Monday, February 29, 2016

Are You a Closet Sexist?

I read what I enjoy. Books like Wheel of Time. Bonding with the characters—Rand, Perrin, Mat, and the women, Egwene, Min, Nynaeve—tied me forever to them and the story.

The Game of Thrones books/TV show keeps me up at night. I wonder at the depravity and violence. And bonding with a character usually is a sure-sign their death is on the next page.

Deadpool...ho, man, I can’t wait for it to come out on video so I can watch it again.

All the above and more pull me into a story, but... turns out I am a closet sexist, promoting sexism, violence toward women.

According to some in the publishing community, sexism abounds in literature, GoT promotes the rape culture, and strong women are threatening.

The Five Signs Your Story is Sexist is an article by Chris Winkle detailing her opinion on this matter, an opinion I mostly disagree with. In her first example, she postulates the women in WoT and Dune are strong with lesbian tendencies which is threatening to men and therefore sexist. Whaaaa...?

I didn’t get that from the books at all. The genders took turns being all kinds of bad. No need to single out one. And as far as being, lesbian...if so, it did a fly-by on me.

GoT shows warfare and the aftermath in a rainbow of colors. It isn’t exactly my cuppa but IMO it does depict real war, the conquered and the victors. Check out documentaries about WWII or ISIS today. All the gore in GoT and more. Much more. Real battles aren’t unicorns and fluffy bunnies.

The TV program is violent. I can’t watch it because it reaches my limit of depravity in the first ten minutes. But still, I can admit it takes stories out of history and today’s headlines.

You wanna know real sexism? Try this: the studios almost didn’t make Deadpool because the Suits in the Head Office didn’t think it would appeal to women. Yes, it is profane. A lot of nakedness. Blush-worthy sex scenes. Violence. But this woman loved it.

Think of all the good movies not made due to this ‘tude.

Honestly, a person can find offense in anything if they look hard enough. 

So are you a sexist? Do you depict stereotypical characters? Do you care? Or is all this mostly irritating hogwash?


  1. And ironically Deadpool just might break the billion dollar mark.
    People will see things that aren't there because they want to.

  2. If a movie, TV show, or book is like every other item out there, it will fade into the background. Take a chance on the intelligence of the public. :-)

  3. Alex - Ppl are strange
    Roland- Deadpool was unique. Now the studio heads will try to recreate it because creativity is hard. Copying is easy

  4. I just try to write people. I do attempt to keep my balance of male to female characters around 3:2 if I can (I write mostly flash fiction, so lots of stories). I don't really worry about how I'm portraying the characters, as long as they feel real to me. I've listened to Dune in audiobook and read the first three WoT books, and I haven't noticed any sort of sexism. Of course, I'm male.

  5. I haven't seen Deadpool so I can't speak on it. GoT is no more or less sexist than expected. It's not exactly a depiction of things after the Women's lib movement. Women were, and in some places still today, spoils of war.

    Funny, I actually tackle a bit of sexism in my MG novel.

  6. I think we're all a bit sexist. Just like we're all a bit racist. The trick is to not let it define how you treat other people.


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