On Childfree Characters

Someone once said I couldn’t create and write about as many childfree characters as I wanted because it was unrealistic.

1) I have no obligation to be realistic in fiction. It’s fiction. Sometimes it’s fantasy fiction. If there can be dragons there can be childfree characters.

2)

(gif: Tom Hiddleston as Loki, arms outstretched as he leans from a car window, text reads: I do what I want)

That said, you want realism?

More than one in five women do not have children. It’s not as rare as fictional media would have you believe. (Also around one in three women have abortions, I mention this for a reason.)

And even if that were not the case, why can’t I write all my characters as childfree if I want to? (Or asexual? Or both?)

I could own a publishing house and a film and/ or television company and pump out books and films and multiple high profile TV shows, every single one with a childfree female protagonist. And it would be nothing compared to the constant stream of media centred on the woman as mother, the media that tells us motherhood is inevitable unless there are tragic circumstances.

Look at the thousands of books with “baby epilogues” (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a good example, are most romance novels), books about women who changed their minds, shows with childfree women who change their mind and have a child/multiple children (Bones, The Big Bang Theory), shows that start out centred on a woman but then it becomes not about her skills about her motherhood (Fringe and its treatment of Olivia Dunham; to a lesser extent, Teyla in Stargate: Atlantis), or a woman who’s got a world to save but if her birth control fails she won’t get an abortion despite her seeming utterly uninterested in motherhood (Wynonna Earp) .

In fact Grey’s Anatomy‘s Cristina Yang is a rare example of a childfree woman, one who did get an abortion to remain so. Remember, abortions do take place, and it is mostly women who have already had children who request them, but there are women without children who have abortions because they don’t want children yet or indeed they never want children. How I Met Your Mother‘s Robin Scherbatsky also remained childfree but had to grieve over being found to be sterile.

I’m talking here about female characters because I’m a woman writing female, as well as male, childfree characters. There are probably more male characters who are childfree overall or those who just never mention wanting children, but they don’t come under the same scrutiny. Captain Picard (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Cormoran Strike (Strike novels; it’s said twice in the first 2 books that he has never wanted children and adds that he isn’t sentimental about them) are just two examples but I’m betting people can come up with many more, far more examples than those of females who don’t want and more importantly never do have children.

I cannot change the world or the media landscape but I can write what I want to. And many of my female characters are childfree. There are no baby epilogues. And I will not apologise for that.  Sometimes you have to write the story you most want to read.

 

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Asexual Awareness Week 2017

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Asexual Awareness Week runs from 22 October to 28 October this year.
Here are some useful links.

Asexual Awareness Week

Asexuality 101
What is Asexuality?
Asexuality: a brief introduction includes a link to a downloadable pdf
Am I Asexual? 10 Things You [probably] Don’t (But Should) Know About Asexuality, Because It’s Not All About Sex
How to Tell If You Are Asexual

Asexuality Is a Sexual Orientation, Not a Sexual Dysfunction
There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Asexual
Here are the 11 biggest asexual myths busted

Asexuality and Romantic Orientation for example someone can identify as a biromantic asexual
3 People Get Real About What It Means to Be Aromantic
Biromantic, Heteromantic, Homoromantic & Panromantic

10 Things You Should Never Say To Someone Who’s Asexual
8 Things You Should Never Say to an Asexual Person
Things you should never say to an asexual person
Sex is Not a Vitamin

Key points:
Asexuality is a spectrum
Asexuality is not celibacy
Asexuality is an orientation and not a disease
Asexuality does not predict romantic orientation

Beltaine

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For many pagans the start of May is celebrated as Beltaine (Beltane), May Day, Calan Mei, and Walpurgis Night. It is a cross quarter day, falling between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. The UK public holiday May Day occurs on the first Monday of May each year.

Correspondences included: fertility, renewal, maypoles, bonfires, dancing, creativity.
A list of deities and their correspondences can be found here

Words & Phrases (March 2017)

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Something all writers love is words, and we delight in finding the right turn of phrase to express ourselves. As a reader, I also enjoy discovering new words and concepts whether it’s from a published work, an indie short story, a fanfiction, something I heard on a TV show, or a word discovered in a news article. This is a list of some of the things I’ve learnt over the past months.
Continue reading Words & Phrases (March 2017)

Spring Festival: Ostara


Ostara Comments

banner by ~Magickal Graphics~
Ostara is the Spring or Vernal equinox when days and nights are once again equal in length. It is a time of renewal and rebirth. The name Ostara is believed to be derived from Eostre – the Teutonic lunar Goddess (see more on this below). Her chief symbols are the hare, which represents fertility, and the egg, which is a symbol of rebirth.

(In the Southern Hemisphere, it is Mabon that this being celebrated today at the time, with the balance of daylight about to go in the opposite direction, from more daylight to less.)

Ostara is close in symbolism to the Church festival of Easter, but Ostara is fixed at the equinox while Easter is a moveable feast decided by the phases of the moon. The Jewish holiday of Passover also falls during March or April, depending on the moon phases of each year.
Ostara also falls close to St Patrick’s Day amongst other festivals – there’s more detail in this article: Spring Traditions around the World.

Traditionally this day marks the start of Spring, and is a good time for cleaning in the physical, emotional, and spiritual sense.

This year, Ostara falls on the 20 March.

Continue reading Spring Festival: Ostara

Yule


Yule Comments & Graphics

~banner by Magickal Graphics~

Celebrated at the 21st or 22nd of December Yule marks the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere while Litha is celebrated as the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. It is of course close to Christmas Day while that is also the feast day of Frau Holle, a Scandinavian spirit who is honoured as the embodiment of nature and the woods. There’s an article at About.Com on the History Of Yule and the various global celebrations held on or near the solstice. In the Southern Hemisphere it is the time of the Summer Solstice, Litha.

This year the solstice occurs on Wednesday December 21st at 10:44 GMT (Universal time).

Holly Kings, Yule Goats, and more winter customs below the cut
Continue reading Yule

Meta: Reading Girolamo Riario (Da Vinci’s Demons) as on the Asexual Spectrum

I head-canon Da Vinci’s Demons’ Giralomo Riario as somewhere on the asexual spectrum. Not necessarily completely asexual but possibly grey-asexual or demi-sexual, maybe with some sexual attraction to all genders; I also think he could be biromantic and/or demiromantic.

Continue reading Meta: Reading Girolamo Riario (Da Vinci’s Demons) as on the Asexual Spectrum

Photographs – a Visit to Gloucestershire Warwickshire (Steam) Railway

Photographs taken during a visit to the volunteer-run heritage railway Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. Even if you’re not that interested in trains, it’s a great day out in wonderful countryside and with home-made cake and local ale for sale.

Continue reading Photographs – a Visit to Gloucestershire Warwickshire (Steam) Railway

The Myth of the Relationship Hierarchy Strikes Again

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I was reading an interesting story recently. It happened to be fanfiction, but I’ve had this experience with plenty of mainstream novels. I was enjoying the storyline, the plot was good, the author was hitting some of my favourite tropes and the story was, overall, well-told.

Then: bam. The relationship hierarchy* reared its ugly head.

Continue reading The Myth of the Relationship Hierarchy Strikes Again