Last week’s blog post (see “An Elegant Epitaph: She Was a Chrome-assed Bitch”) inspired a lot of conversation in my author circles about the role and importance of older female characters in SFF – not just as protagonists, but also antagonists and supporting characters. The older female is too often relegated to the ranks of “sage advisor”, who, while often found in a position of power, is static – implying that she is past her prime or has no more need for growth. There seems to be a prevailing idea that once women have attained maturity (i.e. midlife) they are no longer adventurous – physically, emotionally, philosophically, sexually. In some cases the opinion is that these women are no longer interested, and in some cases the opinion is that these women are no longer capable. Neither could be further from the truth, and yet it seems readers (and book reviewers) have a hard time embracing a mature woman on a journey of any kind.
So, of a spark and a roar, a new author / reader discussion group was born. Teresa Frohock and I have opened up a little salon on the interwebs to explore some of the aforementioned issues and celebrate some of the truly remarkable characters and storylines that feature the Chrome-assed Bitches of SFF. There’s some great conversation happening, and a fabulous reading list. Come and check us out!
Life doesn’t end at 40. In many ways, it’s just getting started. The problem is that mature women are too often devalued, if only as a result of a mistaken perception. We are strong. We are powerful. And we are not to be effed with.
What woman of a certain age hasn’t secretly invoked Kathy Bates’ infamous line in Fried Green Tomatoes: “Face it, girls. I’m older, and I’ve got more insurance.” And on that note, I leave you with the rallying cry of older women everywhere.