Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Damsels In Distress
You know... we are indocrinated with this... Disney's early stuff ALL was this. Snow White. Sleeping Beauty. Cinderella. I mean, sure, they had little animals giving them a hand until the man came around to do the job, but really, all of them had lousy lives sans MAN.
Well... except Hansel and Gretel—Gretel thinks to make her brother look too skinny to eat and then shoves the witch in the oven, yes?
But mostly I think this indoctrination has led a lot of BOOKS to have damsels in distress too.
And you know what? I just can't tolerate that crap.
And I have not been able to tolerate those dumb damsels since.
I mean SURE—everyone needs a rescue now and then...
And bad stuff happens to everyone—it makes for good reading.
But the damsel that needs the big strong man? No thanks. (I mean other than to dance like I like—we all need THAT kind of rescue now and again)
With the Garden Society Series I made a commitment early on—after reading one too many cozies that ended with the sleuth rescued by her hunka hot man crush, that MY HEROINE would be doing the rescuing, thanks. Not by herself. (She's not a ninja). And in the three books I've written she DOES get herself into a pickle now and then. But she is far more often on the other side of the equation.
In fact... Of the 14 books I've written, there is a female rescuing somebody in 12 of them... sometimes the rescuee is male, sometimes female (sometimes child)--the things they are rescued from range from abduction to bodily harm. I suppose they've needed rescues in probably six, but it doesn't seem as offensive to me when a person is on both sides of the equation in the same book.
Any of you have deep-rooted character peeves that you've carried through to most of your writing?