So, with all of the attention my post attracted, I’d like to try and clear a few things up.
First, any character can be strong in any profession or without one. In the last few urban fantasy series I read with female protagonists, we had three private detectives, two mercenaries, a demon hunter and a necromancer. My mention of the STEM professions was because, in my opinion (and many others) young women don’t have enough heroes and role-models in those fields. It could just as easily been “single mother” or anything rose as far as strong characters are concerned.
Second; in those same last few series, 80% of the leads eventually acquired a significant other with a very dominant personality, who then expected them never go into danger again, to protect them, to never be left behind, or at least to save them and drop snide comments about it every few minutes. I don’t wish to generalize about these characters but their behaviour very often seems to exist as a foil for the protagonist to demonstrate her “you can’t control me” attitude - as if they’d forgotten their entire experience of the protagonist up to that point and expected her to change overnight for them.
Now, there are much worse things, but let’s contrast Tanya Huff’s Dean McIssac from the Summon The Keeper series. Dean is a nice guy, a strong character and not afraid to assert himself - but instead of constantly giving Claire grief, he supports her, they manage to have a healthy relationship rather than constantly clashing and I feel that we should be supporting that, too.
I love these series, don’t get me wrong. It just seems as if so many authors feel their characters need a badass job and a badass boyfriend to be a badass woman. My own mother is a scientist, a teacher of disabled children, was a stay-at-home mom for 14 years and happily married for over 30 and let me tell you, she’s pretty badass and I think we need more heroes like her.
In closing; in no way did I intend any disrespect at any point in this. To every author out there, to every woman in every walk of life making your way in a world where it’s tough to be a woman, please keep being so strong and talented and wonderful.
p.s. Seanen, if you read this one, I’m tagging you because your reblog is what spread my post, not because I think it all reflects purely on you and your characters.
For everyone who read the first post, have a look at this—more depth and detail, and everything is splendid. :)