Writing Strong Women – Kim Falconer


Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice, not . . .

I’m thrilled to be contributing to these brilliant conversations about strong women, and celebrating the launch of Mary Victoria’s ‘Samiha’s Song’. This is such a hot topic – how do we write strong women. The most interesting thing is, we have to ask the question at all.

Back in the day, strong women, (where strong equals powerful/autonomous) were evil. Insert social subtext: It’s bad for women to be powerful, or worse perhaps, only bad women can be powerful). Snow White’s step mother was very strong but not many girls wanted to be like her. Macbeth’s three ‘hags’ had it all going on, brewing their ‘Charm of powerful trouble,’ but they were feared at best, despised at worst. Certainly they were not venerated. This social subtext might read – a woman’s intuition is a source of power but she has to get down, dirty and ugly to use it.

Then there is the Femme Fatale. She is hot hot hot, and bad to the core. Dangerous. Spellbinding. The new subtext? Powerful women are evil and also sexy. Makes sense; we all know sexy women are ‘bad’. I’m not sure if this is a step up from Macbeth but it’s not too hard to see who is doing the defining. Hint. It’s not women.

Finally we have the wo-man, which are male characters with breasts. Nicole Murphy mentions this in her post. The wo-man is written exactly as a man with all his interests, attributes, entanglements and characteristics except he/she has sex with male characters. Interesting. Starbuck, in BSG, the gods love her, is a good example. Wo-man to the soul. Is she a strong female character? Not really. The subtext here is, to be strong you have to be a man.

It seems our society lacks the language and conceptual insights, given the patriarchal inheritance, to write strong autonomous women without props. Usually female roles fall into four categories—powerful rulers who need a man to tame them/make them complete, helpless rulers that need to be rescued and fall in love with a man, wo-man who don’t need anything and women who are simply invisible. George Lucas stepped outside of these limitations (the scene where Princess Leia rolls her eyes, takes the gun off of fumbling Harrison Ford, AKA male rescuer, and shoots her way out) but viewers weren’t ready for it. By the third film he has her in a gold filigree bikini chained to a giant phallus. Hmmmmm.

Marshall McLuhan said ‘Art is what you can get away with.’ I think what he means is ‘Art is what you can get away with in the current social paradigm.’ Like Mr. Lucas, you can write a strong woman authentically but if the social climate isn’t ready, she won’t fly. So how do we write strong women minus the subtext and props? As long as we have to ask, we don’t. But as writers, we can keep pushing the social limits, ‘getting away with’ more and more until the question is void and we have true equality, in art and in life. Viva la evolution of our female characters!

With the second book in her latest trilogy out March 1, 2011, bestselling author Kim Falconer delivers another searing and imaginative journey of intimacy and adventure, magic and technology. Road to the Soul returns to the hidden world of Gaela, an agrarian based magical world where all things — animal, tree, stone, river and storm — are considered equal. Grounded in heavy research in occult magic and astrology, her novels are fast making her a leading name in local fantasy.

http://www.kimfalconer.com

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58 Responses to Writing Strong Women – Kim Falconer

  1. MaryV says:

    I think you’ve pretty much nailed the issue in this post, Kim… and you’re right, when we have figured out what true equality and respect for women means, we’ll stop asking the question.

    Thank you for your insights!

    • Gillian says:

      I think each of us hopes that – when we work it out for ourself and battle for our and our compeers, that it will mean the next genereation can worry about something else. That changes will happen in books and movies and those changes and choices will spread throughout society. To a certain extent it’s happened, but, as this discussion has shown, there are still big problems. I’m looking foward to is us getting to the stage where we’ve figured it out and can move on because I really want to know what the next questions are. it’s not just about modelling women in fiction – it’s about how limited are our other choices when we fight the same battles over and over.

  2. Helen Lowe says:

    Yes, I remember the depth of my disappointment at the whole ‘slave girl’ scenario in ‘Return of the Jedi’–but was it because audiences weren’t ready? Given the huge popularity of the first two films, I’m more inclined to see it as film makers returning to the default lowest-common-denominator setting …

    • Gillian says:

      Maybe it was the film-makers weren’t ready? They were capturing romance on teh screen and what said romance to them was that particular and unsavoury image. I’ve always wondered if they were looking at themes across the movies. Princess in prison. By focussing on the moment she broke free, they forgot that we all saw the stuff before it first and maybe it just didn’t click that the first time Leia was imprisoned, she was operating from a much stronger position (and was wearing more clothes).

