Quick Questions from the Search Terms

An idea stolen, with much love and appreciation, from Captain Awkward.

Why Cersei is not a feminist hero

You can take your pick, really. She murders people. She expressea a lot of internalised misogyny, explicitly hating pretty much every woman who isn’t herself. She tortures people. She killed Lady! She murders people. You can argue that she’s a feminist character in the sense that she’s an emotionally complex female villain, but she’s neither feminist nor a hero herself.

Are Bronte and Austen different?

So, so different. And not just because Charlotte Bronte hated Jane Austen’s books. They lived and wrote more than 50 years apart, in very different English societies — Austen lived in genteel southern England during the aftermath of the French and American revolutions, and the Brontes were much poorer, the daughters of a clergyman who lost a lot of family members and lived in the colder and wilder north 50 years later. To oversimplify a lot, Jane Austen writes like a woman sitting in a drawing room with a wry smile, mocking the fake propriety of everyone around her and using wit to critique an era, while Bronte writes like a woman running wild on the moors, traipsing through mud, desperate for freedom.

There’s a lot more to it than that, but they’re not similar just because they’re both female authors from the 19th century.

Why female authors always write about male characters

If you’re asking why female authors include significant male characters in their work, well, it’s because men exist, so they should appear in fiction. If you’re asking why female writers often write about male protagonists, it’s because male protagonists are seen as more “mainstream,” so those books can be easier to sell to publishing houses, get good marketing budgets, and receive more acclaim. According to a lot of people, women are the subject of romance. Men are the subject of serious literature. So female authors who want to be taken seriously might decide that writing a male protagonist is the only way to succeed.

Why does work of fiction need female characters?

Because women exist, and unless you’re explicitly writing about a world where they don’t exist, and dealing with the consequences of that, then they should feature just as much as men do.

Is Katniss Everdeen black?

The books never specify Katniss’s ethnicity. She’s described as having “straight black hair, olive skin… [and] grey eyes.” Many readers interpret that as Katniss being hispanic, Native American or mixed race.

Books like The Fault in our Stars with a female protagonist

Try If I Stay by Gayle Forman, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, or Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall.

What episode was there a rape scene of Claire on Outlander?

Like, all of them. It’s a very rapey show.

Recommendation of video games

For some fun, feminist games, I recommend the newly-released Night in the WoodsLife is Strange, Undertale, or Long Live the Queen. Or, for a longer game, try the Dragon Age series.

Did Eliza burn Hamilton’s letters?

Hamilton’s letters to Eliza still survive, but we don’t have any of Eliza’s letters to Hamilton. Chernow’s biography (which inspired the musical) claims that Eliza destroyed them, although we don’t know when or why.

Problems with the Bechdel test

The Bechdel test is only useful for looking at general trends in media as a whole. It’s for saying “hey, look, Hollywood movies sure do lack female characters,” and not for measuring whether any particular movie is “feminist” or “unfeminist.” All it can tell you is whether there are women present in a movie. It tells you nothing about how those women are actually presented.

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