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Why can't science fiction and fantasy...
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Why can't science fiction and fantasy authors write realistic female characters? I'm a girl (relevant to the topic hurr durr) and this problem often makes books in those genres unreadable for me.

For example, earlier today I was trying to read Ready, Player One and had to stop because the protagonist's love interest was portrayed in such a study way.
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first post
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Because most of them are manchildren who never lost their virginity. Do you seriously expect some basement dwelling neckbeard loser to know how women think? Why do you even read that trash? Do you have psychological issues?
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>>5203656
>I was trying to read Ready, Player One

Well that's your problem right there.
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>>5203670
I find most novels about the mundane world boring. I'd rather read philosophy or non-fiction than read some book about how working a cubicle is ultimately meaningless.
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>>5203670
Posts like this are really embarrassing for the board, please don't make them
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Girls don't do anything. That's why no one wants to write them except as props.

>Why aren't there any complex female protagonists?
=
>Why aren't there any good descriptions of male pregnancy?
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>>5203674

So that's what Crime and Punishment, L.A. Confidential and A Perfect Spy are about. Thanks for letting me know.
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>>5203676

why
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>>5203670
>>5203656
Same person.
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>posts an infantile cartoon
>reads garbage tier sci fi and fantasy

Are you the female equivalent of pic related? Do you also have a collection of piss bottles and refuse to take a shower?
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>>5203656
Men are, in general, much worse at writing women than women are at writing men. Women have thousands of popular examples over all of human history to draw from, along with a culture that overwhelmingly demands they understand and sympathize with the male point of view. By contrast, male authors are much more likely to spend very little effort understanding female points of view but think they have it down.

I think it's not about SF/F authors in general, just that so many of them are men, and many of those men are unknowing, casual misogynists. Most female SF/F authors do both sexes pretty well.
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>>5203681
Because they imply the person posting them is somehow superior to the straw man target of ridicule, when in fact they are losers posting on a message board about Japanese cartoons.
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>>5203679
I actually hated Crime and Punishment. I despise Dostoevsky's insipid religious morals, and his views on women are even worse than the ones being discussed in this thread.

>>5203684
I suppose so, although I am hygienic and have a good job. It's also impossible for a girl to remain a kissless virgin if she wants to get laid.
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>>5203690
4chan is a popular anonymous discussion and meme forum. Not everyone here has to be a loser who watches childish cartoons. Please stay on your containment board if you don't want to interact with "normalfags" (I bet you use that word unironically).
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>>5203689
This is all myth and conjecture.
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>>5203699
> It's also impossible for a girl to remain a kissless virgin if she wants to get laid.
Haha, well, now I know you're just fucking with us.
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Maybe he was trying to write an interesting character instead of a realistic girl.

Or should all female characters be written a specific way? What characteristics should they have?
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>>5203701
You can keep telling yourself that, nerd.
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>>5203702
It makes sense even if it's impossible to truly test the hypothesis. Many science fiction and fantasy authors do not even see the casual sexism in their works, they are entirely unaware of it. Note that bad things happening to women is not "sexism." George RR Martin depicts things like rape because they are realistic, not because he is making a statement about women.
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>>5203714
Fight me irl. Do you even lift?
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>>5203711
Her character wasn't interesting

>insecure about her weight
>lol so spunky!
>she exists so the protagonist can get laid at the end

>Or should all female characters be written a specific wa

No, but if you want to write an unrealistic character there better be a good reason. That's not the case here.
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>>5203701
>meme forum
And you had me hook line and sinker too :(
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Susan Calvin is a good character.
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>>5203716
>It makes sense even if it's impossible to truly test the hypothesis.
So do a lot of things that are incorrect.

>Many science fiction and fantasy authors do not even see the casual sexism in their works
Which is a non sequitur, and not necessarily related to how "realistic" their characters are.
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Female sci fi readers are too few to bother pleasing. Scifi writers know that male readers are their bread and butter, so they focus on them. Female readers just aren't worth the effort and catering to them bores the money audience.
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Protip: The male characters are equally poorly written. It's a problem of the genre.
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>>5203729
>Which is a non sequitur, and not necessarily related to how "realistic" their characters are.

Of course it's related. Their sexism causes them to turn female characters into stereotypes and cardboard cutouts that serve a plot function. You seem sort of dense.
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>>5203721
>insecure about her weight
>lol so spunky!
>she exists so the protagonist can get laid at the end

That does sound pretty terrible. Just cliches. That is some Sambo type shit.

