On Writing

International Women’s Day

Those of you not living with a survival cult or in a bunker probably noticed International Women’s Day. This is one of my favourite days of the year because it always opens my eyes to the gangsta stuff women are doing – not just have done, past tense, but are doing just in, you know, their day jobs.

I’d like to present you with a list of stuffs that celebrate women being generally awesome, so we can take IWD into International Women’s Week, and perhaps even International Women’s Year. These are little examples you can share with your friends, your co-workers, your kids, that kind of thing. Don’t feel like you need to say, “Hey, there’s a chick being awesome here.” You can totally just say, “This is a cool thing,” because all of these are cool things that are made cooler by women being at the front.

Here’s three of the best for Video Games, Books, Web Sites, and Sports and Fitness.

VIDEO GAMES

  • Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4 – http://www.horizonzerodawn.com/) puts you in the shoes of Aloy, a young woman trying to work out why there is no human civilisation left and why giant dinosaur machines rule the world. She pretty much goes about the place solving problems through being a nice person who shoots people a lot with a bow + arrow, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC – https://www.tombraider.com/) puts you in a more modern (read: she wears sensible shoes and shirts) Lara Croft, one who is forging her path through the world amidst a paramilitary organisation of assholes.
  • Remember Me (PS3, Xbox 360, PC – http://www.remembermegame.com/) takes you to Paris, and also takes you into the future, where you play as Nilin, a woman who trades in memories. It has many Matrix-like moments where you actually learn kung fu and use it to wreak terrible destruction on your enemies. Because it’s Paris, you get to do this with style.

BOOKS

Maybe I should have started here being a writer and all, but in the interests of showing that even men can write women main characters, so there’s no excuse, here we go.

  •  Start with The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. Melanie is a young girl kept locked up and restrained in a world that’s pretty much completely fucked. It’s awesome and you should read it.
  • Revenger by Alastair Reynolds follows the story (mostly) of Fura Ness, a young woman who escapes a surrendered life to live among the stars on a privateer ship. It’s got pirates, it’s got treasure islands, and it’s got young women who can speak to the skulls of long dead aliens.
  • The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman takes you on a pretty superb story with Lyra Belacqua  and her demon familiar. She gets to save the world and has the help of armoured bears. Armoured. Bears.

WEB SITES

  • If you’re not already reading it, you should add The Mary Sue (http://www.themarysue.com/) to your reads list. Thought-provoking and fun, you’ll see pop culture through a new lens.
  • BGN (https://blackgirlnerds.com/) will show you how women embrace being eccentric, just like men, and probably challenge a few unconscious biases at the same time.
  • And of course, how can we leave without mentioning On the Rag (http://thespinoff.co.nz/tag/on-the-rag/), a podcast that’s funny, irreverent, and insightful (as the name suggests).

SPORTS AND FITNESS

  • Imma just going to point you at KaisaFit‘s Instagram, because she smiles when she’s doing the impossible. https://www.instagram.com/kaisafit/ is what you need.
  • Winner of 2014’s Fittest Woman (CrossFit Games), Camille Leblanc-Bazinet will inspire you, and hopefully your sisters, mothers, daughters, and so on to be able to walk with power. https://www.instagram.com/camillelbaz/.
  • Finally, but not at all last, is Chrystal Rose, who is here because a) she’s awesome, b) honest about her fitness journey, and c) funny as fuck. https://www.instagram.com/xtalrose/ will make you laugh.

FINALLY

Celebrate women in your life. I don’t mean by holding a door open, or with flowers, although they’re nice and you can totally send me flowers. I’ll leave you with just one thought: got a woman co-worker being awesome? Find out if she needs help spreading the word about her work. Don’t do the typical man thing (if you’re a man) and step in. Use her work as a conversation starter and see what would be useful to them (if anything). I guarantee you, you’ll be the first person to ask her this year.

Everyone being equal is how we’re going to get warp drive and get off this rock. So get out there and be equal.

 

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