Friday, July 8, 2016

Fiction and Feminism by Jacqueline Seewald

I’m back to “isms” today. This time it’s Feminism. I recently read several articles that I consider thought-provoking and would like to share with you.

Melinda Gates wrote an article for TIME MAGAZINE entitled “Why Poverty Is Sexist.” It appeared in the March 28, 2016 issue. She observes that women are more likely to be impoverished and less likely to get an education and most especially if they are born into poverty. She comments that the potential for many women goes unrealized and unrecognized. Perhaps that is one reason why in fiction those of us who have the opportunity should be creating positive role models for women. Our heroines should be people who inspire other women to achieve and overcome obstacles.

Another interesting article appears in the June 6, 2016 issue of TIME. “The Writer Who Helped Disney Heroines Find Their Inner Feminist” by Eliza Berman is about screenwriter Linda Woolverton who has scripted a number of successful films for Disney, among them: “Beauty and the Beast.” Woolverton’s vision was of a modern princess, not a passive one, who is more at home in a library than in front of a mirror. Her viewpoint is that girls are empowered by role models. She depicts girls and women in non-stereotypical roles.

Re-invention of women’s roles in society via fiction is one way to make an impact. I also believe as a writer in creating strong women characters. For instance, Mary MacGreggor in THE KILLING LAND is no passive princess. She faces adversity with strength of character and resourcefulness.

The same can be said for Kim Reynolds in THE BAD WIFE, a woman determined to save her man by discovering the identity of a murderer even though it places her own life in jeopardy.

Cassandra Lowry, heroine of nontraditional Gothic novel DARK MOON RISING, acts to remove a family curse that has been killing off male members of a great family for centuries.

The role of women in society will need further re-invention and definition as long as women worldwide are treated as second and third class third world citizens. Fiction writers of today have the opportunity to help liberate future generations of women. We may have come a long way, baby, but we still have a lot further to go.

Your comments welcome!


Gail Kittleson said...

Just discovered your blog, Jacqueline. It's a challenge to find that mix of strength and vulnerability in creating a character. You gave me food for thought here, and bravo--you've been busy writing in more than one genre!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

What an interesting post, Jacquie!

I like the idea of our girls being empowered by strong heroines as long as she balances her strength with gentle kindness.

Good luck and God's blessings.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Thanks for discovering Author Expressions. We're several writers who try to deal with issues that matter to writers. And yes, I do write in a variety of genres for adults, teens and children.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Pam,

I agree with you that a strong heroine's empowerment should be balanced with kindness. It's an important message.

Susan Oleksiw said...

Good topic, Jacquie. I too look for strong, thoughtful women characters who cope with life without leaning on a man.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thank you, Susan. I do think it's important for women to learn to help themselves and not be dependent on men.

Susan Coryell said...

I so agree that we writers need to create positive, resourceful and self-sufficient women characters for our readers--no matter the age. Nice post!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thanks, Susan, for commenting. I do agree that women of all ages need to have a sense of self-worth and independence. Our writing can certainly help with this positive message.

Patricia Gligor said...

I agree wholeheartedly!
In my Malone mystery series, the main character, Ann, is affected by her husband's active alcoholism. As a result, she "appears" to be, as one reviewer stated, "wimpy." She's not! And, as the series progresses, her strength and her determination shine through.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I really love this series! Ann lends her strength to each member of her family. She is a sympathetic character.

Marian Lanouette said...

Loved this article, glad I found this blog.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Thank you, Marian, glad you found the blog as well!