I must have misunderstood your post. I thought you were saying she was too masculine or something.
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>>5203751
>I thought you were saying she was too masculine or something.

No. That can be annoying, but I could deal with a slightly masculine female. She was a walking cliche and I could tell the author had no idea how to write a female character. He was totally lost.
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Well, let's look at some specific examples: All Heinlein's women are bisexual, hard nosed pragmatists who are horny all the time. Asimovs women are Asimov in drag, with a little wide-eyed wonder thrown in, Ellison's women are either bitches, dupes or feminists. Ursula Le Guin's women are cartoonishly feminine, Kate Wilhelm's are unapologetically men in disguise, Maccaffrey's are mary sues... you know who writes good women? Lester del Rey, Andre Norton, Doris Lessing, Sharon Green, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Suzy Mckee Charnas, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Silverberg (Capricorn Games: read it now.) J.G. Ballard, and John Brunner....That should get you started.

I think different authors use men and women for different reasons in their stories, so you can't be sure if it's clumsiness or just a plot mechanic. Oh, and James Tiptree Junior and Cordwainer Smith
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>>5203759
>Ursula Le Guin's women are cartoonishly feminine,
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I would complain about how men are portrayed in romance novels but unfortunately if I don't like a book I just stop reading it. So I never got more than a few pages and I have no idea how men are portrayed in romance novels.
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Some cautions:
A Clockwork Orange would be difficult for someone new to English because of the made-up words. A speaker of Russian or some other Slavic language would have an advantage though since this forms much of their basis.
The wordplay in Catch-22 (e.g., usages of 'major') could gt confusing.
Nineteen Eighty-Four has made-up Newspeak words. The words are fairly logical but not indicative of everyday English usage.
Lolita plays with language a lot and could get confusing. (Also everything else would probably seem bland in comparison.)
I can't remember for sure, but the dialogue in Of Mice and Men and Huckleberry Finn might be in a colloquial style that could be confusing.
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>>5203773
Name one that isn't, though I'll grant you Arha has her moments of believability.
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>>5203702
What are you looking for, then? Something scientifically testable? Do you want hard data on how certain characters are 3/10 relatable and 5/10 realistic? This stuff is qualitative knowledge, not quantitative. I can tell you from experience with writing groups that even among amateur writers, the women are better at writing men than the men are at writing women.
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>>5203656
>If a female character isn't exactly like me, she isn't realistic.

Do women really think like this?

>I'm a girl

Are you also from the year 2044? Or do you shitpost on /lit/ when female characters in Ancient Egypt don't share your opinion on nail polish, too?
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>realistic female characters?
Females don't behave "realistically". Because at the heart of male psychology is the idea that women aren't really fully human. It's like accusing Richard Adams of failing to write realistic rabbits or dogs.

To say that the way they are written unrealistically also presupposes a uniform realistic way in which females are to be depicted, which amounts to yet another sexual stereotype.
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>>5203817
>Because at the heart of male psychology is the idea that women aren't really fully huma
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>>5203656

Think about it, what does fantasy mean?

It's how men wish women were, not how they actually are. Or perhaps they are simplified to fit the plot.
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>>5203817
An awful lot of fantasy is written by women. and tons of sci fi. The women are just as wooden and stereotypical. The problem seems to be with making a female character identifiable without masculinizing her. The Darkover novels are poorly written, and the women act like real women, but they act like dull, uninspired women. Mary Stewart has the opposite problem: she writes strong, vibrant identifiable men, who act and react like women. It's a tricky problem.
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>>5203841
current gendered behaviour on earth doesn't apply to fantasy and sci-fi, though.
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>>5203888
huh? elaborate? Not just rationalizing a fault?
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>>5203817
Laurie Penny pls

