Damsel in Distress… or Damsel of Destruction

Forums Fiction Characters Damsel in Distress… or Damsel of Destruction

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  • #103588
    Candide
    @candide

    I’ve been thinking on that and my guess is this niilism around us that causes D.O.D being popular. In a world with no hope, no good for free and no strength above human strength, the heroine must held it the best possible. That’s why we woman have been portrait “as strong as man”; that’s the best woman this world can give birth.

    So, an possible answer may came from the question: in the Kindom of God, who are the heroines? How they behave? Why they behave like that?

    Besides that, I think  D.I.D. are another lie about being woman. As for as I know, this picture comes from Romantism, which pursue “ideal” woman.

    #104392
    Zachary Holbrook
    @toklaham-veruzia

    @I-david Speaking of Sanderson and D.O.Ds, what do you think of Vin from Mistborn? She definitely fits the description of a D.O.D, but there’s a lot more to her character than just fighting prowess.

    おはいよう. 日本語は好きです .

    #104433
    DeepRun
    @deeprun

    @toklaham-veruzia

    Alright. I gotta read Sanderson now.

    @candide

    I also tried to reply to your comment for three days straight but it wouldn’t let me.  I just remembered now.  I think that’s a great insight.  That nihilism creates this unrealistic D.O.D.’s because it’s an hollow answer to desperate cries of a hopeless world.  Food for thought, I think!!

    I’ll be digging around in the flimsy ideal woman originating from the Romantics.  It’d be interesting to trace it back to origins.  Which makes me think about how God has probably been trying to show us a better ideal than we can find anywhere else.  I always loved Deborah.  She was quite a woman.  Not to mention the gal with the tent peg…

    You do not have a soul. You have a body.
    You are a soul. - C.S. Lewis

    #104435
    Naiya Dyani
    @naiya-dyani

      @deeprun Sorry, I wrote out a whole essay when you first posted this, but it got deleted when I tried to post it, and I gave up. XD I haven’t read the other posts in-depth, so sorry if this repeats anything, but here goes (the simplified version of what I was going to say).

      One thing I really want to see more of is the special strength women seem to be able to express when they let themselves. Let me explain myself with examples (which I hope I can keep accurate). I’ll pull one from an anime my sister and mom and I have been watching and one from classic literature.

      In the anime Fruits Basket, the main character, Tohru Honda, is basically the opposite of what would come to most people’s minds when they think of a strong female character. She gets both a living and enjoyment from housework (cooking, cleaning, etc.). She’s super apologetic and accommodating (to the point of being a doormat in the wrong person’s hands). She’s also very trusting and naïve.

      And yet in many ways I look up to her.

      See, that’s not all her character is. She works hard and tries to be cheerful when things are bleak. She’s very gentle, kind, and encouraging. She always believes the best of people and sees the good in them even when they can find nothing good in themselves. Both her manner and her actions create an atmosphere of comfort and home for other characters, and for many of them, that’s the thing they need most. A lot of them have been hurt very badly and believe the worst of themselves. They need to know they can be loved even when their worst parts have been laid bare.

      And Tohru provides that. Not only is she brave in the darkest parts of her own life, but she also provides a safe haven of home for them to come to for comfort and reassurance. She shows that there’s a power in kind, gentle strength that swords-and-explosions strength can never match.

      As I was reading The House of the Seven Gables for school, one of the characters, Phoebe Pyncheon, reminded me of Tohru. Although she seemed a little more flat (she was a side character, and we didn’t get as much backstory for her as we did for Tohru), she exhibited several traits of uniquely feminine strength. She, too, had a penchant for housework, and she was a very cheerful person. She didn’t enjoy exploring things beyond her realm of familiarity, which to a lot of people these days might seem like a sign of weakness. Yet the way I saw it, she was a uniquely strong female character. Although her sunniness tempered a little as her experience broadened, she continued to bring warmth and comfort to the people around her that desperately needed it.

      So yeah, there’s my two cents, for what it’s worth. I’d really love to see more female characters out there that display this form of strength. It feels like the art of gentleness and homemaking has been scorned as a thing for the weak, when the way I see it, it’s one of the unexpected special gifts God has given us for opposing and subverting the fierce darkness in the world. I love seeing characters that defy this idea and prove that it is worth far more than it appears at first.
      “[Your beauty] should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:4)

      Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.

      #104512
      DeepRun
      @deeprun

      @naiya-dyani

      That was stupendous. Thank you.

      In reading back over my current wip, I realized that I subconsciously was starting to build up a lot of women characters in exactly that same vein.  Domesticity.  How sad that term is scorned?!  When I still think one of the best movie moments of all time was when Anton Ego ate the Ratatouille in … Ratatouille.

      That hardened awful man was brought to his knees by a peasant dish.  Enough that he was willing to throw away his powerful career.  All because of his mother setting that steaming bowl of love down in front of him.  I’m tearing up thinking about it.  That was more powerful than any scathing review he wrote.  He could take down restaurant empires and was felled by one bowl of rustic vegetables.

      I snap my dirty dish towel defiantly at the skies! I snap it at you “Black Widow” and “Wonder Woman” and every other D.O.D. who trounces around in high heels without ever stumbling.  Without ever feeling. Love in a bowl can wipe away all of that in heartbeat.  It’s stronger.

