Girls and Fantasy

They pretty much go hand in hand, right?

Well, at least as far as subject matter goes they do. But as far as mainstream girl-centric media goes- not so much. When's the last time you saw a dragon on the cover of a mainstream women's magazine? I mention this topic not to be controversial, but to try to strike a balance and explain my side of things, as a female sci-fi and fantasy artist.

I think girls start off liking fantasy- princess, unicorns and cute monsters, but then the tweenage years hit and it starts being more about self confidence issues and whether to be "girly" or "tomboy" in the way they dress. All this leads some girls to stray away from unicorns and generally fantastical subjects and worry about other things. Some never stray.

I never did. But I would contribute it to the fact I never stopped drawing. I was always obsessed about finding the next coolest art piece, which throughout my life, always kept me in the fantasy loop. My favourite movie growing up was Jurassic Park. Now, I like a lot of different, varied things- horses, corsets, my iPhone, tea parties, VW Bugs, hedgehogs, dinosaurs, shoes, perfume, tech stuff, grunge, dark imagery, light imagery- the list goes on. My interests are not easy to pin down.

However, I've noticed a trend in the past few years of women in the fantasy/sci-fi/ gaming groups of getting to be super ultra defensive about their likes and dislikes. My opinion in the matter probably makes any hardcore feminist want to kick me: I'm just me. I don't worry about whether something is "for girls" or not. I don't worry if something is marketed "to men" or not. I like what I like and that's that. I think a lot of people get so worked up over how their favourite things are categorized that they forget just to sit back and actually enjoy it. I guess I don't go looking for things to get offended at.

I can tell when a joke is a joke and when it turns malicious. I find most guys don't tend to be malignant in their interests. I've met very few true chauvinists in my life. This makes me rather easy going amongst guys because I know how to laugh with the best of 'em and I know how to sucker punch them back (verbally) when they get too obnoxious ;) In fact, I used to think I was more comfortable around a bunch of dudes rather than chicks, but I think I'm equally comfortable around both genders, mostly because I've become more discerning who I share my company with socially. I like anyone who's like me- laid back, can take and make a joke and only gets worked up about things that actually matter.

I believe in equality, but equal does not mean the same.

There are more men in the fantasy genre, because they want to be. There are more men in the sci-fi genre, because they want to be. There are more men in the gaming genre, because they want to be. And guess what girls? There are as many women as there wants to be in all of these genres. Trust me, no guy will exclude a chick from entering a comic book shop. His jaw might be on the floor and he'll be drooling, but he certainly isn't going to stop her. I don't know where this perceived animosity between the genders comes from when it comes to these genres. I don't hear stories about guys complaining that there isn't enough guy-oriented material in a female market. I don't see them wondering into a nail shop and protesting loudly about how there aren't more "male oriented" nail polishes. See how ridiculous that sounds?

And nothing is stopping fantasy loving women from starting their own market within the fantasy realm that appeals more to them! That's the part in all of this that is the most frustrating. They walk into the boys shop and complain about the boy's collection without realising they have free reign to start a collection of their own! There's a growing market for girl-oriented fantasy, so dive right in instead of complaining about the larger, longer standing boy's market!

All in all, I just want to sum up with the point that I wish people would stop confusing equal with being the same. Equal is your right to start a franchise of your own with no one stopping you from doing so. The same is wishing everything was evenly divided 50/50 in a market that's probably closer to a 25/75 women to men ratio.

So go out and prosper! Don't just dwell on the problems that you see, make your own solutions! You know, no one is stopping you but yourself!

*Image © Frank Frazetta.

3 comments:

  1. This reminds me of a game someone published recently, it's about raising a baby or something - very 50's "women in the kitchen" type of deal. You should check it out.

    I think people get more upset about those types of things - but you're right. And I agree that we shouldn't get our panties in a twist over the amount of clothing on a female figure and just enjoy it for what it is. ^-^

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  2. Not the game itself ^^;; the ad or marketing. lol.

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  3. Haha, that sounds funny. I wonder what it's called?

    Yeah, I think if more people could just laugh at stuff instead of being so offended, then the world would be a more balanced place :)

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