While this question may not seem on topic, it does make you look a little deeper into the books you read. I used to read fiction quite a bit and then stopped and then started and now have moved to non-fiction for awhile so I can catch up on gender issues. Of the books I used to read and only the books I’ve read not the ones I know were turned into movies that I’ve seen, here goes:
Who would be your:
Parents – I would pick Ender’s parents together from Ender’s Game rather than separate them into mother and father categories. As the Ender’s Shadow series progresses, you really get to see that they are great parents who figured out how to work the system in a lot of ways and accept their children for who they are and who they aren’t and give them room to make their names and their mistakes. They also have a great and subtle way of encouraging and informing their children that isn’t recognized until you find out that they knew the whole time.
Siblings – in my book life, I would be an only child. I have a brother in real life and wouldn’t trade him for anything, but there were never characters that stood out to me in that way.
Best friend– Antigone (from the ancient Greek story titled Antigone) – one always needs a friend who is not afraid to encourage you to go with your heart and who has gone through enough heartbreak to understand it’s cost.
Where would you:
Live– I used to read the Dirk Pitt novels by Clive Cussler. This is definitely where I’d want to live. Not only am I actually going to move to the D.C. area in the near future in real life, but their world is just one off in a good way from ours. This is a world where the Titanic sank in one piece and was then resurrected from the deep, the Library of Alexandria was stolen and fire in Ancient Egypt covered up the theft but the scrolls and such were recovered, and so many more treasures are recovered all the time by the top team at NUMA (see below).
Go to school– I never really read anything that involved being in school…..
Work– National Underwater and Marine Agency because they get to go on great adventures all the time and recover lost artifacts underwater!
This was a fun mental exercise, thank you ChapterTK! It was interesting that it didn’t ask you who you would most like to be like in a book. If it were, my answer most definitely would have been Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games. I know that I usually mention Scarlett in these instances, but it’s hard to call a character your role model when the books came out well into your adulthood. Had I been younger, I’m sure my answers would have more closely resembled Katniss or Hermione. (So that I don’t give the wrong impression, I’m 33.) There just weren’t a whole lot of great female characters that stuck out to me that were my contemporaries. Although, I will say that Princess Leia is a great example gone wrong because of that damned bronze bikini. It’s fame has completely overshadowed that she was kinda of a badass.
Anyway, getting back to the point…… I had just about convinced myself that I had only ever related to stories with female protagonists or strong and prominent female characters. As I went through the mental rolodex of stories I’ve loved, I realized that I had read and enjoyed plenty of books with nearly no female characters, and mostly with male protagonists. Not one non-binary character sticks out as even being present, or at least wasn’t memorable, in any of my reading.
It begs the questions:
Did I not have access to a lot of books with prominent females as an adolescent or was it just not as popular as it seems to be now?
Why did I never notice or see the non-binary population before?
I’ll probably never really know, but I’m grateful for the books I did read and the ways they shaped my perceptions.
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