I read stories and I write stories. Recently, I have been finding myself
enjoying stories less than I wish I could. This is because of a growing
frustration with so few stories that involve females as an equal component
of the human race. In part I believe this may just be a lack of awareness
of how stories have been traditionally told and how they may be different.
I have found writers, both men and women, who are more than willing to
redress the imbalance. For those who want to broaden the scope of their
storytelling I have written this wish list:
I would like to see more stories about girls and women.
I would like to see more stories about empowered girls and women.
I would like to see stories that portray female empowerment as normal and not exceptional.
I would like to see stories where females are portrayed as equally active and capable as the males.
I would like to see stories where males are portrayed as sometines passive and
in need of help from others, which would include the help of females.
I would like to see stories where female protagonists have both females
and males assisting them in their adventures, rather than solely a
female who can accomplish things because she has the help of a group of
In stories about groups of people I would like to see a balance of
females and males, rather than the females being outnumbered by the
In stories about protagonists meeting a group of people,
whether it is a planetary council, a team of workers, or the villain's
minions, I would like to see that group be an even blend of females and
I would like to see females and males portrayed as human beings,
each of whom are uniquely individual, rather than as two separate species
with defining characteristics.
I would like to see females portrayed as
working in the broadest possible diversity of employment.
I would like
to see more females portrayed in positions of responsibility, and this
is portrayed as normal and not exceptional.
I would like to see stories
where women are defined by the content of their character, not their sexuality
or physical appearance.
I would like to see stories that can envision the
future as containing something other than a hierarchy.
I would like to see stories that portray women as having contributed to
I would like to see the concepts of archetype and archetypical stories
dropped. The insistence that old fairytales such as Sleeping
Beauty or Cinderella contain some sort of cosmically
validated wisdom is a form of cultural conservatism that keeps women
locked into roles of disempowerment. Within this context an archetype
is a sanctified stereotype.
I would like to see more stories that go beyond showing women
as victims of men.
I would like to see more stories where women retain their identity and
sense of empowerment when they are in relationship with a man.
I would like to see more stories where a relationship is seen as an
equal partnership entered into and continuing out of love, choice and
commitment rather than obligation.
I would like to see more stories where it is understood that it is
everybody's choice who they enter into a relationship with, and that
it is senseless to fight over the attentions of a potential partner.
I would like to see a diversity of couple relationships portrayed,
whether they are old, young, old and young, same gender, different gender,
involving people with special needs, people of different races, etc.
I would like to see more stories about couples facing challenges together.
I would like to see stories where marriage or childbirth are not portrayed
as the sole high points in a woman's life, but part of many wonderful moments
that we all pass through during a lifetime.
I would like to see stories where child care is portrayed as equally
the responsibility of both parents.
I would like to see more stories where both parents are involved in a child's
I would like to see more stories where parents are more actively
concerned with their child(ren)'s life.
I would like to see sexuality portrayed
as a normal part of human being, not something separate and abnormal.
I would like to see sexuality portrayed as part of the lives of people of
all colours, shapes and sizes, and experienced throughout adulthood.
I would like to see more stories that actually go into detail about what
fun, loving and mature sexuality is like.
I would like to see more stories that portray what a fun, loving and
mature on-going relationship is like.
I would like to see stories that address the issues of childhood sexuality:
what sex is, what children experience of their sexuality even at a young
age, and what their rights concerning their bodies are.
I would like to see a diversity of females portrayed: young, old, fat,
thin, tall, short, big breasted, small breasted, Korean, African,
Mexican, semitic, white, non-white, lesbian, bi-sexual, transsexual,
heterosexual, a-sexual, hermaphroditic, good, bad, complex, rich,
poor, middle class, single, partnered, etc.
I would like to see more stories where people of many races and cultures
all participate in each other's worlds, rather than living in separate
I would like to see stories go beyond mere tokenism, such
as one token strong female or one token person of colour.
I would like to see a balance of stories where the lead protagonist is
female and/or non-white and/or non-heterosexual and s(he) may happen to
have a friend who is a white, anglo-saxon, protestant male.
I would like to see stories where people can be portrayed as different,
but still of equal value.
I would like to further suggest that we need to encourage a wider diversity
of people to express themselves.
We need to encourage people to write more inclusively.
We need to encourage editors and publishers to be bolder in
selecting a wider diversity of stories for publication.
We also need to encourage people to read more broadly.
It is legitimate to want to write from your own perspective and your
own experience. It is also important to remember that our lives are
interconnected, and in fact interdependent upon many other people's
lives and all that exists on this planet. Respect for all things and
recognition of all beings makes our chances of survival greater. It
also opens us to richer and more fulfilling lives.