Cover painting from the book Winds of Fate by Mercedes Lackey
(That is, my favourites aside from the one and only Xena, who is, in my opinion, the greatest warrior woman character there is.)
But I inadvertently left someone off my list; someone who made a strong impression upon me at a specific point in her personal journey.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about warrior woman characters and whether they helped or hindered the ongoing struggle for women’s equality in real life.
Having concluded that such characters do indeed benefit women and society, I can now happily share my top favourite warrior women characters who aren’t named Xena.
I have to include the stipulation of “not named Xena” because Xena is, in my opinion, the greatest warrior woman character there is.
Midway through my replay of all six seasons of Xena Warrior Princess last year, I heard word of possible reboot of the show.
Details on the project have since remained scarce. No one has been cast – not even the eponymous character – nor have there even been rumours about who’s under consideration for any of the roles.
Initially, the showrunner for the Xena reboot was set to be Javier Grillo-Marxuach, one of the writers from my new favourite TV show, The 100 (Xena having been my old favourite show). However, just last week, it was announced that Grillo-Marxuach had left the project due to “unsurmountable creative differences”.
That is to say, about those who are subject matter experts on different forms of marginalization in society, who writers can recruit to help them bring verisimilitude to the portrayal of marginalized characters in fiction.
The use of sensitivity readers is a growing trend in fiction as more and more stories about marginalized characters are being published – particularly since more and more of these sorts of stories are being written by writers who themselves are not marginalized.
Fiction writers have always employed the advice and experiences of subject-matter experts to help bring authenticity to their stories.
Sensitivity readers, as it happens, are subject-matter experts on experiences with different types of marginalization in mainstream society.
During my undergraduate degree in environmental studies, a particular course in the history department caught my eye.
This course was called History of Africa South of the Sahara.
I first I discovered this course during my first year while thumbing through the course catalogue planning for my upper years.
Ooh, this would be an interesting elective, I thought upon reading the course description:
Samuel L. Jackson starring as a racebent Nick Fury
You can count on it.
Whenever a major media outlet posts an article about the problem of whitewashing in mainstream entertainment, there is a certain response that’s guaranteed to appear in the comments thread.
Well it’s no different than casting a person of colour in a role meant for a white person, so if they had a black James Bond, it’d be equally racist and offensive.