Turning passion into profession.

Friday, July 13, 2012

In Which I Rant About Fictional Female Law Enforcement

I have a bit of a bone to pick today that centers around the genre of crime/thriller/suspense and the way women are portrayed in the law enforcement field.

Now, before I begin, let me give you a bit of a background on me. I have always been interested in being a part of law enforcement. Ever since I was a little kid I dreamed of donning the blue and brass. When we played cops and robbers, I always had to be the cop. While the other girls were playing with Barbies and dressing up like princesses, I had my walkie-talkie and a hair dryer, standing at the side of the road giving out traffic citations. Seriously, this is what I did for fun! As I grew older, I realized that maybe being a police officer wasn't exactly the right route for me, mainly because I could be outrun by a five-year old and would never pass a police fitness test in my life. But I did my research and I held onto my dream, and that is what lead me to the field of Social Work and Criminology.

Here are another few facts about me:

1. I've never been sexually abused, raped, or molested.
2. I've never witnessed a murder.
3. I've never traumatically lost a family member or witnessed one being tortured, tormented, abused, etc.
4. There are absolutely zero cops in my family.
5. I do not have a military background nor a parental figure I have to impress.

And after all these facts, I still have an interest in law enforcement that just blossomed out of my own want and need. According to the television world, THIS IS WRONG!

Let me explain more about what I mean. In the world of television a female cop, nine times out of ten, HAS to have a reason for becoming a cop. Usually this stems from a traumatic event in their childhood or a need to impress an overbearing, over-accomplished law enforcement parental figure. They can't just have wanted to be a cop. There must be some serious reason that a woman would want to be involved in that career. And all this happens while their male counterparts need no explanation as to why they are who they are.

Here are some examples:

Olivia Benson, SVU: Her motivation for becoming a cop, or more specifically a detective in the SVU, is because she is a child of rape. Her counterpart, Elliot Stabler, is just there cause he's there.

Kate Beckett, Castle: Her mother was brutally murdered when she was in college, forcing her to change her major and become a detective after building an obsession with finding her mother's killer. Her counterparts, Ryan and Esposito, never have had their intentions explained.

Olivia Dunham, Fringe: The only reason she works for the FBI is because she had been conditioned to be a soldier since she was a child, leaving her really no choice. The male agents Charlie and Lt.Broyles have never warranted explanation.

Debra Morgan, Dexter: Grew up craving her father's attention so she decided to follow in his footsteps and become a detective for the Miami PD. None of the other males in the squad have had a similar explanation to why they are cops.

Sara Sidle, CSI: Another foster care case. Abusive father, mother who killed him in front of her. Stokes, Grissom, and Brown have never had their pasts explained.

Catherine Willows, CSI: Saved from her life of exotic dancing by a man, of course, who happened to be a detective and sent her on the path of law enforcement.

And these are only a few examples that I could think of off-hand. Now some may say 'oh, well it's just character development!', and they would be right. It is. But my point is why do females need to have their past that led them to law enforcement exposed when their male counterparts don't? I really do believe passionately in this and see it as a problem in the entertainment industry. Writers need to bash it over our heads that 'she's a cop, but she is still a WOMAN! Look, she's crying! Aw, she has a traumatic past. Her femininity is just spilling all over the place so you can feel comfortable watching a woman portray a person in command.' And this thought process makes me sick.

I still do admire and love many of the woman I've talked about above, but at the same time I can't help but cringe sometimes at the way they are portrayed. They are still strong, independent, smart ladies of the law, and I just wish they were there because it was their dream, not because their past led them there.

Is there anything that gets your blood boiling about the way certain people are portrayed?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Reasons For My Absence, A Few Facts, and A Blog Award, OH MY!

Hello bloggies!

Firstly, let me apologize for being a little MIA for the past week and a bit. I have had a few personal and professional things happen to me that forced me to put the blog on the back-burner for a little while. My grandma, who I live with, had her knee replaced two weeks ago so I've been busy helping out and looking after the house. Also late one night I had an epiphany about my MS (hurrah, woo-hoo, and other sarcastic celebration noises) that has had me basically re-working almost the entire thing from third-person to first-person, which has been both a rewarding and taxing experience for me. But alas I have returned and The Write Thrill shall return to its regular unscheduledness!

Now, on to more pressing matters. I was given the...

