Background: Over on Tumblr today, saathi1013 pointed out how often we have conversations about why people in fandom write m/m slash, or why they don't focus on female characters. So she flipped the question around and asked us to "celebrate presence instead of justifying absence", suggesting that we talk about why we choose to write and read about female characters. And I am happy to rise to this challenge.
The easy answer is that I am primarily a het writer, and it's pretty hard to write het without writing female characters. That's still a little too facile, though, and I write enough gen that it doesn't tell the whole story anyway. What it comes down to, I think, is that I write stories I want to read. And I want to read stories about women, and their lives, and their relationships (with friends, with family, with lovers, with the women and men in their lives). So I prefer put female characters in the spotlight wherever I can, to give them the recognition I think they deserve.
Of course, there are male characters I love, and whom I will always number among my very favorites. (After all, you also can't really write het without writing about men!) But in whatever I read, watch, or play, I'm always looking for the women. I'm more likely to identify with female characters, and I'm more likely to be interested in where their stories are going. It's difficult for me to enjoy media with no female characters at all, and nothing gets me to disengage from a story or backbutton out of a fic more quickly than cutting the women out of the narrative. Kill off the only woman? Pair up two men in a way that erases or disrespects a canon female love interest? I'm probably done, and I'm most likely not coming back.
I want my stories to reflect the world I see around me in some way. And that's a world that contains women. I write female characters because I can't imagine not writing female characters, and I guess that brings this post full circle: Why not write ladies? The truth is, I can't think of a single good reason.
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