Tag: female characters

Women in Literature Who Deserved Better Fates

Literature is full of countless incredible female characters, and many of them are able to make a mark on the worlds they inhabit. Some, though, aren’t so lucky. Some don’t get the happy endings they deserve. Let’s take a look at some wronged women from classic literature.

 

Lydia Bennet – Pride & Prejudice

 

Image via PandPvsLBD

 

Okay, so things work out a LITTLE less tragic for this version of Lydia, but overall she should’ve had more help. All those sisters, and no one to protect her from Wickham. She carries on a whole secret affair and actually runs away with him, and no one’s any the wiser. Lydia is only fifteen, and even though Wickham is eventually forced to marry her, basically satisfying everyone, she deserved so much better than that user. It’s honestly hard to watch. Know your value, girl!

 

 

Morgan Le Fay – Arthurian Legend

 

Image via Twitter

 

Morgan Le Fay has been reimagined countless times since her legendary origins, and it seems like every time she gets a little more evil. Sure, from the beginning she was ambiguous, and who could blame her? Of course, she was always ambiguous, but so were her motives. The supposed half sister of King Arthur, and possible lover of Merlin, it’s not clear how Morgan gained her powers. She’s married off almost as soon as Arthur is born. Nevertheless, she’s a powerful character, and doesn’t need to be vilified.

 

 

Ophelia – Hamlet

 

Image via Vulture

 

Ophelia is maybe the classic example. What did she ever do to anybody? Okay, so she isn’t perfect, but being constantly yelled at and gaslit by the rest of the cast would make anyone a little jittery. Sometimes Hamlet acts like he cares about her, sometimes he doesn’t. On several occasions he’s extremely, senselessly cruel. Her father is a little better. Ophelia just gets tossed around by the rest of the plot, trying to live her life when no one has the least interest in her. She deserved a lot better.

 

 

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female literary characters

50 Empowering Quotes from Fictional Female Characters Infographic is Everything You Ever Wanted

Badass female characters give life to works of literature, film, and art in general. From the outspoken feminists in Jane Austen’s Victorian novels to the modern-day trailblazers in action films, female representation in art, and their empowering messages, has inspired generations of audiences throughout time.  Thanks to an infographic published by Playground Equipment, the empowering words spoken by the most influential female characters will continue to be celebrated. Here are 50 Empowering Quotes From Fictional Female Characters!

 

 

 

infographic

Image Via Playground Equipment

 

Note: The quote from The Fault in Our Stars is actually said by Augustus Waters. In addition, some of these quotes are spoken by fictional characters inspired by real-life figures. For example, Margaret Thatcher is a real woman, however the quote included in the infographic is from the fictional character in The Iron Lady who is based on the real-life Thatcher. 

 

 

Featured Image Via Warner Bros. and Focus Features

flynn

Female Rage Is Real and Shouldn’t Be Minimized, Says ‘Gone Girl’ Author Gillian Flynn

Female rage is at the forefront of Gillian Flynn’s novels. Her memorable female protagonists, including Amy Dunne (Gone Girl) and Camille Preaker (Sharp Objects), exemplify the complexities of emotion and behavior as well as how female anger is oppressed by societal gender rules. Through her complex protagonists, Flynn hopes to open the floor about female anger and cease ignoring and minimizing it. 

 

In an interview with Vanity Fair, In Flynn expressed her views towards female anger, why we ignore it, and why we need to let women voice their frustrations.

 

“I think there’s a deep societal fear of female rage, partly because it hasn’t been experienced a lot,” Flynn told Vanity Fair. “Men—I speak in vast generalities—are often very afraid of what they don’t know how to handle. And they haven’t had to handle female rage a lot, and they think they need to handle it.”

 

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Amy Adams as Camille Preaker in Sharp Objects (2018) | HBO

 

Flynn also discussed female anger, or lack thereof in regards to the #MeToo movement, a phenomenon which has heavily exposed the gross sexual harassment many women have experienced. According to Flynn, though the movement would be as an appropriate time as ever to voice female anger, many females have been urged to react differently.

 

But I’ll tell you what concerns me: there’s a lot of shushing going on. I keep doing these panel discussions where I hear women advising that we shouldn’t be angry, that we shouldn’t be approaching this [#MeToo moment] with anger, that we should embrace this moment with care and gentleness. And I think that’s insane.

 

“There’s a huge place for anger right now—particularly for the many, many women who’ve been violated—and this is a time to be angry. Let’s be very angry. Constructive anger is a very useful tool, and is a very important thing to express.”

 

Read the full interview here.

 

Feature Image Via Amazon/Meaww

Books written by female authors

Study Finds Books Written By Women Cost 45% Less Than Books Written By Men

A study of over two million books done by Queens College-CUNY recently found that books written by female authors were generally priced 45% lower than books written by male authors. 

 

The study found that book prices tend to de-escalate as genres became more female (books that are typically considered more ‘female’ tend to either fall into the ‘romance’ category or tend to be female-driven stories primarily involving women. I wish I was making this up.).

