Just for fun, today’s blog post about feminism takes the form of an interview. I’m being interviewed by my own fictional feminist, Monica, the Alpha of Amazon Pack. Monica plays a supporting role in Amazon before taking center stage for her own chance at happy ever after in United.
Monica: Let’s cut right to the chase.
V: of course, open book here.
Monica: What does being a feminist mean to you?
V: On the most basic level, it means that I believe men and women are born equals, and that our laws and social conditioning are what change that. I believe it’s my responsibility to work for and advocate the need to change those laws to recognize women and men as equal. I see the flaws and the poisonous shit in our social conditioning and I want to make them better, not necessarily for my own gain, because I lead a fairly privileged life, but because every woman should be able to look at her life and know it’s hers by right, not because someone deemed it okay to let her have it.
Monica: What does that mean to you as a writer?
V: I talk about feminism, call it by name in my work. It’s part of the social fabric of my stories and it is definitely part of the conflict. It means sometimes my female characters are more Alpha than the males. It means my heroines are self-rescuing–they fight their own battles. It means a woman can command a space ship or be the Alpha of a very powerful pack.
Monica: Not because you gave it to me…
V: But because you earned it.
Monica: You’re a stay-at-home mom…do you feel that diminishes your voice as a feminist?
V: Not at all. Yes, I stay home with my children, and I have the freedom to do so thanks to being able to work from home. It’s a choice I made, and one that not every woman has the luxury of being able to make, economically speaking. If anything, being home with my children has given me the opportunity to raise feminist sons.
Monica: Feminist sons? How does one accomplish such a thing?
V: Well, their budding feminism is a work in progress. Right now, they’re four years old, we’re just working on saying please and thank you and addressing each other and the people they encounter with respect. They don’t know what privilege means, but as they grow up, they will, and they’ll be aware that they have it. I don’t ever want to make them feel bad for being white men in America. I do want them to understand that it gives them an advantage, and that the price for that advantage is a social conscience and the responsibility to help others who weren’t given that advantage.
Monica: That goes pretty far beyond feminism.
V: You got me.
Monica: Does the idea of social conscience and responsibility play into your current works in progress?
V: Of course, it’s always there, it’s always part of the dynamic. It’s perhaps the driving theme in Little Wing, the space opera I’m writing right now.
Monica: Forget Little Wing for a second… Let’s talk about my wolves. Where does social conscience and responsibility play into our story?
V: The Ushers are instruments of social change. You yourself were a ghost–a woman who was diminished in the eyes of society due to the loss of her man. It sort of borrows from the idea of the practice of Sati in ancient Indian culture, but more of a metaphysical Sati than a physical one. It’s the responsibility of the first Usher to end the practice so that the women and men of Amazon can re-join wolf society at large.
Monica: but, it’s a love story, right? Isn’t it just a buncha nookie and some happy ever after?
V: Technically speaking, it’s three love stories!
Monica: no spoilers here…
V: nope, no spoilers. Each of the Ushers gains spiritual strength from the love of a mate. As much as the story is about social change on a macro scale, it’s about love and personal change on a micro scale.
Monica: And, what part do I play in all this?
V: uh-unh. No spoilers.
Monica: Does feminism have anything to do with your choice to make the creator deity in your work female?
V: Really. The creator deity could have been male and the social issues in the story would be the same. I chose to make the deity a female because I liked giving the creator a maternal sensibility.
Monica: well, thanks for talking about feminism with me today. Go write my happy ever after, will ya?
V: I’m on it.