Are you gonna try to convince us that Bella Swan and Katniss Aberdeen and Anastasia Steel and every other stupidly-named self-insert for lonely middle aged women is a well-rounded character better than anything a man could write?
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>>5203656
Because fantasy is about strong men who get a legendary looking girl at the end, but all she does is being beautiful, lest she cast a shadow on the hero's achievments.
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>>5203893
Why aren't you complaining about female characters being unrealistic when there are dragons, ringmail, and faster than light travel in the same books?
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>>5203904
living in a society dominated by males makes women doubt their humanity and seek solace in many ways.
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>>5203904
You have a valid point. Don't strawman it with caricatures from YA. Try Helen O'Loy, Deja Thoris, Atta Olivia Clemmens or Deidre the Ghoul.
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>>5203656
the answer is: because they're men. if you want a realistic portrayal of a woman, write one. newsflash, men don't understand women. women don't exactly understand men, but they probably understand them better than men do women. by this logic they ought to be able to write the roles better.

but the course of action you've taken is the traditional one for women: complain about it, write nothing, and leave it incumbent on men to do what you want.

keep smashing the patriarchy, hun.
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>>5203927
It's Hardy's rule: Ghosts are inherently scary, furniture is inherently believable. Make the ghosts believable and the furniture scary and you're doing your job. Fantasy characters are inherently fantastic: make them believable (that is realistic people) and you've done your job.
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>>5203956
This is like telling someone who didn't like a restaurant to open their own. It's stupid.
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This was obviously a man who went fishing for misogyny and found it
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>>5203956
Most fantasy and sci fi writers are women. The top ones being male skews the perception.
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>>5203689
lel
No. Maybe only if you compare avarage books.
drop me some title
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>>5203962
>This is like telling someone who didn't like a restaurant to open their own. It's stupid.

So is sitting in a steakhouse and complaining they don't serve sushi.
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>>5203966
so then the real question becomes "why can't the majority of fantasy or SF authors represent themselves correctly"? Pandering to the male audience might be why, since I assume they drive the market.

>>5203962
OK, but the question was stupid to begin with as the above reply indicates.
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>>5203927
Usually the point of genre fiction books is the idea that even though the setting differs from ours, the people are the same.
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Probably because men aren't interested in writing realistic female characters because the realistic female is boring and irrational. Their stupidity could only really serve as a lazy plot device and most serious writers would rather not resort to that.
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>>5203960
>you've done your job.
Have you? What's the job? Satisfy you? Sell units?
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>>5203699
>I actually hated Crime and Punishment. I despise Dostoevsky's insipid religious morals, and his views on women are even worse than the ones being discussed in this thread.
>reads garbage scifi and fantasy
>plays PERSONA 4
>not having christian values

Go back to /v/
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>>5204007
No, most of the readers are women too. It's a real mystery.
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>>5204022
satisfy the requirements of the story, and, hopefully, entertain.
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>>5204000
Complaining about poorly written characters is the same as complaining that one kind of restaurant isn't the same as another? if you apply that standard consistently no one can ever criticize any kind of literature for anything.
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>>5204029
>being a christfag
>disliking persona
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>>5204082
If you like cooking and serving steaks and you have a loyal, lucrative client base, would you totally change the menu around to please one malcontent? Or would you keep selling steaks and remind the malcontent that other dining options are available to her?
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>Asimovs women are Asimov in drag

Oh. Oh my. Be right back ...
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Persona 2 cast > Persona 4 cast
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>>5204106
That might make sense from a business perspective, but that has nothing to do with artistic merit per se. That's like saying no one can think Moby Dick is better than Twilight because Twilight makes more money.
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>>5203991
Just to pick some random SF/F...

>male authors
Gibson - Case is trope-y but likeable and fully realized, Molly Millions is a weird sex fantasy with almost no interior
Tolkein - female characters are overwhelmingly passive, the one truly active female character (Eowyn) is pretending to be a man most of the time

>female authors
Le Guin - usually male protagonists but the females (e.g. Takver) are full and well-rounded too, even the androgynes (The Left Hand of Darkness) are psychologically complete and complex
Margaret Atwood - overwhelmingly full depictions not only of a variety of male and female personalities but a variety of relationships between each other

it's obviously not true for every single male or female author but it's true enough to call it a rule
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>>5204122
>That might make sense from a business perspective, but that has nothing to do with artistic merit per se.

This is scifi. Genre stuff. Make money, follow the formula. Avoid day jobs.

>That's like saying no one can think Moby Dick is better than Twilight because Twilight makes more money.
Like whatever you like. It doesn't matter. The problem is getting people to change to please you. It's difficult getting unhappy people to change for their own benefit. Getting happy people, who are making a good living doing what they damn well please, to change for your benefit is practically impossible. You're better off starting your own restaurant.
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>>5204118
Yeah, the good doctor in chiffon would convert the most hardened heterosexual. And what chance would a girl have?
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>>5204029
>christian values
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>>5204157
>This is scifi. Genre stuff. Make money, follow the formula. Avoid day jobs.

