The Mary Sue Conundrum

We’ve all been hearing a lot about Mary Sue lately. Hell I was called a Mary Sue just the other day. So here I am now trying to figure out where to delve into this ridiculous issue. My main question is:

Who the fuck is Mary Sue? haha

I feel bad for any woman named Mary Sue now. My mom is named Mary and I have an aunt Sue, put them together and no man would want to mess with them. If this works, then what’s the problem?

First we had a movement of people angry that there aren’t enough “strong female characters”, now there’s some shitty movement criticizing female characters that are “too strong”?

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

Nobody gives a rats ass if a male character is “too strong” or not “strong” enough. I haven’t heard anyone complaining that Conan is a fucking Bobby Ray.

conan

Hell, there is no real term for male characters that are “too strong” I just made that up. (Although I’m now going to refer to them as Bobby Rays) Why, because it’s ludicrous!

In writing fantasy, we get to make characters that break boundaries, who can do the impossible. And that shit sells.

Ripley

We all love watching the Ripleys and Sarah Conners kick ass.

sarah conner

Are they now considered fucking Mary Sues?

The latest idiotic argument is tearing down Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Rey

Seriously? She does what she needs to do to survive. That is what a real woman does. That is what real men do. She cries, she runs away, she has her own internal struggle going on.

Good characters who are meant to lead will step up and do whatever they have to do to survive and often help others along the way. That’s not just good storytelling and characterization, that’s life. It’s how I’ve been living for years. So if I’m a fucking Mary Sue, then Mary Sues are real and screw anyone who wants to tear them down. heehee

When I read a book, or watch a movie, I’m not looking for reasons to hate it. If I get into the story and enjoy the character’s journey I don’t care if they’re super strong, or incredibly weak and scared. Storytelling is being chopped to bits by small sub sects of extremists who don’t seem to get the point.

It’s about the journey. Every character written is modeled after someone or some feeling a person had and worked to translate for others. Respect that shit! I work my ass off to try and make sure that I shut off all the outside bullshit when I write. I want to let the story carry itself and breathe organically.

There was a huge outcry against the character development of Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron because she evolved enough to have a life outside of being just the chick who fights.

black widow

People were upset because she was put in the “girlfriend role” and that she struggled with being sterilized saying that she shouldn’t value herself on her ability to make babies or have a man at her side. What they failed to see was a human who was dealing with real life issues. Even if you don’t want to have children, it should be your decision not to have them. And Black Widow ain’t never needed a man to be a badass chick. She lends her heart to the only man she deems worthy. Again, her choice that makes the character more realistic and helps enrich the story line. She went from being a “Mary Sue” to a real woman and people were angry.

I was a huge tomboy as a kid. Loved sports, fishing, hunting, working on cars. Got into fights, ran with the boys. I’ve always looked out for myself and tried not to let what other people think destroy my sense-of-self. I’m a hot head at times thanks to my Irish Temper, so much so that when the new Battlestar Galactica reboot started a couple of distant friends asked if Katee Sackhoff was my stage name (We do look nearly identical). haha

I do identify with Starbuck, very much so. It’s spooky how similar she is to me. If I was an asshole I could probably sue for having my image and my personality taken. heehee But it’s nice to have female characters that I connect with. And despite what many people say, I have had a slew of “strong female characters” to look up to throughout my life. Without them, Starbuck would never have existed.

Is Starbuck a Mary Sue too?

starbuck

I write a variety of different types of characters. Some could and will probably be labeled Mary Sues. Just as some of my weaker, more insecure characters will be criticized for not being strong enough. If people want to run around with label makers complaining that my art doesn’t reflect exactly what they want, that’s their right.

We still live in a free country (for now)

But if we start restricting art forms like books and films by constraining characters into a mundanely middle ground mold to appease a few people who may just not like the story, then our self-expression will suffer. There are as many different types of female leads as there are nationalities and skin tones. It’s about diversity and the human connection. I think some people lose sight of that.

I refuse to, because writing is what reminds me that we are similar in our many differences. Stories are meant to bring us together and they continue to do so regardless of what terms and phrases some people slap on a work to try and bring it down.

2 thoughts on “The Mary Sue Conundrum

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