      • Kim Falconer says:

        This is a good point, Gillian – keeping those story arcs from collapsing. It’s a huge task in writing a series where characters appear, grow and change over 1800 pages, or 3600 pages! I imagine in film it can get even more difficult to hold the threads together and not get lost in the smaller arc of a single scene.

        Where was the continuity director on that one?

  3. Kim Falconer says:

    Thanks for having me here, Mary.

    I remember an interview with Joss Whendon. They are always asking him why he writes strong women and in this interview he says, why would I not? I loved that. Yeah Buffy! (And how wonderful that he named her ‘Buffy’ AND made gave her overt power!)

    It is changing, and we can map the evolution of equality through our film and literature because they reflect our cultural myths. (Which makes me think of Twilight. One step forward; two back? What do you think? So many many young women devoured that series and Meyer’s character had a constant thought bubble ‘I am powerless (without a man).’ More food for thought.

  4. Kim Falconer says:

    That’s a thought, Helen. I’ll see if I can find an interview with Lucus on the topic. I do know the viewers ate it up (slave girl), where as her previous strengths never engendered a fan club.

    • Kim Falconer says:

      Helen, this is interesting . . . ‘Star Wars creator George Lucas requested the costume in part based on Fisher’s complaints about the lack of interesting costumes in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. . . .’

      Now to find out more about ‘the other part’.

      • MaryV says:

        Also, what qualifies as an ‘interesting costume’? …Slave girl in a bikini, apparently.

      • Helen Lowe says:

        That thought did cross my mind too, ie that Carrie Fisher wanted a more ‘sexy’ image–interesting though, that ‘sexy’ and ‘disempowerment’ (noting here that unlike Buffy she did not rescue herself, although I “suppose” she did use the chain to choke Jabba)) become synonymous …

  5. Ah, subtext. And that little issue that we writers have that our stories HAVE TO MAKE SENSE when the world never does *sigh* Well, as the old joke goes – How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

  6. Loving this series, Mary! (And Kim, Gillian, Glenda, Nicole…)

    Everyone is making such great points – it’s making me think over a lot of the fiction I’ve been reading lately, analysing the heroines. A lot of them are indeed women-as-men. Though I have loved them all (and I have to admit, right or wrong, many of them do inspire me to want to learn the art of the sword or kickboxing too…) However, I always enjoy books/series that challenge that more “basic” or literal showing of power.

    Kim, I like your point that our society seems to lack the language and conceptual insights to write strong women without props. In the “real world”, how often do we hear, especially lately, criticism of any female in power for all the same things that have been covered in these posts? She’s too sexual/she’s too masculine/she’s too womanly/she has a family/she doesn’t have a family/she won’t be able to handle the job. Nothing it seems, is right. Interesting to see the same battles fought out on the page, by the writers themselves struggling to find the balance.

    • MaryV says:

      I agree, there’s often a no-win situation for women, in that they’re always battling preconceived notions of what they should or shouldn’t be doing as females – instead of being regarded simply for their merits as human beings. 🙂

      • Kim Falconer says:

        Bothersome Words, your point makes me think of that film, The Devil Wears Prada (2006) based on Lauren Weisberger’s novel by the same name. If Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep’s character) had been male, no one would have seen her as ‘the devil’, They would have simple said, ‘good businessman’ and moved on.

      • Gillian says:

        In other words, the default for the species homo spaiens sapiens is male.

  7. Janette says:

    All fabulous points! Though even the Whedonmeister (all hail Buffy!) falls into the fear-of-woman-power trap on occasion. When Buffy finally exercises her full sexual power, what happens? Yep, she’s punished by male betrayal. The moral of the story – keep your naughty girl bits to yourself because men will lose control and go to the dark side if they taste your power. Poor helpless things – kinda what my Granny tried to teach me LOL!

    But if it’s a choice between Buffy & what’s-her-name with the sparkly boyfriend? Puh-lease! No contest.

    • Kim Falconer says:

      Yes, it seems that Whendon can’t allow a strong sexual expression in his female characters without there being a hitch, twist or punishment (Firefly Series also). Buffy is a step towards female empowerment, obviously more individuated than the aforementioned celebrate lover of the sparkly vamp. Again, sex is a not go even at this extreme.