 

Statistically, female authors do tend to dominate the romance field while male authors dominate the science field. So, discounting these genres and just looking at the books by male and female authors in the same genre, the study found that women are still earning about 9% less than men.

 

And, when discounting big publishing houses and just looking at independent publishers and self-published books, the study found that, although equality is definitely more prevalent, women are still earning 7% less than men. Even when pricing their own works, female authors have been conditioned to believe they should be pricing their books lower than the works of men. 

 

This inequality in the book world isn’t just prevalent when it comes to pricing: this 2015 article on Jezebel shows how one woman needed to use a male-pseudonym in order to get her manuscript noticed by literary agents.

 

Image via Hooded Utilitarian

Image via Hooded Utilitarian

 

This isn’t a new technique, though. Female authors have historically been publishing their works under male names since the beginning of time. The Brontë sisters published their works under Currer Bell, Acton Bell, and Ellis Bell after being told “literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life” by poet Robert Southey. Louisa May Alcott went by A.M. Bernard. Nora Roberts went by J.D. Robbs. Joanne Rowling is J.K. Rowling. 

 

 

Women having to de-feminize their own names in order to be taken seriously within the literary community sounds like insanity. Still, it really doesn’t come as much of a shock.

 

I, personally, have never read a book written by a female author and thought, “hmmmm, her work is just too womanly for my taste.” Still, I know that I’m definitely someone who tends to veer away from books considered romantic or chick-lit (why does that term still exist?), steering clear of books with bright pink covers and more feminine fonts and, instead heading straight for the books I, for some reason, consider more serious and respectable.

 

And, if I want things to change and equality to rise, I’m going to have to look at my own faults and flaws first. So, I’m going to take a vow to recognize my own discriminations and cut them at the roots. I’ll step out of my comfort zone and not be so quick to deem any authors work less serious than another’s.

 

I hope you will, too.

 

 

Via GIPHY

 

 

Feautred Image Via Skinny Dip

gruffalo

Study of Children’s Books Reveals Gender Bias in Favor of Male Protagonists

Gender bias plagues almost every facet of society. Even the world of children’s picture books is riddled with casual sexism. Data gathered by The Observer, along with with market research company Nielsen, confirms this through in-depth analysis of the 100 most popular children’s picture books of 2017. The research yielded the following information.

 

  • The majority are dominated by male characters, often in stereotypically masculine roles, while female characters are missing from a fifth of the books ranked.

 

  • The 2017 bestseller list includes The GruffaloGuess How Much I Love You, and Dear Zoo, in which all the animals are referred to by a male pronoun, as are the characters in recently published bestsellers You Can’t Take An Elephant on the BusThe Lion InsideSupertatoThe Day The Crayons Came Home, The Lost Words, The Koala Who Could and There’s A Monster in Your Book–none of which contain any female characters.

 

Via Giphy

 Via Giphy

 

  • The lead characters were 50% more likely to be male than female, and villains were eight times more likely to be male.

 

  • The antagonist in Peppa and Her Golden Boots is a duck who steals Peppa’s golden boots and brings them to the moon, which is excellent villainous behavior. She is the only independent female villain featured in any of the surveyed books. 

 

  • Speaking characters were 50% more likely to be male.

 

  • Male characters outnumbered female characters in nearly half the stories making up the top 100. On average, there were three male characters for every two females, though occasionally this ratio was much more drastic. For example, Mr Men in London, published in 2015, for example, features thirteen male characters and two female. 

 

Via GifClip

Via GifClip

 

Children’s laureate Lauren Child, author and illustrator of the Charlie and Lola books has said:

 

The research doesn’t surprise me. We see it in film and TV as well. But it gives out a message about how society sees you. If boys get the starring roles in books – both as the good and bad protagonists – and girls are the sidekicks, it confirms that’s how the world is and how it should be. It’s very hard to feel equal then.

 

  • 40% of gendered characters were human–the rest were an assortment of animals, objects, and plants. Gender bias was even more of an issue amongst the non-human characters, who were 73% more likely to be male.

 

  • Male animals were more likely to be large, powerful, or predatory creatures such as bears or tigers, while female animals tended to be “smaller and more vulnerable creatures such as birds, cats, and insects.”

 

  • In the surveyed texts, female adults were more often than not shown in caregiving roles, with twice as many female teachers than males. Mothers were present twice as often as fathers, with lone fathers appearing in just four books.

 

Nick Sharratt, bestselling children’s author and illustrator, said, “Authors and illustrators have fantastic opportunities to break down stereotypes. We need to tackle these issues and at the moment it seems not enough is being done.”

 

Via Tenor

Via Tenor

 

It’s not all bad news though. Julia Donaldson’s The Detective Dog was the #1 bestseller last year, and features a female canine protagonist with a male sidekick. More of this please!

 

Featured Image Via The Book People