“This is why it’s hard to write women. Because they’re not just characters, they’re FEMALE characters and get held up to a much stronger microscope than male characters. They have to encompass much more and be much more and never ever have the tiniest whiff of anything even slightly resembling a stereotype. They can’t be too sexy, but they can’t be too chaste. They can’t be too strong, but they can’t be too weak. They can’t be too friendly, but they can’t be too standoffish. It’s a no-win situation.
“Unless you’re a writer. Than it’s just challenge accepted.” says Meghan.
The constant microscope over female characters is why I’m so nervous about getting really serious about turning the Superhero Project into a published thing. I have wonderful defences on my behalf, but I’m still curious/afraid of what the public would have to say.
For starters, the majority of the cast is female. It’s not one huge estrogen-fest, though, and I like to think that my male characters, while not with Thor-like musculature, are still strong enough that people aren’t gonna hate on them too much. That being said, I’m most worried about Graham’s character, who is a butler hired by a female and works in a primarily female household. Anti-feminists will have something to say about this.
Every single character is based off of someone I know in real life. I have their permission to use their likenesses, and they’re not exactly in perfect symmetry with their real-life counterparts, but I like to think I get it close. So because these are all, in a sense, real people, I have a strong duty to protect these people’s integrity and stay true to that person. Everything I do with that person as a character, the real-life counterpart is made aware.
Thus, there are no anatomically-incorrect boobages, no completely pointless cleavage shots or ass shots, or ridiculously revealing outfits. These are my friends. Meghan is an excellent example of this, as her Superhero costume is the closest thing, in the preliminary sketches, to an actual superhero costume. Spandex and everything. I consulted her on exactly what she wanted to be wearing when fighting crime and taking names, and a full-body morph suit was her suggestion.
So let’s draw your attention to Viki for a moment, because no one really hears much about Viki. Meghan’s quote, above, is commenting on a rebuttal to a rant about Black Widow as a female Avenger. I like to compare Viki to a naive Black Widow, in terms of face-value, but of course she’s more than just a foreign superspy. Sure she can kick major ass, but what I want to get people to focus on is how Vik is a support pillar, how she’s never home but always there when everyone needs her. Viki doesn’t wear spandex or skin-tights. She doesn’t show cleavage or has unnecessary zippers. She wears turtlenecks and slightly baggy pants and doesn’t know who Captain America is.
I think I’m going to end my rant here for now, because I’m not really trying to prove anything and I’m just ranting about how I take a real-life person and use a lot of creative liberties to give them a superhero alter-ego that they agree with me upon.
So to everyone included in the Superhero Project: if there is something that irks you or something you’re not sure about or something you absolutely hate in how I’m displaying you as a character, let me know. This is a group project, I’m not alone on this.
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