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Episode 20: Women in Fiction Characters vs Caricatures

(Aired July 13, 2014)

Are women portrayed reasonably in fiction or is it a reflection of our current society? Does fiction display the social pressures placed on women or does it create caricatures? Whose fantasies are women characters written for? Are women in fiction written to be the fantasy of men or of women? What things do writers do that transfer the woman into caricatures? Do women need to be rescued in fiction, even if she is an action heroin? How is it handled in crime stories? Fantasy? Other books? Games? Why do women in fantasy have to be armored inappropriately in chainmail bikinis? Are women in fiction a female trope first? How are women portrayed on book covers and movie posters? Why do they have to be portrayed as “ideal” woman? Why are women “underdressed” in comic books? Is making a strong female character only putting a man in a skirt? How do you show the real woman? Does a strong woman have to kick butt in the story or are there other ways to show the character’s strength? What are the kinds of strength that can be shown other than kicking butt? Is it necessary for a strong woman characters to fall in love with the strong male characters? Are bad female characters—the woman caricatures a result of malice writing or a result of lazy writing?