Let’s Give Our (Fictional) Girls Some Slack

Thanks to the above tweet, and Alex @ Fiery Reads’ discussion post about female villains, I’ve been thinking about this topic a bunch lately: Do the majority of readers have more sympathy for male anti-heroes? Do we condemn female characters for the same reasons that make us love certain male characters?

After going over examples of popular characters, I have come to the conclusion that yes, we (as readers) seem to have less or no sympathy for female characters that do bad things.

I’m not talking about “badass” female characters who could kill, and probably have, to achieve such-and-such or save the world. There are already plenty of people who love characters like Celaena from Throne of Glass. Instead, I am talking about female characters who are capable of nastiness, and have done terrible things for a “bad” reason, or for no reason at all. Female character who are flawed, mean, or even downright homicidal.

Chances are, you’ve heard the words ‘unlikeable character’ thrown around in book reviews or in just commentary on books in general. Now, think about who that label was being applied to. In my experience, ‘unlikeable character’ is a descriptor almost exclusively used for female characters. For some reason, people don’t seem to like female characters who are selfish or rude, while they love male characters who exhibit those same traits.

I’m not totally blaming readers for this phenomenon. Perhaps, we like those not-so-perfect-human-being male characters because they are often love interests for at least a portion of the book. In some ways, I also think male anti-heroes and villains are more often framed as a sympathetic character within the story itself. Beyond the love interest thing, they are given reasonable motivations to be terrible, and are often given some sort of moment of redemption.

These two elements are valid reasons to like certain flawed male characters, but I don’t think the lack of those elements is reason enough to condemn their female counterparts. I personally love certain female anti-heroes that I hear of many people hating because they’re “aloof” or “mean” or even “annoying,” while loving male characters that kind of… do the exact same things. I think everyone, when they find themselves disliking a character, should access why that character is disagreeable to them, and whether they like similar characters that just happen to be male.

Don’t think that I’m trying to say that you need to love every female character. There are plenty of female characters that I despise with a fiery passion. (see: Levana) I’m just saying that it is important to give female characters a little slack. Everyone makes mistakes (some larger than others) and you might find that you might find that you not only love them despite their flaws and shortcomings, but because of them.

The Farm 2016 // Photography

Every year me and my family have a “reunion” of sorts up at a place in Wisconsin called Palmquist Farm, which we have been traveling to and renting a cabin for the weekend from for pretty much my whole life. While we’re there we participate in winter sports like skiing and sledding, and just generally hang out for the weekend. (It’s a great time to get reading done) The place is also actually set up as farm and has a great rustic feel, so I decided to share some of my snapshots here today.

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I Moved to WordPress!

If you haven’t already heard: ta-da, my blog is now self hosted through wordpress. *cue confetti* I am super excited about the change because the new platform is going to allow me to do ALL THE THINGS. I also think my new theme is super pretty, though I still have some modification to do.

The move hasn’t affected most things. I have imported all my past posts, and I am, of course, still the same great Tamara. However, there are still somethings that it will affect in various way to various degrees, so I have made a handy little list.

What does this mean for…

  • The tumblr: If you didn’t know, throughout my full blogging career I have been hosted through tumblr. That may seem a little odd to you if you only know of tumblr in its current state, but back when I started using it in 2011 (no, you can’t see any of my posts from then. shhhhhh.) more people used it like an actual blog host. Well, I am not going to delete the tumblr. In fact, I will be using it now more like most people use tumblr. So go follow me on tumblr- tamaraniac.tumblr.com. 😀 Over the coming weeks (months? this could take ages) I will be going through my past posts and making each one an excerpt that will link to its full post on this blog. Why will I be doing that? Well, that brings me to…
  • The links: Most of the links from the past will be broken now. But not irreparably broken. See, if you want to get to that post all you need to do is replace the ‘tamaraniac.com’ part with ‘tamaraniac.tumblr.com’ and that link will bring you to the tumblr version of the post. Which in turn, once I go through and edit all the tumblr posts, will bring you to the post on this blog. Get it? I knew you would.
  • the email/rss subscription: Did you know that my old blog had email subscription? Yeah, probably not, because when I checked this morning the only person who was subscribed was my mother. (hi, mom!) So you should really follow me through email on this 2.0 version of my blog. 😉 If you followed me through an RSS subscription tool, I really don’t know what that means for you. If it’s pointed to the RSS feed for ‘tamaraniac.com’ I would think you would have switched over with me. Either way, you’ll probably figure it out soon if you start seeing posts I reblog on tumblr in your subscription or something. If your preferred following method is bloglovin’ then you can go follow my blog with Bloglovin on it’s brand new bloglovin’ page. (the old one is connected to the tumblr blog)
  • the comments: There should be a way to import my old disqus comments to this blog (maybe) but this honestly isn’t the hugest priority for me. As it is I didn’t have that many comments in the first place so maybe I could just copy and paste them all over manually. That feels kind of like cheating though. I don’t know. We’ll see.
  • the instagram: Okay, I’m not gonna pretend the blog move changed anything for my instagram. I just think y’all should go follow me on instagram. 😉 instagram.com/tamaraniac

Okay, that should be it! I think this new era of my blog is gonna be great, and I hope you are willing to stick with me to see it.

See ya! -Tamara

Black Friday Clothing Haul

This year I went Black Friday shopping at the Mall of America for the first time, and it actually wasn’t too crazy. The Mall of America is one of the malls closest to me, so it really makes most sense to go there. We arrived around two o’clock after the morning rush had ended, and since we took public transport we didn’t have to spend time fighting for a parking space.

The first store I stopped at was American Eagle. Normally I don’t shop there because a lot of their clothing seems a bit overpriced. But for black friday everything was 40% off, so it was actually very reasonable.

Black Friday #1

At American Eagle I bought two pairs of leggings, one velvet and one patterned, a simple grey sweater and a loose-cut lacy purple shirt. I also got a free fleecy blanket (pictured in the background) with my purchase.

The next store where I bought things was Nordstrom. They didn’t really have black friday sales, but I did buy a chunky knit coral sweater dress (above) from the brand BP and a new winter parka style coat (below) from Topshop that I really love.

Black Friday #2