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12 October 2010 @ 23:04
I like this meme. I am doing this meme.  
There's this Female Character Flowchart out there that I'm sure most of you have heard of already. If you haven't, let me sum it up for you: basically, all fictional female characters fall into stereotypes and aren't "realistic." Also, this flowchart is done in a way that basically anyone can be crammed into one of their categories, as long as you ignore the more three-dimensional aspects of her characterization and focus on the most two-dimensional details available.

Seriously, people who are much more articulate than me have ranted on this subject and explained why it's such a bad thing. That's not what this post is about. You see, this post? Is simply a chance for me to go through my DW/LJ icons and post the ones that I have that feature female characters, whether by themselves, with other women, with men, or simply as part of a group (which wouldn't be whole without them).

Why? Because the thing is, these women are all awesome, in their own unique ways.


Right, so, here are my awesome ladies. Out of 224 icons, weeding out a) non-representational icons/text icons and b) pics of me, I have:

71 icons of ladies
50 icons of ladies in relationships (i.e. 'ship icons)
48 icons of boyz

That means that almost exactly half my icons feature Awesome Gals (and one trout-craving zombie). I am sharing them with you.

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Faith: startrek-rpf-zoe-grecianvertrauen on 13th October 2010 04:20 (UTC)
This is awesome. I only have 20/189, but I'm still proud. What I lack in quantity I make up in quality. :)
jigglykat: DW: amy sunglassesjigglykat on 13th October 2010 04:23 (UTC)
VERITY FTW.
living every week like it's shark weekboosette on 13th October 2010 04:25 (UTC)
I think you should put the pics of you back, 'cause you are also awesome.
Vertelemming: Art Crawl!vertelemming on 13th October 2010 04:53 (UTC)
TROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUT.
rubynye: Big Damn Herorubynye on 13th October 2010 14:55 (UTC)
O meme and icons of awesomeness!
Vermithrax Pejorative: Joanfyrdrakken on 13th October 2010 17:05 (UTC)
If you haven't, let me sum it up for you: basically, all fictional female characters fall into stereotypes and aren't "realistic." Also, this flowchart is done in a way that basically anyone can be crammed into one of their categories, as long as you ignore the more three-dimensional aspects of her characterization and focus on the most two-dimensional details available.

Yeah, I've been kind of boggling at the outraged comments I've been seeing about that flowchart, because I'd actually read the blog post it was an expansion of some time ago, and if the above quote represents what most people are assuming the chart is actually about then no wonder.
rubynye: Zoe in Midair (bleeding_muse)rubynye on 14th October 2010 19:21 (UTC)
What about those of us who said "That CAN'T be true", and read the chart and were disgusted? Is it impossible to disagree with the chart after having seen it for oneself?

I'm not going to argue with you in taraljc's about whether Uhura is a "Useless Girl" or whether Yoko Ono should be on a chart of fictional characters (let alone what the chart said about her) or all the ways in which race impacts the portrayal of female characters which the chart elides, but I thought on behalf of everyone who was outraged that perhaps I shouldn't let us be dismissed as frivolous quite so easily.
Vermithrax Pejorative: Alicefyrdrakken on 14th October 2010 20:11 (UTC)
Definitely the second problem with that chart is that the maker was clearly choosing examples based on recognizability to the maximal number of readers rather than on being the most perfect example of a type, which is pissing off a lot of people who have favorite characters showing up there.

But the *first* problem with the chart is the creator assuming the readers will all have read the blog entiries of hers that it's an expansion of and be putting it into the context of her own prior words on the topic. Just taking the chart by itself, it's far too easy to misinterpret it as saying that *all* female characters fit into one of the given stereotypes (and hence by implication aren't worth writing), when I'm reading it as being along the lines of a map to the more well-worn paths in onscreen female characterization: The message here is that if all your female characters *do* fit onto the chart, without any qualifications, waffling or additional considerations - if there's no more to them than can be fit onto a flowchart - it's a problem.
rubynye: Elphaba (gargoylekitty)rubynye on 15th October 2010 03:08 (UTC)
... do you really see the deadbrowalking post, or bossymarmalade's response concerning Ms. Ono (who is a real woman), as being about nothing more important than that people are pissed at seeing their favorite characters on this chart?

But besides that. I think I am steadily becoming more and more unconvinced that these problems are the domain of female characters, that is, women depicted in fiction, rather than the domain of characters. It's not actually that writing women is a problem but that male characters get more leeway because they aren't in the 'marked' group, and that this chart is another instance of this process happening. Beyond all its problematic examples, places I disagree with the analysis, and aspects of reality intentionally or carelessly elided, I don't agree with the premise of the chart. I think it contributes to the idea that women aren't worth writing or identifying with, and I think it's downright dangerous.

And I should do my own iteration of this meme.





Edited at 2010-10-15 03:09 (UTC)
Vermithrax Pejorative: Romana 2fyrdrakken on 15th October 2010 04:19 (UTC)
I see it as ill-chosen examples offending people, which is as far as I'll unpack that statement while typing on a Blackberry. (I read the Yoko post while I was on a computer, but not the Deadbrowalking one today.)

And another piece of çontext present in the original post but not in the chart was acknowledgement that not every character in a work can be fully-realized due to limitations of time and complexity - but it's a problem when the only characters who get properly fleshed out in a given work are male.
AQ aka Syredronning: pike_no1syredronning on 13th October 2010 18:52 (UTC)
I only have 19 of 130, what can I say - I'm a slash fan, most of all :)
Christina TM: Warehouse 13christina_tm on 14th October 2010 21:38 (UTC)
I love the Abby "Do not [Foxtrot] with me" icon. I just watched that episode the other day. Abby is one of my top Awesome Gals.
Amy R.: Nick Againbrightknightie on 14th October 2010 22:32 (UTC)
Your Max Headroom icon brought me a sudden attack of voices I have not heard since the '80s. :-) Fun!