film, premiered last month, and reactions to it were across the board.
The thesis of the movie — and I understand that we aren’t meant to take it so literally — is that this is what happens when people lose hope. Why have they lost hope? Well, there are no children; there have been no births for nearly two decades. If there were children, everyone would be less inclined to horrific behavior towards other human beings, because we would have some hope for the future that would give us reason to love each other. In other words, if only women weren’t all infertile (of course, sterility is always the woman’s fault, even in the future), society wouldn’t look like this.
At her blog, Ami Angelwings has another take-down of the message:
Maybe this is cynical, but the way he’s singling out women as the people who dislike Supergirl, it’s almost like he’s telling the male readers, “hey if you’re unhappy with what we do, blame those GIRLS”. >:|
Jared also gives us his thoughts on Supergirl:
By focusing on the “girl” at the expense of the “super,” Berganza and Co. have denied female readers their power fantasy. So why then would a female superhero want to read a book that goes so directly against why they like superheroes in the first place?
(That’s Not Really Super, Supergirl.)
At Me Myself and I, Liliaeth has an interesting rant about the “designated love interest” and why it makes for uninteresting characters. She looks specifically at Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man: Rant: The Designated Girlfriend.
In I’m Just A (Gamer) Girl, and That’s All That You’ll Let Me Be, the Heroine Next Door debunks the myth of the Gamer Girlfriend, and takes on the idea of the Hot Gamer Chick.
In the Girl Gamers LJ Community, filthy_bonnet recalls dealing with guys whose minds are boggled by “being beat by a girl”, and asks the eternal question: Is this a common experience for girl gamers or do I just keep versing jerks?
Steve-O, at Taller Than Thou, writes Dead Rising: my own stupid little annoyance, an analysis of the guns and weapons used by a female character, and how they show her to be a fantasy rather than a character in her own right.
In Alex In Wonder Land, there’s an in-depth analysis of Perez’s Wonder Woman reboot, covering topics from the removal of Steve Trevor as a love interest to Diana’s costume, and a lot more: Revisiting the Perez Era: Making Wonder Woman political.
In ID-ing Identity Crisis, Kalinara explains why she doesn’t think Identity Crisis was a story about rape, making a powerful point: It’s the fact that Identity Crisis was NOT about the rape that made the inclusion so damned offensive.
Also dealing the rape in Identity Crisis, there is a very powerful post by Loren at One Diverse Comic Book Nation, in which he acknowledges he is a rape survivor, and gives his thoughts on the storyline in that light: A Personal Story: Identity Crisis and Rape.
At In One Ear, there is a hilarious post: Advice for Artists and Writers: Getting the Elusive Female Audience. (There’s also a follow-up: Writing Minorities: How to Approach Gay Characters.)
TV, MOVIES, BOOKS, WRITING
At Riba Rambles: Musings of a Mental Magpie, Riba Lis implores Smallville’s creative team to include some female heroes: In Justice. She’s also got another post of note, Don’t be such a skank – an Arisia gripe, about parties that are invite-only (unless you’re hot).
In her entry, Oh, Look, A CAN OF WORMS! Let’s watch Mary open it again! at Tangled up in blue, monkeycrackmary writes about being a feminist, and wanted to have female characters she can identify with when she watches TV:
It’s not fair for a black kid to watch tv and only see white people when they’d also like to see black people. It’s not fair for a gay teen to watch tv and see only straight people when they’d also like to see gay people. And it’s not fair for me to watch tv and only see male people when I’d also like to see female people.
There’s a response by wemblee in her LJ, the definite fraggle, where she notes:
But when debates about misogyny in fandom, or in source texts, roll around, as much as I enjoy those debates for the most part, I often leave feeling like I’m a bad feminist since I always identified with those male characters reflexively.
(yeah, I’m gonna regret this…)
In Carmarthan’s LJ, An Old Song, she has an interesting post about finding female characters she enjoys in different mediums:
I can see how a woman who is fixated on TV–with its narrower range of choices–and a few particular genres (narrowing the range further) could have trouble finding the specific type of female characters she loves, especially given that most TV still has the male characters outnumbering the women by at least 3 to 1. I don’t think it’s necessarily sexist–the odds are generally better for people with narrow tastes to find male characters they like on TV because there are a lot more choices.
( On narrow genre tastes, female characters, and the wider variety of books)
Whoa, hold up. You both think Niki is a strong female character because she’s a mom who strips on the internet? Is that all we’re looking at here? Is this why this woman is empowering? Because to me, it’s more than just “Niki can strip.”
Check out the comments, too; there’s some great discussion.
Is that not enough feminist sf&f for you? Well, no worries! The call isn’t up yet, but the next Carnival will be at Women’s Work — But Can She Spin?