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.
This post is more accurately titled “Should Female Writers Abbreviate Their Names?”, since they are, it seems, the writers who most commonly do so.
The short and simply answer to the question is, of course, “They should do whatever they want.” For I’m not here to dictate otherwise, especially given the numerous different reasons a female writer would choose to use her initials instead of her full name:
She had a given name that’s difficult to pronounce or spell
To create a new identify for writing in a different genre
To maintain a measure of distance from her non-writing life
Because another author has her exact same name
Because she dislikes for her given name
To emulate classical male writers who used abbreviations, such as C.S. Forrester, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and J.D. Salinger
My decision to re-watch all six seasons of the show Xena Warrior Princess – which is set in Ancient Greece – corresponded with my decision to someday rewrite my shelved first fantasy novel as historical fiction, also set in Ancient Greece.
That and because Xena is such a thrilling character – my favourite fictional character, in truth – whom I hadn’t watched since the show ended in 2001.
By now, most people have heard about the plan to reboot the movie Ghostbusters with an all-female cast.
Some people are really excited about it.
Others are really upset.
Like really upset, to the point of borderline self-righteousness, with words like “gimmick” and “pandering” receiving a thorough workout.
Maybe I’m just splitting hairs over semantics, but in and of itself, I don’t consider a gimmick to be a negative thing.
All marketing and media uses gimmicks or “hooks” to attract a target audience, in this case the hook being the casting women where previously there’d only been men, ostensibly to attract – at least in part – a target audience of female viewers.
Xena of Amphipolis, aka the Warrior Princess, is indeed my favourite fictional character.
(For the record, her character wasn’t actually a princess, which I like better now that I’m well past the age of 5 and its pervasive draw to all things “princess”.)
The show Xena Warrior Princess aired while I was in high school and university, from 1995-2001.
I’m not sure how it was I came to discover it or its two companion shows, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and The Adventures of Sinbad, but all three quickly became part of my Saturday afternoon routine. Xena was always my favourite.
Back in the medieval times, blue was considered a colour for girls.
This is due to the shawl of the Virgin Mary having been that colour. Blue was considered to denote the womanly virtues of obedience, penitence, devotion, and grace.
Pink, meanwhile, in belonging to the red family, was viewed a colour most appropriate for boys, presumably due to the redness of all the blood they’d be spilling as future knights and fighting men.
I mention this not to argue that pink isn’t truly as feminine a colour as it’s portrayed present-day, but rather to demonstrate that the practice of colour-coding by gender is by no means a modern phenomenon.
Although perhaps the opposition some feel towards it is.
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.