      Can we name a female protag who can express her sexuality without judgement?

      Thinking about a reader reviewing Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse saying she was ‘slutty’. . . Apparently not everyone is ready for serial monogamy (a grand total of 3 I think) in the Southern Vampire Mysteries.

      Here is on of the best summations on the topic of mature female power I’ve ever hears: (Written by Nancy Myers in Somethin’s Gotta Give’)

      Zoe (played by Frances McDormand) speaking to Harry Sanborn (played by Jack Nicolson): This is really fascinating, what’s going on at this table. Let’s take you and Erica. You’ve been around the block a few times. What are you, around 60? 63. Fantastic! Never married, which as we know, if you were a woman, would be a curse. You’d be an old maid, a spinster. Blah, blah, blah. So instead of pitying you, they write an article about you. Celebrate your never marrying. You’re elusive and ungetable, a real catch.

      Then, there’s my gorgeous sister here. Look at her. She is so accomplished. Most successful female playwright since who? Lillian Hellmann? She’s over 50, divorced, and she sits in night after night after night because available guys her age want something-forgive me, they want somebody that looks like Marin. The over-50 dating scene is geared towards men leaving older women out. And as a result, the women become more and more productive and therefore, more and more interesting. Which, in turn, makes them even less desirable because as we all know, men- especially older men- are threatened and afraid of productive, interesting women. It is just so clear! Single older women as a demographic are about as fucked a group as can ever exist.

      • Actually, if you look at the short stories, Sookie has a little more than three lovers… But yes, the whole idea of women’s sexuality and how you can’t possibly have more than one lover gives me the shits. That’s why in my books, I’ve made it quite clear that my ladies have as much (in some cases, more) of a sexual history than the men. Having sex with people you’re attracted to is not wrong. Falling in love with more than one person is not wrong. As long as you’re not endangering yourself or anyone else, why the hell should it matter?

        • Kim Falconer says:

          Good point. Sookie has that (pug your ears if you don’t know this) ‘Christmas gift’ from her grandfather, but still, she’s sexually inexperience as far as I’m concerned, and she makes a point of ‘claiming’ that in every book. And some readers feel she is ‘slutty’. What is the male version of this adjective? ‘Womanizer’? It has charm but ‘slut’ does not!

          I write female characters in much the same way, Nicole. On Gaela, sex is something you do, if you want to, like eating a delicious dessert. On Earth, you get the contrast via heavy value judgments and gender biased constraints.Sexuality is one of the biggest contrasts between these two worlds, a kind of echo of the environment – Mother Nature. You can see what happens when she is honoured and when she is not.

          Interestingly, a man who read The Spell of Rosette (an author friend who will not be named) was ‘concerned’ about the ending. He wanted to know which man Rosette was going to ‘get with’. My character’s free spirit made him itch, and not in a good way!

          • I’m looking at a love triangle in the second book of my new trilogy – I’d love to leave it open at the end, but I’m not sure that the mainstream would be willing to buy a woman with two Happily Ever Afters 🙂

            • Kim Falconer says:

              Ha! I’ve done that one with a bit of a twist – one woman in two worlds, men in each . . .So far, readers, especially female, have loved it. Kreshkali is one of my most popular characters!

          • Janette says:

            LOL, that comment is hilarious Kim!! At least, I’m laughing when I’m not rolling my eyes and gritting my teeth.

  8. Bahiyyih says:

    You got it in one, Kim. There are not only the hags in ‘Macbeth’ but the Lady too who is hag and femme fatale and wo-man rolled up in one. And who, interestingly enough, dies mad, childless, and by her own hand. Give us the subtext there…

    • Kim Falconer says:

      Well yes, I was writing to a word count so didn’t go that far but you’re right. Good point. I think portraying women as insane is a whole other level.

      ‘Give a woman power and it will drive her mad.’ Or, ‘it is better to be dead than to own up to an act of power, if you are female.’ Of course, Lady M was doing it all for her hubby, but that doesn’t even soften her fate.

      • Janette says:

        Hmmm… I always thought Lady M was doing it all for herself – a way to achieve political power in a world where only men have that “right” – the classic power-behind-the-throne. Especially given how ambivalent her husband is, how full of self-doubt – it’s like she’s saying “oh for goodness sake, give it to me and let me do it properly”. Of course, hankering after and attaining power for a woman in that world would a) require bad behaviour and b) result in madness and death. Or, like Elizabeth I, doing it like a man….

