Analyze what themes and challenges a feminist writer might endure when creating fiction or nonfiction. How do they skillfully educate the masses while still creating a story to win over even the most misogynistic in society?
Great topic. I wonder if writing with a male nom de plume/pseudonym is still helpful. – Munjeera7 months ago
"Educate the masses" implies that feminism is always 'correct'. Perhaps in its core tenants, but the term has been somewhat co-opted today... I don't know if it's logically coherent to assume one's ideology is of ultimate educational authority? Like, perhaps from another's point of view the so-called masses need no education, and to them this is the ultimate truth. Point being: ideologies can never logically be 'true,' because morally-based (unscientific) truth is essentially subjective. – m-cubed7 months ago
m-cubed, you're misunderstanding the topic proposal if you think it is about saying one side is right. It is about educating people on a subject that they may not have otherwise been subjected to because of previous idealogical belief. Your words:"from another's point of view the so-called masses need no education, and to them this is the ultimate truth." Translation: Some people believe the acquisition of new knowledge or points of view is unimportant so therefore it should be. I simply disagree and I'd assume many people who write for this online magazine would too. Your comment makes the point as to why it needs to be written about. We can debate the philosophical meaning of truth all day and night, but the bottom line is feminism exists and is an important topic. It remains contemporaneous and relevant to many, many social movements today. Unsurprisingly, it has found its way into the literature we read. – JulieCMillay7 months ago
One of the major challenges is to present a plausible, or at least imaginable, alternative to patriarchy. I think Ursula Le Guin is a great example of a feminist writer who does just this in a way that is engaging and not preachy. – SFG7 months ago
I think it depends on how they identify: female, WOC, LGBTQIA+ and disabled feminist writers are often met with abuse/threats and ignorance... however, when a male (typically cisgender and white) feminist writer conveys similar messages, he isn't met with abuse (at least not to the extent she does), and is hailed as a champion of women's rights/the greater good. Watching that unfold can be daunting and prevent a feminist writer from wanting to publish their work. – stephameye7 months ago
I think the problem m-cubed has articulated about "educate the masses" relates to the idea of truth. For many years, the canon of literature was dominated by White, male Eurocentric men. Having said that, there were women who were accepted under a male pseudonym which reinforces patriarchy. Patriarchy and novels that support androcentric protagonists were always valued and seen as the only voice. With online writing though, we really have no idea who the writer is unless revealed. I think one way barriers have been reduced is by online access which is one reason I love theArtifice so much. – Munjeera7 months ago
"How do they skillfully educate the masses while still creating a story to win over even the most misogynistic in society?"
Include believable and well-rounded female characters in your fiction - whether as a protagonist or as an antagonist write them as real people, reveal their humanity and show that women in fiction can be just as cool, or cruel, as the male characters. Show the misogynists that we all have an inate humanity, we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. Show them that men and women work better together as a team, that society can be farer and more equal - and that society will be all the better for it. – Peter Guy Blacklock5 months ago
'Educating the masses' is a rather unfortunate choice of term, perhaps. No-one wants to read didactic literature in this day and age. – JudyPeters5 months ago
Ah, a highly interesting and timely topic! I can think of a few challenges right off the top of my head. It'll be fascinating to see what a writer comes up with. – Stephanie M.5 months ago
I think this needs to be specified in a few ways. Along with what you mean by "young" mentioned by Cmandra, is there a time frame? 21st century TV shows? Perhaps this has a connection to feminist movements? Just saying positive female roles isn't sufficient, I feel there should be something about positive female roles and what they mean to "young women" viewers that could be expanded upon. – Connor2 years ago
I think this is an excellent topic. I too would be interested in specifics. Animated or live action? How recent? Are these shows that are still airing? Just some ideas. – emilydeibler2 years ago
This is extremely vague. Perhaps pick a set of comparable shows to choose from to help the future author discern a direction to go in. – alexpaulsen2 years ago
I agree that the description is too brief, but this is an interesting topic and I'm curious to see what can be done with it. Another question to ask would be: what makes a TV show empowering for young women? When it comes to women and media, it's difficult to find content that portray female characters in strong, capable roles that are not exploited sexually. But the Feminism movements of the past couple years is evoking a change. So perhaps this article could outline the criteria said TV show would need. Or, it could be a call-for-action, highlighting the need to produce more TV shows to empower young women. – Megan Finsel2 years ago
Great topic! Like many people have already said, it is rather proud. What is your definition of "young"? and does it mean that these tv shows cannot also empire older women, also? Since this topic is very broad. Narrow your scopes, because tv shows can range from animated, reality, to network television, and many more. But, I think taking a tv show from all these ranges can really enrich this article! – ADenkyirah2 years ago
I agree that this is an excellent topic but it needs to be narrowed and explained more. Are you talking about positive self image in terms of physicality? That could lead to examinations of shows like "Ugly Betty" and whether they are positive or negative. If you mean empowering in terms of careers, the article could focus on the changes in television content over the past 15 years and examine the presence or absence of strong female leads. – NateBlake2 years ago
There are definitely a lot of films whose plot takes place in the future, but because of the fact that the films are created in present time, we don’t often see a future that has become truly equal for males and females. One could use an example of Star Trek Into Darkness, or Jurassic World–most of the "powerful" roles still belong to men, and, even if a woman does save the day, she still doesn’t get as much credit as she deserves, or, she needs some kind of male assistance. I figure, with the way things are now, shouldn’t the future be a much better place in terms of equality? Is it so terrible to portray the future with female soldiers, guards, heroes–women who have their own destiny, their own purpose, and are surrounded by other women? Everything from camera angle, to clothes sometimes dismisses the authenticity of the futuristic female lead who’s trying to do what she needs to do. Also, does there always have to be a love interest, or a man helping out? Sure, there are films like V For Vendetta that feature a strong female lead, but, if we really get down to it, Natalie Portman’s character was still taught by a man.
If anything, the writer might want to look into the past or present, as well. Maybe explore characters like Captain Phasma and/or Wonder Woman and their strengths. The writer might also want to discuss gender-bending roles and how they may contribute to the topic (think Ghostbusters). The writer might want to include that video games, like Halo, are already making totally equal men and women.
So, either way, do these films accurately gauge future feminism? Or, because these films are still made now, the same societal biases come through? Feel free to analyze and explore!
Mad Max: Fury Road is a great example of female-dominant characters in a science fiction setting, and there was a lot of public outcry from the "Men's Rights Activists" about it, saying the titular character wasn't important enough to the story. – Tarben2 years ago
There has always been an issue with female representation in film. Females are rarely the lead in films and if they are they usually have a male counter-part. The representation is important. The first barrier was getting more women in the show and then giving them lines. Now we have to move on from them being love-obsessed puppies hoping from boyfriend to boyfriend. Progress is slow. I don't think there are many movies that show equality at all. I think the next best step is to have more feminist and women WRITE and DIRECT movies. Men can portray women, but not as justly as another woman. They have not had the same experiences. – emaliej2 years ago
On the note of how these women are typically written, especially in sci-fi, is dominantly masculine. There is nothing wring with masculine women; however, these women are rarely written as feminine at all. This might have a lot to so with how men feel they can portray women. These are women of the future, so perhaps part of the article could reflect on how they could be portrayed as a different kind of women if women wrote them. What do these women look like now being written largely by men, and how they could look if more women were part of creating these women. – C N Williamson2 years ago
Analyse how recent trends in Young Adult fiction, such as Vampires narratives, Dystopias, etc have both contributed to a more feminist dialogue within these worlds (for example the Hunger Games) but on the other hand also supported older, patriarchal systems (such as Twilight). How can writers address these issues when writing young adult fiction?
What do you mean "How can writers address these issues when writing young adult fiction?" The point of most YA fiction is to tell a story. Telling a story from a strong, Independent women lends a story a certain feel but does not fit every character and the personality the writer is imagining. Not every writer wants their characters to come from a strong feminist perspective. I don't think you should include that last sentence because it makes it sound like all non-feminist characters in novels should never be written. Newsflash: there are still extremely sexist people in this world and they are the audience books are written for. I agree that there are books out there that are so blatantly sexist it makes me sick but they aren't all bad. After all, you cite twilight as part of the problem yet it is beloved by many girls regardless of some pretty sexist parts. I think that a better direction to take this is not why authors should change ow they write, but how the writer uses a variety of narrators to create an effect and what this effect is doing to young adults. – Jutor2 years ago
Explore how women and girls are portrayed in superhero comics by comparing depictions of women in a variety of superhero comics, their (gender) role in the narratives, the challenging the problematic concept of the "strong female" trope, as well as delving into the (for the most part) unrealistic depictions of their bodies.
Female heroes do come with a variety of stereotypes. It is great to see the increasing number of female superheroes which are more reflective of our times today. It would be great to see how relevant is Wonder Women today and see how her role and character has been upgraded in the latest installment in Superman vs Batman. I find it odd that she is not mentioned in the title. Perhaps an analysis could start there.
– Munjeera2 years ago
Really love this topic. Maybe the writer would also want to, very, very briefly, discuss how and which female led comics get adapted to film, as well. – Jaye Freeland2 years ago
This is a great topic, but I think it would work better narrowed down. Maybe select the most popular women heroes, or only heroes from either Marvel or DC Comics. There so many characters to write about--in fact, too many! – Tiffany2 years ago
Great topic, but are you focusing on all girls in superhero comics or specifically female heroes? There are plenty of female villains, you should clarify who you are targeting or possibly do a comparison between the heroes and villains. – dlowe49342 years ago
Analyse the early works of feminism in literature and today’s. For example, compare Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre to Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, Talk about the way women are depicted in these novels, why they’re feminist, and what message both novels are trying to give to women.
This is an amazing topic. Many people today believe in feminism so much that its getting to the point of woman over man instead of woman and man. Too many novels are using feminism to the point to where younger girls automatically think that they are better than boys, just because a book made them think that. – KayD46562 years ago
I agree with Kay on this matter, as a senior in Digital Media one point that we study is how media has shifted and how many people today make characters more for the purpose of expressing feminism rather than just making the character. Even Joss Whedon, creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is still asked why he writes strong female characters to which he responds he just wrote what he believed a female character as if an instinct and not for the purpose of making a female look strong. The problem is that these days people actually TRY to make women look strong-willed, but what they are actually doing is downplaying male character to make the female character look better. The point of equality is to not "try" and make it but to see it there as if it is a part of our natural law or our instinct. Once people understand those aspects of what it truly means to be equal, it is more likely that we will see more accurate depictions of feminism like that of Jane Eyre, Little Women, and other strong-willed females without the need for a person to actual try to create one. – Kevin Mohammed2 years ago
Consider feminism from the philosophical point of view. Use existential works. Simone de Beauvoir's "The second sex" for instance. – kimletaon2 years ago
Discuss and analyse the rise of makeup culture, particularly among millennials and within the past decade, through a feminist lens. Women at this time can be daring or unconventional with their cosmetics or embrace a natural, "no makeup" look, but both fall under a new movement of body positivity. This new makeup culture rejects the idea of covering up in favor of flattering the wearer and experimenting with standards of beauty. Have women reclaimed cosmetics that were designed to make them "look more beautiful" and re-positioned the industry to celebrate their ability to manipulate beauty and the ways in which society perceives them?
I think something you should absolutely mention is the insane popularity and mass amounts of "beauty gurus" on YouTube, and how that effects how makeup is almost idolized and thought of as a necessity-- a bare face is seen as negative and these companies benefit. – madistyle942 years ago
Additionally, there are add campaigns that sell make-up that ironically, is suppose to make you look like you are not wearing make-up. These predatory industries will use whatever tactic they can to sell their chemicals. This could be another avenue to include in the article. – Venus Echos2 years ago
Something else to consider is the psychological effect the makeup fads, advertising, and the pressure from social media has on girls, young ladies, and women. How often do we check our reflections? What standards are we trying to live up to? Who set those standards? You could also compare and contrast the "I need makeup to make me look beautiful" vs. "I use makeup as a form of self-expression" mentalities. – Megan Finsel2 years ago
It would probably be worth it to mention the movements push back from people with opposing viewpoints. Also, if going in the YouTube beauty guru direction, mention the hate/bullying comments that some of those channels receive. – Austin Bender2 years ago
There's an Instagram star Essene O'Neill (age 20) who blasted social media for making her appearance-obsessed and shut down her IG despite it making her thousands every month. This development is recent (past week or so). Her Instagram is gone, but there have been many news stories on the subject. Also, there's a trend of celebrities going "bare faced." Demi Lovato did a cover of Vanity Fair recently. Personally, I found that depressing rather than liberating. Lovato is young and has flawless skin. – cleopold2 years ago
The recent short story collection, "Bad Feminist", was a gigantic success and put feminism in the media spotlight again. And to me, this was an important step in mending the image crisis of feminism. The author doesn’t pretend she has the answer for every feminist quandary, such as not wanting the guy to pay for dinner but still being a little disappointed when he doesn’t. I think it’d be fascinating to analyze the rise of these Bad Feminist who, while not knowing the solutions to every problem, still recognize there is one and want to help change it.
Roxane Gay's book was a great way to talk about feminism without bringing up the perception of feminists as militant man-haters, as so often happens in the media. I think it could be great to give a brief history or feminism, like the differences in first-wave, second-wave, etc. and talk about how "Bad Feminist" fits in. – Marcie Waters2 years ago
I think you should also touch on the term "Nazi Feminist." That label is thrown around so much and I think it relates because people use this term to call someone a "bad feminist." – OrchideousFleur2 years ago