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fictionadventurer:

I’m becoming bored with the anti-feminization of fantasy novels. I’m all for heroines who take up a sword, or who chafe against the expectations of their society. But can’t we have more heroines who like dresses and housework and embroidery and family life? We don’t just need heroines who do stereotypically masculine things. Because that perpetuates the sexism–women are only welcome if they’re just like the boys. We also need to show that stereotypically feminine tasks and roles can be heroic.

To that end, here are some suggestions:

  • The princess who arranges her own marriage, because someone’s got to make the alliance to save this kingdom and it may as well be her. (Extra points: her parents want her to be a knight, but she runs away from home because she would rather get married).
  • A heroine who really, really loves babies and want to get married and start a family.
  • Women who love doing embroidery,and comparing patterns and making up new designs. And maybe they embroider a map or two for the adventure, because paper can tear and get wet, and that’s not a problem for fabric.
  • A woman who has to wear trousers for a portion of the adventure–and hates them. They might be slightly more convenient for running, but they’re uncomfortable, and her legs are too warm, and can’t she please get into skirts again?
  • Mothers as fantasy protagonists. Caring for their children while also dealing with the demands of the fantasy plot. Queens who negotiate treaties and care for the demands of the castle and then go back to spend time with their children. 
  • Women who don’t get married and aren’t pressured to get married, but have a happy, successful single life–working as a spinster or running a farm or having any other sort of successful business.
  • Fantasy societies that are built around the fact that women get pregnant and have children. Bringing your children to the meeting of the fellowship is totally okay! You can run the castle while your children play at your feet! Women aren’t trapped in the house caring for the babies because babies are welcome!

There are loads of interesting things that can happen if stories go beyond the tropes and include the reality of female life. (And if anyone knows of fantasy novels that include some of these things, please point me toward them).

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Schweinderl