I woke up this morning to a bit of a kerfuffle in the writing world. The short version is that a well-known male YA author gave an honest answer to an interview question about why he sucks so bad at writing female characters that could possibly be taken as a sexist answer, maybe, if you tilt your head just so and squint really hard at it while wearing sexism-colored glasses.
And it just so happened that a female YA writer read the article while tilting her head just so and squinting really hard through her sexism-colored glasses, and then went on her Tumblr blog and ripped the guy a new one for his sexist (according to her) attitudes and called upon women and feminists everywhere to join her in a campaign of public shaming.
As a result, some of her followers did just that, although she also received quite a bit of backlash from people asking her to please stop making feminists look crazy-pants and distracting people from the real issue, which is why so many male authors in our society are so terrified of even attempting to write women.
On the positive side, this has opened up some more dialogue about women in fiction, and it seems like a good time to round up some good links on writing female characters, like this excellent article from Tor.com: Writing Women Characters as Human Beings by Kate Elliott
And this one, also from Tor: Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
There’s also the one I wrote a few weeks ago that says pretty much the same thing: How to write [insert adjective] female characters
And the Chuck Wendig post that inspired that one: How “Strong Female Characters” Still End Up Weak And Powerless (Or, “Do They Pass The Action Figure Test?”)
Or I could just distill it all down to this: women are people, dude. Just focus on writing a well-rounded, complex person, and don’t let the fact that that person is attached to a pair of boobies throw you.