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there's a lot of posts about women in ancient and medieval times, but what i haven't seen is how people justified their sexism. How did men have female loved ones that they thought were inferior? What men and women think was the difference between the genders? Why did so many women put up with it? Did some of them truly believe they were inferior?
It’s been said that the scariest words are, “But it’s always been done this way!” And that was the primary reason sexism was around. Men had been in charge for thousands of years, and very few women had the time and organization necessary to foment rebellion. There’s a reason many social movements occurred after a large section of the population were well fed, safe, and had leisure time.
Part of the sexism came from religion. Women were seen as inherently sinful because, according to the Bible, they (through Eve) are the reason everyone has to suffer on Earth instead of chilling in Paradise. Many medieval women accepted subservience as part of the punishment for their great-x1000 grandmother eating the apple. Or they accepted having a lower status because they thought this was how God wanted it to be. If women had any questions about their world, they were supposed to consult the Bible, which is not the most feminist work in the world.
Women were seen as more delicate, more gentle, more supple, more envious, more loving, more prone to laughing, and more malicious than men. Women were also seen as slower to work and more deceitful. A medieval woman’s view on men is impossible to find because of the rarity of female authors, but you can assume men were cruder, rougher, less openly joyful, harder working, and more truthful.
Hello! I have a question about eyes. Do you have any reference about describing the shape of an East Asian man's eyes without sounding horribly racist? I saw somewhere that "almond" usually is used, but it seems a bit worn out. Should I maybe just ignore writing the shape at all? Thank you!
You can describe the shape and color. They can be small, large, round, droopy, close together, far apart, and more.
I think what most writers find as a challenge when it comes to East Asian characters is the description of the epicanthic fold, because that is what we most associate with East Asian people. However, not all East Asian people have the epicanthic fold (and it can be found throughout all of Asia, the Americas, parts of Africa, and small parts of Europe) and it’s not always necessary to be in the character description.
Describing Chinese Girls (people)
This checklist can be used during both planning and editing stages.
- Does your protagonist have a personality beyond being heroic and nice?
- Does your protagonist have agency?
- Does your protagonist’s personality change?
- Did your protagonist have a life and relationships before the events of the story?
- Does your protagonist have flaws?
- Is your protagonist active as opposed to passive or reactive?
- Is your setting described well enough that readers can imagine themselves there?
- Is your setting used or described differently than similar settings by other authors?
- Do readers have a sense that your world extends outside the events of your story?
- Does your setting have its own unique atmosphere aside from being a backdrop for your plot?
- Is it important that the events in your story take place in this setting and not another?
Your Romantic Subplot/Plot (if applicable)
- Does the relationship have flaws?
- Does the relationship take time to develop?
- Does the love interest have their own personality beyond their romantic traits?
- Does the love interest have agency both inside and outside the relationship?
- Does the love interest have flaws?
Your Major Non-Protagonist Characters
- Do your major characters have varying opinions on your protagonist?
- Do your major characters have traits outside of their relationships with the protagonist?
- Do your major characters have varying gender identities, races, ability statuses, and sexual orientations, unless there is a good plot reason otherwise (such as the story taking place mainly at a male prison or a gay bar)?
- Do your major characters have different worldviews and senses of morality?
- Do most of your major characters have agency?
- Do your major characters have flaws?
- Do all of your major characters need to be there?
- Do most of your major characters’ personalities change?
Your Minor and Background Characters
- Do most of your minor characters have something that makes them interesting and memorable?
- Do your minor characters have varying gender identities, races, ability statuses, and sexual orientations, unless there is a good plot reason otherwise (such as the story taking place mainly at a male prison or a gay bar)?
- Do all of your minor characters need to be there?
- Does your antagonist have a reasonable motive for their actions?
- Does your antagonist have agency?
- Has your antagonist done enough to be taken seriously?
- Does your antagonist have good traits?
- Does your antagonist have traits outside of their relationship with the protagonist?
- Do your scenes flow logically?
- Are all of your questions either answered or left unanswered for a reason?
- Are there too many coincidences?
- Does your plot begin at the perfect spot?
- Does your plot end at the perfect spot?
- Is there conflict?
- Are there any scenes that could be left out?
- Does your plot happen because of the actions, reactions, and decisions of your characters?
- Are there any spelling or grammatical errors?
- Are there any sentences that could be left out?
- Are most of your sentences active instead of passive?
- Do you use mostly strong verbs (ex: drank, ran) instead of weak verbs (ex: was, did)?
- Do you use too many adverbs?
- Are your sentences varied in structure?
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