Being an author, it’s amusing to see the type of feedback you get on your books, especially your characters. Sins & Needles has been getting some pretty varied feedback, some of it which has me scratching my head. Look, obviously people see things differently and have different interpretations of what they read. But from where I’m sitting, a lot of people have the same interpretation…and it’s kind of disheartening.
What am I talking about here? My main character, Ellie Watt. She’s a real con artist. A liar, a thief, selfish and insecure. She’s single-minded and holds grudges. She’s had a tough life and uses that as justification for what she does. Do I condone her actions? Hell no. Do I think she has a lot of issues to sort through, that she needs to let some things go? Hell yes. But, I mean, come on…she’s not a drug runner, she’s not kidnapping people and selling them into slavery, she’s not physically abusive, she’s not raping anybody, she’s not cheating on loved ones.
And yet, quite a few women HATE her. I see their updates, their reviews…they can’t stand her, they don’t get her, they don’t give a shit if she’s had a tough life. And this is all because she’s a criminal. I have never in my life seen people get so worked up over a character before. Women are freaking LIVID over Ellie Watt.
AND YET if Ellie were a man, women wouldn’t say shit. Look at all your heroes these days: you have cheaters, abusers, killers, kidnappers, rapists…women go nuts for these men, yet you make your FEMALE character a con artist and OH NO that’s the last straw.
If Ellie Watt were a hunky, hot man no one would complain. All would be forgiven.
And that’s the honest and sad truth. Women, whether it be in fiction or in real life, are so god damn nasty and judgemental to each other. I’m not talking about this book specifically, but just everywhere. Blogs, the media, movies, TV shows, even in books. Women can be downright cruel.
Am I a feminist? No. Not by a long shot. I remove myself from any sort of feminist movement, just like I remove myself from veganism or christianity or anything really extreme. I’m a middle ground type of person. I like clean eating, but I eat meat. I believe in God but I don’t go to church. I am all for women’s rights but I still think a man should be a man and hold the doors open for us.
And I believe that women should learn to be a hell of a lot nicer to each other.
This hatred of how a female can be so manipulative and selfish is completely justified…providing that a man would get the same treatment in that situation. But for the most part they don’t. It’s kind of like when you have a boss who’s a woman…the minute she acts harsh and authoritative, she’s labeled a BITCH. But the minute a man does the same, he’s called powerful.
I mean, look at Javier. Without spoiling too much, he freaking kills someone in cold blood…and yet women still like him. Could you imagine the outcry if a woman did the same?
This hatred goes so far, that even Ellie’s own personal redemption is overlooked. She sacrifices herself at the end of the story and I’ve seen people say that was really selfish of her…I’m sorry, but what?…hoooooooooow did you come to that conclusion? 0_0
I’m always going to write characters that are real and flawed, people that readers won’t necessarily like. It’s just what I do and I’m not immune to controversy. But if bad boys get all the love, why not bad girls? Why can’t readers find the redeemable qualities in a bad girl if they can do the same for a boy?
I know this is just a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be. The world be a lot better if women could be nicer to each other, more compassionate and supportive, instead of viewing each other as the enemy. I know it’s kind of the way we are, and I’ve been guilty of this too, but we deserve to treat each other better…fiction or not.
Aaaaaaaand end rant
Pick up the intriguing Ellie Watt today, still 99 cents on Amazon until March 1st