Equality in Writing: The Mother Complex

So as I just posted, I believe that the Bechdel test misses some strong feminine characters while letting some very negative women portrayals through. But as I finished posting that, my significant other pointed out to me something damning.

Why are the strong female characters almost universally mothers?

It was something I hadn’t been considering as I was looking at the characters I felt were unjustly excluded from the Bechdel test. So often, the female characters who end up showing feminist qualities require that status of being a mother to achieve that goal. Even Ryan Stone, trapped in space, is early on depicted as a mother (a fact I’d forgotten until it was pointed out to me in our conversation).

So what the hell is going on there?

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Equality in Writing: Why the Bechdel test isn’t enough

As I stated yesterday, I proudly support equality among all people regardless of their race, creed or gender. But along the way I have had trouble calling myself a “feminist” because there were certain parts of the community that I felt had been too extreme. One of those things is the frequent misuse of something infamously known as the “Bechdel Test”. Continue reading Equality in Writing: Why the Bechdel test isn’t enough


One of the things about having a blog with any reasonable amount of traffic is that people tend to want to know what you think about things. After one interaction I had elsewhere, I realized I could afford to do that a bit more often and decided to pick a few topics I thought would be worthwhile. And this week, I figure I should tackle one that comes up a lot in the online realm: equality.

This is something that becomes a major topic for writers all the time. Creative works get held to standards about what’s appropriate and what isn’t and you feel a backlash if you misstep. I like to believe that most of us aren’t trying to cause any harm. I know I’m not. But it’s also true that the way we interpret things can be very different.

A great problem today is that the community can be very polarized at times. In an effort to weed out bad actors it can be easy to lash out at genuine mistakes. Meanwhile, some will see those genuine mistakes, decide the other side is unreasonable, and disregard the actual bad actors. Because of that we can enter the hammer and nail scenario which goes: “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Which would be fine, except not everything is a nail and if you were to use a hammer on a screw you would cause damage to the wood. If that analogy lost you, I’m incredibly sorry because it got away from me pretty quickly. But if you did understand that analogy, then that’s probably the first step to understanding where I’m coming from on the topic.

Basically, I think this should be a simple thing: everyone deserves a chance to live their best lives. And, somehow, we keep finding ways to make that complicated…

Continue reading Equality