It got so long, I made a new post on my blog for it :(….
I’ve noticed this too, thank you for being on point. I have very similar thoughts on the topic.
Women’s presence are completely centered around men in movies/on TV, to reinforce heterosexist norms. Some people even say the only reason that a women gets dressed nice in the morning is for a man. Sex in the City is all about a couple of single white women trying to find love in NY. (My sister was watching a marathon or something and I was kind of annoyed)
Its exactly as you wrote–fraternal bonds as opposed to bonds between women are just portrayed as stronger. For example, Anita Blake, its like Laurell K. Hamilton just added some typically guy characteristics to her in an attempt to make her less girly rather than build a real believably “strong” female character. If there is a so-called strong female character, then she’s a lone wolf/anti-social type incapable of truly caring for or befriending others, especially other women. On the end of the spectrum, a woman’s strength is also portrayed in her her ability to mother, have children (sons), cater to guests, kindness, and gentleness of personality. And if there is one, there’s only one and she’s surrounded by guys. Or she turns up dead. Or she’s a detestable villan.
I think its completely and utterly understandable why you would be more interested or captured by stories about young white men. I am, too, only I just keep reading stories about women and being disappointed. Boys–their scope is larger. They are portrayed as being able to take on atypical personalities and emotions, and pursue adventure and new horizons and whatever else they desire, whether that includes romantic love with a female or not. Young women are trained to be chained to their heart’s heterosexual romantic desires and all things surrounding that. Women very rarely have the same types of adventures as men, especially young women of color, as these stories are portrayed in the media.
I’ve had a post on my draft queue entitled ‘Men’s Egos–Women’s Vanity: A Reflection on Gender (Binary) Co-Dependence’ for a year, so your post really resonated with me. Heterosexism, fear, and homophobia have a lot to do with it in my opinion. I think women don’t want to be hurt by men but they definitely don’t want to be hurt by other women, who are more likely to understand and call them on their bs.
In my own non-blog fiction-writing, I am breaking from this lack of sisterhood and writing about women who are friends and/or in love with other women (while also exposing how women stab each other in the back over men or in other arenas of self-interest…). I put men in for added fun, to show how I wish relationships with them were. Increasingly, my long-term writing projects are about women of color, mother-daughter, sister-sister, female friends, and intimate partner–basically, women looking out for each other and loving and caring about each other. I realize now that I’ll just have to write the types of things I want to read.
Sorry I wrote a whole dissertation here! I’m trying to stop blogging for the rest of the day and get some other non-blog creative writing done but so far I’ve been unsuccessful.
Checking out Gender Across Borders, thanks for this piece–