A lot of genre fiction is high quality, and I doubt most author stop caring about the quality of their books because they are writing science fiction or fantasy. Your arguments keep getting worse, you should quit while you are behind.

>Like whatever you like. It doesn't matter. The problem is getting people to change to please you. It's difficult getting unhappy people to change for their own benefit. Getting happy people, who are making a good living doing what they damn well please, to change for your benefit is practically impossible. You're better off starting your own restaurant.

They can do whatever they want. This is a board for discussing literature, and that involves criticizing things you dislike. Fuck off you moron.
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/lit/ was was the name of those ancient people who didn't shave their beard and cut their hair?
I don't remember if they were greek philosophers or some religious group.
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>>5203670

>>>/b/
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>I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.
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>>5204173
>This is a board for discussing literature, and that involves criticizing things you dislike.

Criticize whatever you want. Just don't expect male scifi writers to change to please you. They won't. They're self sufficient. They don't need you. They can afford to lose you.

And I think if it really bothers women, they will write the kind of scifi they want to read instead of waiting for men to provide.

Feminism has some double edged sword qualities to it. Once you raise a generation to believe that women are quite capable of providing for themselves, young men don't feel particularly repentant if you point out to them how they have failed to provide for women. Especially if it's just entertainment they're complaining about.
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>>5204356
>moving the goalposts from 'described' to 'directly experienced'
Lame, weak minded, and dishonest

>sure, I stated that physics defines reality, but tell me where I said the map is the territory or science is reality
Suuuure
>I wrote an (incorrect) definition of axiom but I wasn't trying to define axiom
Dishonest

I know why you're a believer in scientism - you're a moron
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>>5203689
>unknowing, casual misogynists
9/11 was an inside job
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>>5203670

are you joking? Even swag well adjusted authors like F scott fitzgerald portray women as vacuous plebs. Why do you act as if women are anything else? Men are forced to be interesting. Women are not. DOn't go crazy when you realise this
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So...what would a "good/realistic female character" be like, exactly?
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>>5204405
This. This alone should disprove the "NEET virgin" stupidity about men writing "bad" women characters. Men don't think like women; I'm not sure how one should go about fixing this but it obviously doesn't keep other men from enjoying their stories so...
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>>5204470
Mary Sue
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>>5204487
Come on, seriously now for a moment.

In what specific ways would the thought patterns of a female alien-murdering, galaxy-travelling astronaut differ from those of a male in the same position? Is this a matter of throwing in "muh vagina" every few pages or something?
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>>5204502
Just write them as if they're people and stop trying so hard to write them as "women". That ought to fix things for you.
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>>5204522
But that will just receive the "she's a man in a woman's body" criticism (which has already been leveled in this very thread). Clearly there must be some uniquely female-identifying actions or thoughts for the character to be a good female character.
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>>5203841
>masculinizing
I don't know how this notion came into sjw views honestly. You would think they'd be happy that authors have a hazy distinction of masculinity and femininity, instead they bitch about the "man with boobs".
Honestly this shit i would expect by conservative types that think men should do this and women do that. I'm not even sure what the fuck you people mean when you say that women are masculinized and what a femininized woman would be.
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>>5204541
It can't be unique and still common to all women. That's my point. Either base it on someone real, or don't strive for realism.
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>>5204029
>2014
>Being a lawfag unironically
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>>5204157
>Implying the greats didn't write for money just as often.
>Implying science fiction "HAS" to be formulaic.
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Yet, you fail to bring examples of well written woman to light, you people will never be satisfied, also this >>5203734

beauti yeaeek
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>>5203656
I'm a boy so I don't care. I get why you do though, but I really couldn't be bothered to invest any amount of thought or worry into. Jesus Christ, it's so inconsequential to me it's mind-boggling.

If I want an interesting female character I'll go find one in real life, not in the pages of all the different self-validation manuals (e.g. books) that I read.

I just don't care.
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>>5204141
>gibson
>tolkien
read their other stuff
also read lotr better
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Write a good character, then tell the reader what is between their legs. Simple as that.
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