Writing

 

Miss Interpreted: "So why do you write these strong female characters?"

21/05/14

This August, YMT will be embarking on an ambitious new project, a cutting-edge musical experience investigating the changing face of womanhood and gender expectations in the 21st century - Miss Interpreted.

For some thoughts on that state of equality within the arts we turn to Joss Whedon, American screenwriter and director.

He is best known for his trademark fantasy/sci-fi series’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, as well as the outlandish mini-series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Additionally Whedon co-wrote Pixar’s Toy Story and the meta-horror flick The Cabin in the Woods.

Most recently he has directed the critically acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing following mere days after completing his most extravagant project to date The Avengers Assemble, the third highest-grossing film of all time.

Whedon’s career has been epitomized by his razor-whited dialogue, homicidal treatment of beloved characters and the abundance of “strong” roles he writes for women.  

In a 2006 speech for the organisation Equality Now, Whedon addressed the question he had been asked more than any other, a question that has come to define his work over the last two decades. He gives an abridged account of the various responses he has found himself giving to this repetitive inquiry:

“Why do you always write these strong women characters?”

Interview 1:

“I think it's because of my mother. She really was an extraordinary,
inspirational, tough, cool, sexy, funny woman. And that's the kind of woman I've always surrounded myself with”

“Why do you write these strong women characters?”

Interview 5:

“Because of my father. My father and my step-father had a lot do with it, because they prized wit and resolve in the women they were with, above all things, and they were among the rare men who understood that recognising somebody else's power does not diminish your own”

“So, why do you write these strong women characters?”

Interview 12:

Well, because these stories give people strength, and I've heard it from a number of people, and I've felt it myself.

“Why do you write these strong women characters?”

Interview 41:

Cause they're hot.

“But these strong women characters…”

Interview 50:

“Why are you even asking me this?

How is it possible that this is even a question? Honestly? Seriously? Why did you write that down? Why aren't you asking a hundred other guys why they don't write strong women characters?”

“So... why do you write these strong women characters?”

Interview 50 Continued:

“Because equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women. And the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who is confronted with it.

We need equality. Kinda now"

“So, why do you write these strong female characters?”

Interview 51:

“Because you're still asking me that question”

 

Like Joss we at YMT believe that the art the theatre community creates can reflect the inequality we accept, and we should never stop uncovering and questioning that.

To watch Joss Whedon’s unabridged speech Click Here!

Miss Interpreted
Saturday 16 August 2014 - 7:30pm to Sunday 17 August 2014 - 2:30pm
Halifax: Square Chapel.

Click Here To Book Tickets!