Thursday, February 28, 2013
RRT: The Hatred of Ellie Watt (of The Artists Trilogy)
I just got finished reading this post over on The Experiment in Terror Official Site page talking about the backlash from women about the character of Ellie Watt; liar, thief, con-artist, and 100% bad-ass from the Artists trilogy. (See My review for the first book, Sins & Needles, here.) It seems women pretty much hate everything about her, all of her decisions they hate. Even the one bug huge decision at the end they hate; the one that shows that maybe, perhaps, Ellie Watt is attempting to be a better person. To some women readers, her decision is selfish, and in some ways maybe it is. Regardless, the decision is made.
I really dont understand the backlash. As Karina Halle, Author of the Sins & Needles book, said, we love our male characters to be bad boys. They can lie, cheat, steal, kill, rape, abuse, and do pretty much anything else and as long as they have rippling abs and sexy dark eyes and decide not to kill the one damsel in distress, they're officially swoon worthy. Excuse my language, but What the Hell? Seriously. How is Ellie this horrible person because she's made bad decisions whereas the guys are completely sexy and gorgeous? Double Standard anyone?
It's my belief that there are little bits of Ellie in all of us women. Maybe that's why it's so hard for some women to accept her. We all put on these innocent fronts for everyone around us of being good little girls who always do the right thing and only want to fall in love and blah-de-blah-de blah. We act like we would never do anything wrong, like we never lie, or cheat. We spend our time pretending we dont think badly of ourselves as Ellie does, that we dont always deserve the perfect life for our mistakes, and we therefore make even more mistakes. We act like there hasn't been a time when we hear our conscience screaming at us to just do the right thing. That this time you probably shouldn't do that one bad thing you always do, because this time you may just get caught, but you do it anyway, and stupidly you get caught. Sure our actual events may not be as serious as Ellie's or as dangerous and damaging, but still, I think we're more like her than we know. We just grew up in a different situation.
We all have skeletons that not even our closest friends know about. Yet we prefer books where the guy is the bad-boy and women are the good girls because it ensures that no one knows our secret. It ensures that no one knows that women can sometimes be just as bad, if not worse, than all those sexy men we love in the books.
I love Ellie Watt because she shows the good, the bad, and the ugly. She shows our weaknesses, not just as women but as humans in general. She shows our strengths and our ability to go on despite all odds. She show's our innate ability to survive no matter what. Her final decision in book 1 shows the sacrifice we as women make time and time again to protect those we love from getting hurt. No, it may not have been the best decision, but it was the one she could deal with.
I love Ellie Watt, I love Sins and Needles. It's my hope that we as women can see the good in her the same way we can see the good in our male book heros and stop puting her down.
What do you all think about this topic? Do you agree that this may be the reason people put down the character of Ellie Watt or do you think I'm wrong? Could it be that we hold our fellow women to a higher standard than we do men? If so, do you think that's fair?
Message to the Author: (if by some miracle you're actually reading this) Thanks so much for making all your characters as flawed as we as humans really are. It makes your books so much more real and it keeps me hooked!