Tor.com Calls On Writers Not To Write Female Villains

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In an absurd rambling about “gender imbalance,” Tor has really gone off the rails this time in an effort to tell creatives what they can and can’t write in their content:But the trouble is that all of these types, no matter how much fun they are, share a common thread: villains who are women are villains as women.

That is to say, while women may sometimes get to be evil, they tend to be evil in ways that are strictly constrained by or defined by their womanhood: as mothers or wives, angry at a man for spurning them or jealous of other women, especially those who are more attractive to men. Femme fatales trade on their dangerous female sexuality (a trope as old as time), while evil stepmothers resent their stepdaughters for surpassing them as ‘fairest of them all.’ Even in villainy, women are bound by the stereotypical limitations of their gender.

So the writer wants female villains to have no real motivation.

In real life, where most Tor writers don’t actually partake, the most emotional moments are built over jealousy, over love lost, are the ones that sting us the most, the ones that drive us to do the most absurd of things. It’s love turned jealousy that create the seeds of hate. Whether that love is for a person, over a cause, something taken from us, it’s how human emotions work.

But in the minds of ridiculous identity politics, it’s “because of gender!”

The analysis by outfits like Tor have gotten to a point where they’re just a parody of themselves in 2018. It’s part of moral relativism, of course, which is the punchline of the article:

The villains I like most are the transgressors who push the boundaries of right and wrong, whose darkness has layers.

Right and wrong are right and wrong because there are boundaries. When they’re “pushed” into grey, you don’t have true villains. You have a lot of the garbage that’s out on TV or in films now, where it’s dark for the sake of dark. Everyone is evil, just different variations of it. Everyone is tortured. The world is a disaster. It’s called nihilism.

It really doesn’t work in story form for the most part because we understand there is true good and evil. We know where the root of it all comes from (by the way, it comes from Eve’s womanly weakness in grabbing the apple off the tree), and we know that we want to be inspired by characters fighting it, by people overcoming their basic instincts to do something more, by resisting the jealousy and hate that makes evil percolate.

It goes to show why certain outfits can’t tell good stories. It’s because they don’t understand the human heart.

Matters of the human heart are complicated, and that only escalates in a time of war. I wrote about this in my book, The Stars Entwined, which you should check out if you like my thoughts on characters and protagonists.

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7 thoughts on “Tor.com Calls On Writers Not To Write Female Villains

  1. Diversity & Comics’ observation that comics creators are dominated by alt-lifestyle weirdos holds true in science fiction and fantasy as well.

    • To an even bigger degree to be honest. Comics has only hit the tip of the iceberg in that regard. It’s going to get worse.

  2. This latest bit of PC twaddle I see coming from Tor Books reminds me of how they would really, really hate the female villains we see in S.M. Stirling’s Draka and Shadowspawn books! I think it’s significant that Tor does not seem to be one of Stirling’s publishers, for obvious reasons.

  3. What a bunch of hogwash tor is. I’ve written plenty of stories with female villains who aren’t dominated by being angry wives or sexed up femme fatales.

    Hell, a long time ago I even submitted one to tor. Still have the rejection letter, though seeing how they’ve fallen I consider it a certificate of authenticity for myself…

  4. What absolute hogwash and mlarky, the best female villains absolutely encapsulate their femininity. It’s why the Japanese manga market is so epic! They’re not afraid to use feminine wiles to their advantage in storytelling, it’s why villains such as Queen Beryl are so awesome!

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