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maxrenn
10-29-2015, 05:42 PM
I'm thinking of writing a short story with a female MC, but I'm not sure what her aspirations should be just yet.
Ideally at the end of the story she should achieve some kind of fulfilment.

So, for all the women out there, do you think a woman can achieve happiness through raising a stable family with a good husband, or do you think she should forget about men and seek independence?

I'd like personal opinions from any women that would like to share, please state whether you're a housewife type, or career type to give me some context.

I know this is pretty general right now, but I'll be checking back every so often and ideally should have a good idea of what the character should be like after hearing enough opinions on the matter.

Thanks.

Perks
10-29-2015, 05:49 PM
So, for all the women out there, do you think a woman can achieve happiness through raising a stable family with a good husband, or do you think she should forget about men and seek independence?

This is a strange question. Either, both, neither are all means and ends in themselves. It would rather depend on the woman you invent. That you think this is a valid question is an inauspicious start. You could write a main character who could want, achieve, discard, reimagine, reinvent, and resolve any of these elements that would fit your story.

ebbrown
10-29-2015, 06:02 PM
So, for all the women out there, do you think a woman can achieve happiness through raising a stable family with a good husband, or do you think she should forget about men and seek independence?

Yes, it is tough to answer your question. It's pretty vague. What genre do you want to write? Multiple POV or one POV? Time period? These are just a few questions that ran through my mind.

What I think about achieving happiness doesn't really matter, and it's not my business to think what other women should/shouldn't do. I observe that plenty of people (both men and women) are happy with raising a family and having a spouse. Plenty of people choose to remain single and focus on a career and find satisfaction in that.

I can't begin to guess what your character should or shouldn't do. All I can suggest it to decide on what kind of person you want that character to be and run with it. Portray it in a realistic manner. Sure, in the context of the story (insert random genre), a woman who is a happy homemaker might work. Maybe that story might be more believable if the woman is an independent type. It's just difficult to say without knowing more about where you are going with the story.

veinglory
10-29-2015, 06:10 PM
Wow that is a strange question. Either, neither or both. Every woman is different.

This question applies equally to women and men.

slhuang
10-29-2015, 06:59 PM
This is a strange question. Either, both, neither are all means and ends in themselves. It would rather depend on the woman you invent. That you think this is a valid question is an inauspicious start. You could write a main character who could want, achieve, discard, reimagine, reinvent, and resolve any of these elements that would fit your story.


Wow that is a strange question. Either, neither or both. Every woman is different.

This question applies equally to women and men.

+1 to these. Agreed.

Katharine Tree
10-29-2015, 07:07 PM
What they said. Women are a lot like people, and people are all different.

autumnleaf
10-29-2015, 07:08 PM
I'm thinking of writing a short story with a female MC, but I'm not sure what her aspirations should be just yet.
Ideally at the end of the story she should achieve some kind of fulfilment.

Potential aspirations:

Find nice guy, marry, have babies
Find nice guy, marry, don't have babies
Find nice girl, etc.
Climb the corporate ladder to become CEO
Get stable but undemanding job to concentrate on your art and volunteer work
Discover cure for cancer
Defeat zombie army that is currently threatening your land


Potential issues in the way of aspirations:

Nice guy is hard to find.
You think you've found nice guy, but he's hiding a dark secret.
You have found nice guy, but he or you are infertile.
Glass ceiling and backstabbing colleagues on your way to CEO.
Your boss is an asshole who insists you work long hours so you don't have time for a life.
Cancer is complicated.
Nice guy is one of the zombies.


Fulfillment:

Happy ever after with nice guy.
Happy ever after with friends and an adorable golden retriever.
Reach top of corporate ladder, make millions.
Reach middle of corporate ladder and decide "fuck it, this is fine."
Find more rewarding job in art gallery/non-profit organization.
Discover treatment that extends life in bowel cancer patients and receive award for it.
Decide that "fulfilment" isn't about unlocking some achievement but about being a good person and feeling content in yourself.
Kill zombies.



So, for all the women out there, do you think a woman can achieve happiness through raising a stable family with a good husband, or do you think she should forget about men and seek independence?