  9. Bahiyyih says:

    All this stuff that is being batted about between us is so thoroughly based on Judeo-Christian (and Muslim) notions of what a woman “ought” to be and how “dangerous” she is if/when she’s not kept in her place that I’m surprised someone hasn’t brought up the very obvious point about the influence of religion on SFF…

    • Kim Falconer says:

      Good point. Three thousand years of patriarchy has had an effect. Have you read ‘Moon Under her Feet, by Clysta Kinstler? It situates women in the Judeo-Christian religion at the time of the shift from reverence to rejection of the sacred feminine.

      I’ve woven these concepts into my Q Enchantment and Encryption series with the return of the Hammer of Witches and notions of environment, mother Earth and women as scape goat. Pandora mythologies paved the way! (and I don’t mean James Cameron’s. 🙂

      But Judeo-Christian attitudes towards women are not alone in the world. Some Buddhist text (guidelines for men and the ‘evils’ of sex with women) and the Bhagavad G?t? are equally gender biased.

    • Gillian says:

      Not so much the ‘Judeo’! Women have had sexual rights and no fault divorce in Judaism. It gets tangled according to the influences of the outside society, but Judaism itself is very different from pre-1960s Christianity on these issues. Also from some more modern Christianity. Women are different in Judaism – not like men – but the Shulchan Aruch (codification of the law, for lay people) specifies that women have sexual rights. It’s complicated and it’s not all good, but the whole ‘dangerous’ thing comes from the Roman/Christian marriage, not the Jewish side of the family.

      • Kim Falconer says:

        Thank you,Gillian. It’s something that gets lumped together and that kind of sweeping generalization is misguiding. I appreciate you setting it straight.

        Does that mean the Lilith mythology is Christianize?

        My perception of Judaism is that women are, as you say, complex. Different from men with different governance but also there is a feeling of matriarchal power in the family.

        • Gillian says:

          Judaism has its own Lilith mythology. Her second husband is Ashmodai, king of the DEmons and Torah afficionado (our king of demons isn’t evil – though when you want to say ‘Go to hell” it comes out as “Go to Azazel” (I think it’s Azazel – I have a friend who knows this stuff much ebtter than I do – I need to check – the big thing is that it’s a being, not a place). The Jewish feminist Lilith left Adam because she wanted an equal relationship. I really don’t know any Christian equivalents for this!

          There’s also the whoile lilitim thing (one possible Medieval Jewish explanation of cot-death is what I tell students) – ie she’s a very mixed figure.

  10. ashleycapes says:

    Awesome discussions, thank you, Mary!

    Been following the series and it’s fascinating. I’d be really interested to see some opinions about who everyone thinks are strong female characters, who do not fall to deeply into the realms of any of the cliches already discussed?

    • MaryV says:

      You’re welcome Ashley – all credit goes to the insightful guest posters!

      Personally, I have enjoyed the following sff female characters for very, very different reasons: Tenar in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series as well as UKL’s female protagonist in ‘Always Coming Home’, Laura Roslin from BSG (great mental strength/ physical weakness combo) and Carl Sagan’s Ellie in ‘Contact’.

      I’m looking forward to discovering Kim and Glenda’s female characters and many others I’ve heard write great examples of strong women in sff (Elisabeth Bear? Octavia Butler?) In terms of my own work I’ve enjoyed writing Samiha and Jedda…

      I’d love to hear from other WSW posters. Favourite female sff characters, everyone?

      • Kim Falconer says:

        Tanith Lee is one of my favourite spec fic authors. She writes women, and girls becoming women, in authentic and sometimes brutal ways. She doesn’t sidestep cultural and religious inheritance. Most of her novels (56+) are situated in a patriarchy or post patriarchal world. Often it isn’t until the last pages that you feel you can unclench your jaw – she puts them through hell, often at the hands of their mothers or other women. ‘Heroin of the World’ is a powerful example of this.

        Margaret Atwood writes authentic women, though situated in our cultural paradigm their strengths are often subtle and slow to develop. I’m about to read her very first novel, ‘The Edible Woman.’ Looking forward to that.

