Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Somebody asked me recently why I tend to have such strong women in my fiction.
Frankly, I don't understand any writer who doesn't.
Ask any guy who has ever had a kidney stone if he'd elect to have another. The pain, so they say, is fierce. About like that of childbirth. And, of course, when you ratchet the distance up to ultra-marathon range, fifty, a hundred miles, women win as often as men. No, they don't have the upper body mass that all that testosterone confers, but like the U.S. Calvary was supposed to have said about the Lakota Sioux, If you are captured by the Indians, don't let them give you to the women ...
Partially, it's because I grew up reading and watching action-adventure stuff in which women were featured as being capable. Sure, all those old shows and books are pretty silly when you look at them now, but between Emma Peel (Diana Rigg, The Avengers, with whom every boy I knew was in serious lust and love) and Modesty Blaise? They were the direct ancestors of the strong women on TV and in movies who followed.
A few that come immediately to mind: Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher, Star Wars; Private Vasquez and Ellen Ripley (Jenette Goldstein and Sigourney Weaver, in Aliens; Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor, in T2; and the vampire Selene, (Kate Beckinsale, in Underworld; Gina Torres, as Zoe, in Firefly/Serenity, and, of course, Lucy Liu -- in anything.
Tough girls. And it didn't hurt that they are also easy on the eyes. ...