I think it depends on the woman and her own personality and situation. I also think it depends on what options are actually available to her. You ask this question as if women make this choice in a vacuum without the input of society and other people. You ask this question as if all women actually have such choices.
To take the obvious, "good husbands" don't grow on trees; there's a certain amount of luck involved in finding one. Not to mention that one woman's idea of a "good husband" would be another woman's idea of a terrible one. If you're in a society where women outnumber men (say there's been a recent war or a high degree of incarceration), some women are going to have no choice but to "go it alone".
On the other hand, if you grow up in a society where women aren't given the same education and opportunities as men, the option to "forget about men and seek independence" isn't there. In the past, and in some societies today, women choose to marry for protection and financial necessity. Even in Western society, there's a certain amount of stigma attached to being single past a certain age. And single women do have responsibilities; they bear more than their fair burden of elder care, for example.
(Personally, I think "independence" is a myth. We're all social animals who were dependent on someone in the past and, if we live long enough, will be dependent on someone in the future.)


I'd like personal opinions from any women that would like to share, please state whether you're a housewife type, or career type to give me some context.

I do enough housework to prevent me from living in squalor. I work so I can afford food and clothes and other nice stuff, but my job is rather boring and I don't define myself by it. My current aspiration is to "finish this damn novel and get it published", which I'm guessing is not an uncommon one around here.

beckethm
10-29-2015, 07:08 PM
I'm thinking of writing a short story with a female MC, but I'm not sure what her aspirations should be just yet.
Ideally at the end of the story she should achieve some kind of fulfilment.

So, for all the women out there, do you think a woman can achieve happiness through raising a stable family with a good husband, or do you think she should forget about men and seek independence?

I'd like personal opinions from any women that would like to share, please state whether you're a housewife type, or career type to give me some context.



I'm sorry, did we slide back to the 1950s when I wasn't looking?

Many women (and men) consider raising a family to be the most fulfilling task of their lives. Some of those women (and men) have husbands. Some have wives. Some have neither.

Many women (and men) remain single and/or childless either by choice or happenstance and find fulfillment through their professions, artistic endeavors, hobbies, or service to others.

Many women (and men) marry, raise children, and also engage in careers, artistic pursuits, hobbies, and service to others. Which of these they find more fulfilling is entirely up to the individual.

Bottom line: you write a female character exactly the same way you write a male character. Give her a personality, a set of life circumstances, and a goal, and have her either achieve that goal or not.

veinglory
10-29-2015, 07:28 PM
Having gotten over my initial WTF reaction here is a more serious effort to help.

My life is a woman's life. My life involved never wanting and thus not having a romantic partner or children. This is not because I "choose my career". Colleagues in my exact same sphere invest more in their careers than I do whilst also having spouses and children. I also became an immigrant, a social activist, an author, a dog owner, and a bunch of other things just like any person with an active mind does in developing their interests and role in society.

My woman's life is not some particular version of a uniform female experience, it is just my life which is about what I want and what I have decided to do and what happenstances occurred to me.

A woman's life and a man's life are essentially the same in being idiosyncratic. As a woman, yes, I was aware of certain gender expectations and I did experience some sexism. But not to the extent that I ever felt my life was not a personal individual journey just as a man's life is.

Would you treat a man's life as a multi-choice between certain stereotyped options (career or family etc)? However you answer that, apply it equally to male and female characters.

I am curious as to what the underlying literary goal is here to tell the tale of a woman's life. It might be more helpful if you discuss that more so we can see what you are trying to achieve here.

Perks
10-29-2015, 08:41 PM
I think the WTF reflex to this question, maxrenn, is that had I posed it the other way around, it would be nonsensical.

So, for all the men out there, do you think a man can achieve happiness through raising a stable family with a good wife, or do you think he should forget about women and seek independence?

Most everyone, no matter whether they stand up or sit down to pee, would be looking at the question on the screen with their eyebrows askew. Automatically we know that any given male has myriad options, and both personal and situational attachment to those options. In 2015, it's alarming that you would muse on inventing a woman for fictional use who has just one fork in her road.

There are a number of expectations that go with attempting to compose fiction. One is a facility with language. Another might be a limber imagination. But an under-discussed expectation for writing fiction is empathy. Empathy is both the muscle and the exercise in the gymnasium of our minds. If you can't imagine her with as many variables as you can imagine a man, then you need to spend some time working out your empathy. All the years that you've spent reading about people, real and imaginary, and all the time you've spent observing people and talking with them, are the investment you've already made. It's quite possible that you know more than your initial question indicates.

Still, questions can be helpful. Now, if I wanted, for a story, to invent a man with prostate discomfort, I'd probably better ask some men what that feels like. But I can give him hopes and dreams and successes and failures as a person, because as a person myself, I know what that feels like. So do you.

Good luck with your story.

Cath
10-29-2015, 09:16 PM
Painting slightly over half of the world's population with the same brushstroke isn't a great approach for getting meaningful answers. Let's not play that game here.