Reply To: Rubber boots and tennis balls

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Brian Stansell


Hi Erynne!

So my question for you is,  how do I write a strong, kick-butt female character without making her a total feminist?

That is a very good topic and question. I am very glad you asked that question, because the modern depiction of “tough” females, especially in Marvel Movies is so annoying.  I actually enjoyed the character of Wonder Woman in the DC film (the first one) more.  Notice that she does wear elegant clothes, and she has no shame in falling in love with the character of Steve Trevor.  Didn’t see WW 1985, so I cannot speak to that version.  They probably went “feminist” in it, so I don’t think I would care much for it.

The thing that frustrates me is depicting women (sans a superpower) that can seem to punch with the same PSI as a man.  This is ridiculous.
If a woman must fight, I want it to be within the bounds of credulity.  There are many attributes that are strengths that women have naturally in spades.  For instance, women tend to be more naturally adept at multi-tasking than men.  I think this is part of God’s design, because He knew that woman as mothers were more capable of managing the needs of children that are running around and needing so many things and oversight, just to keep them out of mischief.  A father has a hard time managing to do many things well at once, especially when the needs of more than one child converge upon him at once.  A woman’s natural gift, helps her, not just in the rearing of children, but also in managing a complex and demanding schedule of successive and pressing events that converge in a short span of time.

If you think about it, immersed in a battle with multiple fighters on either side, multi-tasking provides her with an advantage in that respect.

A man may be hyperfocused on his direct opponent, but miss threats coming from surrounding opponents.
A female’s fighting style should rely on precision and speed, rather than brute strength and power.

Hand-to-hand combat should be avoided where possible, in my mind.  I cannot see women being believable grapplers or brute wrestlers unless they are matched with someone of comparable size and strength level.

I think depicting a woman in combat against a man, subconsciously breaks down the aversion to men “hitting a female”.  I cannot stand the level of brutality directed at women that seems to be cheered on whether overtly or subconsciously by modern films.

Part of feminity is the ability to nurture and be cherished.  I think the idea of male chivalry should be brought back and championed again.  Many women are naturally tough and undergo much more pressure than we are cognizant of, but they also have a precious vulnerability that needs to be protected and guarded.  A jaded female that hates all things male or associated with males, tends to be a woman harboring internal emotional wounds dealt out by abusive men.  Men and women alike have a sinful nature because of the original fall, but they have tendencies that are particular to their natural complementary positions assigned by their Creator.  For instance, a woman may find it easy to naturally love someone but have difficulty understanding that respecting them is also important as well.  Men have a deep inner need to be respected by a woman.  That is why God, through scripture charges wives to respect the position of authority, God has placed upon them, with regard to the spiritual leadership of their family.  I think this is the true meaning of “submit to your husband” in Ephesians 5:22.  It affirms her love for God, but it also honors and affirms her husband and lets him know she needs his leadership, rather than his “mothering” by her.
God created males and females to be joined in a complementary unit and become a formidable force of unity and togetherness.  This harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship is the building blocks of a family and a stable society, by God’s foresight and design.  A man may find it easier to communicate respect to a female, but communicating love to her (Ephesians 5:25) is the internal need she seeks from him. 1 Peter 3:7 includes “respecting” her, but also holding her in cherished deference.

Too few stories show this mutually nurturing and symbiotic relationship in modern tales, but it is the key to true strength is through unity and complementary appreciation and thoughtfulness towards each other.

Does that answer your question?

Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
I was born in war.
Fighting from my first breath.

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