Urban Fantasy discussion

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OTHER TOPICS > Female Protagonists

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message 1: by Stephan (new)

Stephan Loy (stephanloy) | 8 comments Not a woman here, BUT... I wonder if that character type is a direct response to the much larger and less realistic stereotype of the fantasy super-woman. You know, the one on the cover in tight pants and a halter, if she's wearing much of anything, and normally carrying a shotgun or a sword. She's tough, talented in all matters of combat, maybe has super powers, dominates men, and is entirely made of cardboard. Those characters flooded us in the 70s thru the 90s. The more human, perhaps TOO human characters you speak of may be push-back against the comic books.
I prefer when the middle ground is preserved. When the protagonist, regardless of sex, is written as a real person, not an archetype of something.


message 2: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Scott (michellescottfiction) | 721 comments Mod
Jillian wrote: "I have read many Contemporary Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy novels both YA and Adult. I enjoyed many of them except for one major detail. I found the female protagonists to have rea..."

I find that a lot as well. In fact,there are some series that I refuse to read because of that. I think the fact that a lot of protagonists are young (early twenties) are a cause for this. There are precious few who are in their mid-thirties and older.

I also agree with Stephan that this trend may be a backlash against the super-almost perfect- character.


Kathy (Kindle-aholic) (kindleaholic) | 192 comments I like flawed characters. I get bored by the "perfect" characters. It's not realistic.

Of course, thinking that you are flawless is generally a flaw, so if the story reflects that, then I might be interested.


message 4: by James (new)

James (jameslwilber) | 13 comments There does seem to be some kind of symbiotic wish fulfillment between Urban Fantasy authors and readers. I have learned my lesson with the last one. I will never buy another book with a supposed-to-be-sexy female protagonist posed on the cover. When will writers/publishers stop doing this?


message 5: by C.E. (new)

C.E. Martin (cemartin2) The femme fatale will never die out as long as young men keep interested in them. Sex sells- unfortunately.

Worse, i think a lot of femme fatales are being made nowadays in backlash to all the overly feminist characters we are seeing.

I'm with Stephan- lets have people as main characters and not worry about their sexiness, plumbing, etc.


message 6: by James (new)

James (jameslwilber) | 13 comments C.E. wrote: "The femme fatale will never die out as long as young men keep interested in them. Sex sells- unfortunately.

Worse, i think a lot of femme fatales are being made nowadays in backlash to all the ov..."


The thing is, the majority of these books are written and read by older women. And they don't have any real sex in them.


message 7: by Stephan (new)

Stephan Loy (stephanloy) | 8 comments Some of those books have quite a lot of sex in them, but then they start bending into a whole other kind of genre. The important thing I have against the super-capable action woman is the same argument I have against Tom Clancy's army men. They aren't characters; they're action figures. Often with Kung fu grip!


message 8: by Betelgeuze (new)

Betelgeuze | 114 comments Covers are a marketing strategy and unfortunately do not always accurately reflect the content of a book.

I'm not an expert on literature but here's my interpretation. The characters themselves I think are a reflection of today's ideals of womanhood. In the past you may have had female characters that were demure and chaste. If they were not demure or chaste they were often represented as bad examples of female behaviour. Later female characters may have been given stronger personalities and more confidence in their sexuality, but often the story still ended with the woman adhering to traditional expectations of womenhood like marriage and children. Male characters on the other hand have always had a greater degree of freedom in literature as they had in real life. Literature can be both a reflection of and a critique of societal norms.

These days women are by and large considered the equals of men, and with this comes with greater freedom. You see this in books with women being more assertive in their sexuality, and sometimes being dominant to the male characters. Women can now get away with behaviour that was previously only allowed in men. Over sexualisation of a character or making them to powerful is not something that is limited to female characters. James Bond pretty much fits the description except he's male.

The problem I think that sometimes writers try to go for an ideal, which instead of making him/her interesting it makes the character boring. You can have a powerful and sexually confident character but give him/her some flaws to make them human.


message 9: by Karen (new)

Karen (karengreco) | 29 comments I recently re-read an old Gothic romance, one that I read off my mom's shelf when I was a kid, and oh WOW was the heroine different from today's female protagonists. She was absolutely a victim. And it was all very chaste.

I like a middle ground--hate the one's that are perfect, but need her to be a strong, superhero, butt-kicking type. If you are battling baddies, you need to be able to fight back.

But as far as the covers go... Hard to kick butt in leather pants and a halter. Clearly cover artists have never tried wearing either of those.


message 10: by Marianne (new)

Marianne Regarding the women on urban fantasy covers, if you haven't already seen this, it's worth a look. Very funny.

http://www.jimchines.com/2012/01/stri...


message 11: by Karen (new)

Karen (karengreco) | 29 comments Marianne wrote: "Regarding the women on urban fantasy covers, if you haven't already seen this, it's worth a look. Very funny.

http://www.jimchines.com/2012/01/stri..."


Oh that is AWESOME!


message 12: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Scott (michellescottfiction) | 721 comments Mod
Marianne wrote: "Regarding the women on urban fantasy covers, if you haven't already seen this, it's worth a look. Very funny.

http://www.jimchines.com/2012/01/stri..."


I squirted coffee out of my nose!! Rofl!


message 13: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah Marianne wrote: "Regarding the women on urban fantasy covers, if you haven't already seen this, it's worth a look. Very funny.

http://www.jimchines.com/2012/01/stri..."


Very funny!


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