Like 17 million other people, I’ve been watching Empire.
And in keeping with the prevailing opinion, I think it’s a great show.
When I told my sister I was watching it, she expressed surprise. Not an unexpected reaction given most of what I watch is either fantasy, sci-fi, historical, or about science and nature.
However, Empire, at its core over the first season, is a succession drama, which I always love and happen to be writing myself in a historical setting. As well, I have a prior history with stories about record companies thanks to the 1985 movie Krush Groove, which my sister and I watched together and both enjoyed.
When I was in grade 5 or 6, I read a young adult fantasy novel entitled The Woman Who Rides Like a Man.
This book was the third of a quartet by the wonderful Tamora Pierce about a girl named Alanna who disguises herself as a boy in order to enter training to eventually become a knight of her kingdom.
I loved this book – loved the entire series – and from that moment, a obsession with female fantasy characters who could fight was born. I couldn’t get enough of stories where women wielded swords, shot bows, fought empty-handed in any sort of martial art, worked as mercenaries, commanded soldiers, and never had to fear for their safety or worry about being disrespected, for they knew how to put jerks in their place.
Stories featuring – as they’re often portrayed within the genres of fantasy and sci-fi – strong female characters.