Monday, July 25, 2005

Anima Enema

As the title suggests, this contains my thoughts on trying to write... women.
Hmm, women.
The old joke is,of course, that man and wo-man (or womyn or womyyn or wzbrkrgz or however you'd like to spell it) are different species, perhaps not originating from the same planet.
This, of course, is not true. I think. It is perfectly normal for me to be awakened at 3 am by my lovely wife, who is attempting to suck out my eyeballs with the suction-cup tip of her prehensile tongue while ramming her ovipositor into my belly button... er, no, that was a dream I had.
The fact is, in my writing over the years, I have noticed that a great percentage of the main characters are of the female persuasion. Why is this? Does it matter?
I've written two novels in my lifetime, the second of which may be worth a darn upon editing. In the first, a woman (actually an adolescent girl) is the main character, and in the second, two women (plus a dysfunctional man and a rabbit) are the main characters. I've written women for comics, women for scripts, and the main character in the great upcoming not-yet-titled-because-the-overarching-theme-has-yet-to-be-determined-and-it's-driving-
us-batty Detroit project is a woman, too. It seems that 70% of my main characters are women, most of whom have really f**ked-up pasts. Why is this? Does it matter?
The women I write about are usually younger than me. They are never normal people, being either deeply socially maladjusted or just plain haunted by circumstance ( then again, if they didn't have problems, would they be interesting characters?) Why is this? Does it matter?
I've always been fascinated with women... and no, not just in a physical sense. What I mean is that I like the way women approach their inner lives. I like the way they approach problems. Generally speaking, of course. Though I hate to stereotype, I do think it's true that women are less confrontational, less competetive, more cooperative, more clever in their approach to things. I've always felt I have a "feminine" way of looking at things. (Now I have to grunt and watch a football game to recover my flagging masculinity. Snort. Go Lions!)
So, maybe this is my way of getting in touch with my anima. The relationship is not always pretty, though- I am a logical creature by nature, and overreliance on emotion drives me bonkers. Still, at least I'm attempting to deal with it. Many guys I know refuse to admit such a thing exists and feel they have to do stuff (like grunt and watch football games) to recover their masculinity. Oh, wait...
More on this, along with, perhaps, some actual concrete examples, coming up...

1 comment:

Matt P. said...

It just means you're in good company - Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a lot of strong female leads and characters, as does J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of Babylon-5 and Ron Moore, creator of the "re-imagined" Battlestar Galactica. JMS's women seem mostly normal, but Joss Whedon's and Ron Moore's characters tend to have really f#$%'d up backgrounds.

"Firefly" co-creator Tim Minear stated one that "broken" people are the only ones that are truly interesting to write about. I think I second that opinion. We are defined by the difficulties and challenges we face in our lives, and I think how we handle them is what makes us interesting.

-Matt