       

      And also, on a sidenote, Ratatouille is that amazing.  I made it recently and watched everyone at the table have exactly the same moment Anton Ego did.  Only blade lifted was the kitchen knife.

      Well, Now I’m empowered to go write and have medieval housewives change the world. **charges off into the sunset waving a ladle and yodeling**

      You do not have a soul. You have a body.
      You are a soul. - C.S. Lewis

      #104518
      Naiya Dyani
      @naiya-dyani

        @deeprun Oh my word, now I have to go watch Ratatouille again. . .

        I’m so glad that helped! 😊 I’d love to write a character like that sometime. Because of my MC’s kind of stoic personality, I can only do that so much in my current WIP, but I think I can find ways to slip it in there. 😉

        I think D.O.D’s have to be done carefully to be done right. Like, it has to fit with their upbringing in some way. Black Widow I can understand somewhat since she was a trained Russian assassin. But I think it needs to be clear when they’re used that women don’t have to be like STRONG MEN to be strong women, you know? Let there be a difference between men and women. It’s not as scary as it looks. 😛 (Okay, maybe it is when you get scathing reviews from feminists, but really, am I the only one that gets a little amusement, albeit mixed with weariness, from watching people rant? Yes? Okay, I’ll be quiet now :P)

        I believe SE and especially Kingdom Pen have great articles on this stuff. Even if I don’t agree with absolutely everything they have to say, I’ve found some real gems in there. You should check it out!

        (And side note, depending on what content elements you’re okay with dealing with, I would totally recommend Fruits Basket. I mean, I have to be careful at times because I don’t always handle things like the references to past trauma in the series the way I should, but overall, I’d say it’s a great story. Plus, Tohru’s a complete cinnamon roll. I mean, look at that face!)

        (GAAAAHHH)

        Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.

        #104875
        WolverineRM
        @wolverinerm

          @deeprun Jumping into this because it’s kind of fascinating and…yeah.

          I will automatically always like the “damsel of destruction” better than the “damsel in distress” because in my head… being a girl doesn’t give you an excuse to be a wimp. 😆 That doesn’t mean you have to be out killing bad guys. You can absolutely be in your own home, like you said, changing the world from your kitchen. Maybe that isn’t exactly a damsel of destruction…but it shouldn’t be a damsel in distress either. That’s not fair.

          So basically I’d tell you, your girl doesn’t need to be deadly or unfeeling, just don’t let her come across as a wimp.

          Super obscure reference, but in the movie Pendragon: Sword of His Father, Wenneveria is the beautiful princess whose kingdom needs saved by the “knight in shining armor.” But she doesn’t come across as a “damsel in distress.” Her father has taught her to fight like any responsible warrior king with no male heir. She’s a brilliant ruler without ever coming across as snobby or overbearing. She’s not in a position to save the kingdom from the Saxons and she can’t go lead the army out to battle. She’s in a vulnerable position and she needs help. But it’s not because she’s not trying her best for her people. It’d be unrealistic to have her out with a broadsword yelling “Stay tight on me!” and leading the army in victory. She’s no damsel of destruction, but she’s strong in the very best way. She’s not going to let the kingdom fall apart waiting for a rescuer, but she’s not going to refuse help, because she needs it.

          And YES, Deborah and Jael are such perfect examples of this. They weren’t trying to usurp a man’s place. They weren’t trying to prove their strength. But they showed up when they were needed and they didn’t hesitate, and they did exactly what they had to do. I mean, how many girls today wanting to come across as a real-life Wonder Woman would kill an enemy general with a tent stake??  That’s messy work…

          I ask where he got these crazy ideas anyway
          He just smiles and says, it’s the way that I was raised

          #104876
          DeepRun
          @deeprun

          @wolverinerm

          I greatly appreciate your thoughts.

          I think you hit the stake on the head… pun intended.

          There’s a lot of push for the D.O.D. but they don’t strike me as the Jael or Deborah kind. You’re exactly right, it’s incredibly messy work.  I think those women had something worth fighting for (fighting in a way they could) and that made them powerful.

          I’ve never heard of this PenDragon movie!! I’ll have to go look it up.  Sounds fascinating.

          I’ll up your obscure reference with another,  I’m currently rereading (for probably the tenth time) C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength and have gotten to the chapter titled the Pendragon.  That book has such a wide array of female strength (serisouly?!?!? How did some older bachelor for most of his life dude write women that well?).  Some of it is used well and others it twisted.  Such a great read.

          Thanks for jumping.  I’ve really appreciated all the different takes and comments.

          You do not have a soul. You have a body.
          You are a soul. - C.S. Lewis

          #104987
          Naiya Dyani
          @naiya-dyani

            @deeprun Sorry, just finished looking over this KP article and thought you might be interested. 😉

            http://kingdompen.org/re-imagining-the-damsel-in-distress/

            Hearts are like matter--they can be beaten down, torn, and burned, but they cannot be destroyed.

            #104993
            DeepRun
            @deeprun

            @naiya-dyani

            No apologies.  Very interesting article.  I have to point out, written by a guy… BUT that said, I did enjoy his take on things and I had never stopped to think if men would enjoy the D.I.D. trope.  That was food for thought.

             

            So, trope though it may be, it is a beloved one.

            You do not have a soul. You have a body.
            You are a soul. - C.S. Lewis

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