Yay! The lovely SC_Author bestowed this wonderful award upon me, and I am very grateful. Here are the rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. List the rules.
3. List seven random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate ten people for the award. And notify them that you've given them an award.

Since I've already done steps one and two, on to step three!

Seven random facts about yours truly:

one. I've been the the midnight showing of every single Twilight movie and I'm totally not ashamed.

two. I am obsessed with nail polish. I have a legitimate problem. It is scary. I just bought a bottle of nail polish today that cost $10. TEN DOLLARS. For color you put on the dead, harden cells protruding from your fingers! Obviously still in denial over this problem.

three. My uncle is a published author. * gratuitous pimp slot* He writes the Jake Morgan mystery series, and his first book Raw Deal can be found on Amazon here!

four. I love television. Yes, I know, that really isn't an unknown fact about me, but the extent to which I love television probably is. I realllyyyyy love television. Like, I spend more money on dvd boxsets than I do on food kind of love. 

five. Related to number four, the television shows that I worship at the alter of are as follows: The X-Files, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, and Fringe.

six. I collect shot glasses. Whenever I travel anywhere, I always have to buy a shot glass and bring it home for my collection. Currently I have ones from Las Vegas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, New York City, Tortuga, Bahamas, St. Thomas, and Myrtle Beach.

seven. I am a master in the art of hair braiding.

eight. If I was a superhero, my name would be Captain Impulsive. I honestly have to be the most impulsive person in the entire world. Example: I have changed my idea on what I want to do with my life about 776504 times, the latest idea being becoming a Top Chef, which led me to getting and quitting a job in a kitchen within a month.

nine. I have a version of mysophobia, which causes me to have an extreme fear of other peoples' dirty utensils and dishes. 

ten. I am addicted to coke. The pop, not the drug silly!

And there you have it! Ten things that you never really needed/wanted to know about me. Now for the nominating!

I don't have very many blog friends *sob*, so most of these people I'll be re-nominating, but they deserve it cause they are awesome :).

Utsav & Brighton, E.B. Black, Kendra, Kela McClelland , Roni Loren, Caterina Torres, Krysten Hill, and I think that is all I can think of right now, ah! Please check out all these wonderful people and their blogs, you will not regret it!   

Monday, July 2, 2012

Music Monday

Music is one of the most important things in my life. You could bring up any moment, trip, hardship, or achievement and I could tell you the pieces of music that I associate with it. Music has helped me get through a lot of tough times in my life and also helped me celebrate all the happy ones.

Music is also amazing for reading and writing books. It can really help enhance the emotional highs and lows of what you are either reading or trying to write yourself. One of the times I always think of is when I was reading Kathy Reichs' Spider Bones. I was really into Bon Iver at the time and was listening to their cd non-stop on my iPod during my read and magically the songs just fit so well with what was going on. It really mad me feel like I was there with her, experiencing all of these things that her MC was. Now, every time I listen to Bon Iver, I'm taken back on a journey to Hawaii (the setting of the book) and feeling all those great things I felt while reading the book for the first time.

I also absolutely have to listen to music while writing. Whether it be during planning, plot brainstorming, character profiles, writing a chapter, or editing and revising, I need music to be there with me. It lets me concentrate on what I'm doing, keeps me in check with my emotions, and helps me take a journey to the land I'm creating, just like it did with Spider Bones. I'm gonna leave talking about my relationship with music and writing on a later Music Monday post, because I want the first one to be all about fun.

Summer. It's hot. It's shiny. It's fun. And you need a damn good soundtrack to help you enjoy the summer the way it should be. Every summer I always have about four or five songs that live through the season with me. They come to the beach, on long road trips with friends, and then follow us back to the bar at night. They are catchy little ditties that have you winding down your windows and singing at the top of your lungs. This summer I have five songs that have taken residency in my awesome summer playlist. And I'd like to share them with you! If you click on the song title, it will bring you to a special website where the music fairy will let you take the song and put it on your computer to listen to. (AKA: Don't want the file sharing police after a lowly, little aspiring author like me.)

Here is my Songs of Summer 2012!

Stranger - My Name is Kay
Sister Christian/Just Like Paradise/Nothin' But a Good Time - Rock of Ages OST
Some Nights - fun.
Out on the Town - fun.
Lies - Marina and the Diamonds

If you take a listen, be sure to let me know what you think! And do you have to have a soundtrack to go along with the seasons of your life?

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