        Alison Goodman’s character, Joss Aaronson in Singing the Dog Star Blues,is a wonderful expression of a coming of age, strong female character and Eon/Eona in ‘Two Pearls of Wisdom’ is wonderfully written in the way the character must pretend to be male. The biases of the fantasy culture mirror our own, but you have the feeling of distance. ‘This isn’t us.’ But, it is.

    • My favourite fictional character of all time is Granny Weatherwax, from the Discworld books. In fact, if you look at the series as a whole, I have to say that Pratchett gives good girl 🙂 I love the contrast between the witches and the wizards. Every one of those witches (as different as they are to each other) are stand-up women, strong in their way, committed to their craft and loyal beyond reckoning. Whereas, with the exception possibly of Ponder Stibbons and his students, the wizards are all bat-crap crazy and achieve through luck more than anything else 🙂

      Granny is particular is fascinating, because she’s based on the stereotype of the crone but Pratchett, as he’s so brilliant at doing, takes that idea and runs with it to its inevitable conclusion by asking the right questions eg why is a crone such a grumpy old woman? Why does she seem to have such a negative view of the world and yet she keeps doing things to help people? Why, if you need her, will she stand by you to the bitter end? So you get this complex character who doesn’t like the world cause she sees people so clearly and understand how completely mad they all are, yet also realises this is the value of the world and will therefore do whatever she needs to do to save them. I love that an apparent weakness of womanhood gets turned into the strength that saves Discworld numerous times.

    • Helen Lowe says:

      Some of my favourite characters include Dianora, in Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana, who is neither warrior nor mage—and yet I found her utterly compelling simply because of her personality and strength of character: someone doing her best in an almost impossible situation. And I love Raymond E Feist and Janny Wurts’ Mara of the Acoma (in the Empire trilogy) who must think outside the square and both outsmart and outplan her enemies to come back from a starting point of great weakness. Barbara Hambly’s Sheera Galernas is another whose strength derives from her personality and ability to inspire, organise and lead others, rather than from any superpowers. And there are plenty of women warriors and mages who don’t read as “men with breasts” to me, such as Barbara Hambly’s Starhawk (“The Ladies of Mandrigyn”, same as Sheera Galernas) and Jenny Waynest (“Dragonsbane” — mage); Robin McKinley’s Aerin (“The Hero and the Crown”–warrior/mage) and Hari (“The Blue Sword”—-warrior/mage); Steven Erikson’s Tattersail (“Gardens of the Moon”-mage) and Patricia McKillip’s Raederle (mage) in “The Riddlemaster of Hed” series.

      • ashleycapes says:

        Thank you all! Very much appreciated, it’s great to have the positives up there to see and balance out the negatives. Having trouble keeping up with the discussion, actually, every time I turn around there’s another 10 or so posts. Excellent

  11. Glenda Larke says:

    I wonder if there’s a lesson in my Mirage Makers trilogy? Ligea, the main protag, is extremely capable. She’s a spy, a fighter, has a couple of lovers and a child out of wedlock, and through her own strengths becomes an Emperor…

    And the trilogy is the least popular of all my books. Hmmmmm…..

    Is there such a thing as too strong a woman? If I’d made her a man, would he have been a memorable hero who boosted my sales?

    Great post, Kim.

    Bahiyyih – I suspect many many SFF writers use their fiction to make comments about the religions of today without being openly offensive to those religions…perhaps in the vain hope that the religious will give some more thought to what they actually believe. In other words, most fictional fantasy worlds portray religions that have a basis in our own rather than being radically different. Or maybe it’s just that the need to have a certain kind of spiritual life (life after death, justice/punishment of evil, etc) often leads different societies down similar paths…and we reflect that in our writing. Religion in history – and alas in today’s world too – reflects so much sexism it is a miracle that any woman remains pious, and yet they do.

    Can anyone think of a fantasy religion that doesn’t contain at least the bare bones of an actual faith?

    • Kim Falconer says:

      Glenda, Ligea rocks. She’s the kind of character that makes you feel GOOD to be a woman (in a man’s world.) I love how she grows into her role. How can this be your least pop? I can’t believe that! Is this a case for G Lucas and the golden bikini? Is it saying ‘we can’t get away with’ healthy, powerful, capable women . . . yet? There is a saying in astrology that if a woman has a ‘strong mars’ (Aries, Scorpio or Capricorn) she isn’t going to have a ‘good’ relationship with a man unless he has and equally strong Mars. I wonder if this is true in our fiction as well.

