- I want the characters to be people first and women second – if you think ‘what would a woman do’ I think you’re heading down the wrong path. If you think, ‘what would this character do’ you’re more likely to get a decent story.
- Let them win fights.
- Don't ever make them a rape victim. Or a sexual assualt victim. Just don't. If you must have them encounter rapists and sexual assaults,have them defeat the rapist, by wit or violence, dependent on their personality type and skills. Don't put any other women at risk and never, ever have them feel threatened by the attacker.
- Have them be funny. Or serious. Or cocky. Or shy. Or friendly. Or bad tempered. Or a 'hit before they think' type. Or a thinker. Whatever you decide that their perosnality is.
- Give them a fully fleshed out backstory.
- Give them a supporting cast. With female friends.
- Give them a love interest, if that's where the story takes them, but have their primary role be to engage in superheroics. What I really mean is, don't let the story get bogged down in the romance.
- Please don't have their primary motivation be a man.
- Have your comic pass the Bechdel test.
- Don't give them children and marriage, just cos you think that's what women do.
- Have them enjoy superheroing!
- Have them drink, and swear, and start fights, if that's the sort of person that they are.
- Don't turn them into a feminist cipher.
- Let your character just be their own character. Don't make them progressive, or racist, or a homebody for the sake of it. Treat them as a real entity.
- Don't have them drawn only in sexually titilating poses. Give them agency. They can have a sexy outfit if they want, but they shouldn't have one just because they are a woman.
- Let them enjoy sex (unless they are children, in which case that would be a bit off).
- Make sure the story is about them, if they are the lead. Don't do like Green Arrow/Black Canary where Dinah was a peripheral character in her own series.
- I want female characters to be all that men can be and as less as men can be.
- I don’t want them to be oversexed harpies intent on snagging a man.
- I want them to have hobbies and interests outside of superheroing, or men.
- I don’t want them to be simpering, wet, gentle things.
- I want them to be able to cry and rage and laugh and chat and work hard, and struggle to make ends meet, and hit the big time and make it rich.
- I don’t want them making fucking cupcakes.
- I want their art to make them look human, not like plastic dolls.
- I want them to run the gamut of human experience!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
What do you want from women in comics?
@Mothee from twitter recently asked me "From a female's perspective, what are some qualities you'd like to see in a female hero?" So, here we go, this is likely to be a loooong list: