Every Month is Add Female Characters Month! 4 comments

Infographic: 'Every Month is Add Female Characters Month'

Quick Tips for Boosting Your Female Quotient

1. Go through your [story] and change several male characters to female!

2. Ensure that your crowd scenes are half female by writing it in the [story] — “A crowd gathers, which is half women.”

3. If there’s a group, gang, squad or team in your story, make several of them women, not just one!

Are the “tips” no-brainers and self-evident? Yup. Because this stuff isn’t rocket science: if you want more women (or people of color, or GLBTQ characters, or other marginalized/erased characters), write them into what you write. It’s really that easy.

What other tips can you share about how you add female characters (and other marginalized characters, too) into your writing?

Via the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

4 thoughts on “Every Month is Add Female Characters Month!

  • jay

    Off-topic, but you’ll like this: I was just told ‘now write this without any Arabian elements (caravan, desert) because those are the kiss of death. Stay with western mythology.’

    • Shaula Evans Post author

      Well, it’s all about prejudice vs representation, isn’t it? Good grief.

      Somewhere along the line, US culture & entertainment industries internalized the idea that the only way to make money was to pander to sexists, racists, homophobes & xenophobes. (I wonder if that goes back to the McCarthy era? I bet someone knows.) First of all, it’s not true: there’s data from so many sources that shows diversity makes more money. Secondly, the unfounded idea that racism, sexism & prejudice are good business… is racist, sexist and prejudiced. Not mention an absolute moral failure and utterly reprehensible.

      I know: we all have to get our work past gatekeepers and it’s a huge challenge. On one hand, I refuse to act in anticipation of someone else’s prejudice: if you want to make my work more racist, sexist, or whatever, you’re going to have to tell me that to my face, and I will throw down with you over that; I realize that so much of the exclusion is behind the scenes and invisible, but I’ll just keep putting diverse work out there until it finds a home. On the other hand, I am inspired by the possibilities around the democratization of production and distribution: without gatekeepers in the way, so many people who have been shut out of creating culture in the past can increasingly make things and connect with an audience on their own.

      • jay

        Well, I suspect things were far worse before the McCarthy era!

        As you can imagine, I dug in my heels and said, “Sure! Let me get that back to you.”

        • Shaula Evans Post author

          Hey, you pay your bills with your writing. I will never fault you on that. I don’t think there’s ever just one strategy that works for everyone all of the time. I also know you write some great diverse characters into your own drafts of your work. We do what we can.

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