    • Kim Falconer says:

      Glenda, your answer to Bahiyyih is thought inspiring. ‘Religion in history – and alas in today’s world too – reflects so much sexism it is a miracle that any woman remains pious, and yet they do’

      Can anyone think of a fantasy religion that doesn’t contain at least the bare bones of an actual faith?

      I think the animistic societies (Gaela in my first two series for example), the cultures that see everything as a ‘thou’ and not and ‘it’ have a faith in life now, not a fantasized life ‘after.’ In this belief system, gender becomes a form of expression, not an identity.

      Mary, religion in your books plays a strong role in the patriarchal authority, yet the World Tree is feminine, AND sacred. Can you tell us more about that? (no spoilers though)

      • MaryV says:

        Yes Kim I’m obsessed with religion, its creative and destructive effects, and that obsession certainly saturates the ‘Chronicles of the Tree’.

        The World Tree is seen as sacred by the priests of Argos, but even as they pay lip service to a feminine deity they’re busy stifling ordinary women (and so-called ‘inferior’ peoples) in everyday life. This is all too common a situation, unfortunately.

        There IS a real and profound feminine principle of divinity underlying the priests’ beliefs (to say more would be a spoiler.) But they have themselves forgotten what it is…

      • Bahiyyih says:

        Once again, apologies to be coming in from left field, and so late in the day, but when I read your question, Kim: “Can anyone think of a fantasy religion that doesn’t contain at least the bare bones of an actual faith?” I found myself mulling over another question: “Can anyone think of a religion in existence today that isn’t a form of fantasy?” Because your challenge to search for “the bare bones of an actual faith” in fictive religions highlighted the fact that we have lost sight of “the actual faith” in many non-fictive ones. Can anyone think of a religion in existence today that is not based on the unauthenticated words attributed to a mythic /a-historical figure whose life and legacy has been elaborated upon and interpreted by generations of clerical quasi-authors in ways that sometimes quite miss the wood for the trees? The fact that you can still distinguish “the bare bones of an actual faith” in any of these semi-fantastical constructs is surely proof of their quite astonishing powers to regenerate the human imagination long after – to fall back on Mary’s metaphor – the actual Tree has died.

  12. Mitenae says:

    There is an explanation (not an excuse though) to Starbuck. In the original BG the character was male and this is reflecting in the contemporary Starbuck.

    • Kim Falconer says:

      Mitenae, that’s right! I had forgotten about the original. Thank you. And it caused quite a kerfuffle with fans too.There would have been a lot of pressure on Katee Sackhoff to carry off the vivbe of the original character – a tough as nuts pilot, gambler, smoker, womanizer (though Kara is into men).

      I do love the Starbuck character, but not for reasons of gender, either way,

      • MaryV says:

        I also have a soft spot for Kara – but as an example of a failed character, rather than a successful one. She’s interesting in her failures, though. I thought she had so much energy in the first and second seasons – but by the end of the show, she’s a shadow of herself. She loses herself in searching for Earth, which is fine, but then we never really find her again.

        I still think she’s an interesting experiment.

        • Kim Falconer says:

          She did seem to ‘dissipate,’ as the series went on and I found the end unsatisfactory, especially between her and Apollo. I guess she represented a part of us that is dysfunctional and unable to heal save through . . . dissipation.

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  15. Hi Kim, was moved by your piece. A dear friend refuses to read any more white, male authors (she makes an exception for the classics) because ‘they have nothing new to say’. The other day she emailed me about a similar conversation on another site and said ‘People don’t realise that they think the word ‘man’ is embedded in the word ‘literature’, just as it is in their subconscious’. I thought this was very profound.

    I think the most significant question we can be asking ourselves is ‘who are we as women undefined by the masculine?’

    • Kim Falconer says:

      Thanks for dropping in, Stephanie!

      Your friend brings up a very interesting connection between what is in the collective unconscious and what is in a culture’s stories. To what degree can we link our subconscious with literature. Like dreams, I think they can be synonymous.

      To define any individual outside the context of another, that is something we are not used to doing in our society. Think of how competitive (this is like that, this is better than that) we are. Our language is designed to compare and contrast: like, as, closer, further, faster, stronger, smarter . . . We need to develop models that appreciate a singularity without relativity to something else.

      Very interesting. Thanks again for dropping by!

      xKim

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