And now I have been called sexist. Lol.
Last time I looked in the mirror I was sort of an angry blonde joke so not sure how that is possible.
Here is the script description for Smoak:
Kamryn Smoak MacKenna
Kamryn is a tall woman with a cloud of blonde hair and a surgically enhanced face that hides the scars left by years of fighting. She often hides her violet eyes behind aviator sunglasses, a tactic that also helps her hide her switch between the “Kamryn” persona she shares with the world and “Smoak,” the quiet killer. She is highly intelligent, angry, blunt and sarcastic, often at inappropriate times. She values friendship and loyalty above all else, including the success of her mission. She holds a degree in psychology, is an expert at Marine unarmed combat techniques and can kill the average man with a pencil.
Apparently because I listed her physical description first I am sexist. Um…
I’m going to stand on my psychology degree soapbox for a second. Most people are visual. We see what we read, which means to get the message across the author will begin with the visual. If I start with “Smoak is a highly intelligent, angry, blunt and sarcastic woman,” you will get a certain visual. If I say “tall and vacuous” you get a different visual. In the case of Smoak, a very important part of casting her is the dichotomy. What is outside, the platinum blonde stripper look, is far different from what is inside, the cold-blooded killer. It is important in casting her that her appearance is considered along with everything else if not more so. An actress who can’t pull of a pole dance shouldn’t be considered, hence appearance goes first.
Now here is Ashley:
Ashley has been deaf from birth, a handicap she has overcome with stubbornness and wit. As of this writing most people cannot tell she is deaf, she has no cues other than watching the speaker’s lips. She is an expert at lip-reading in six different languages, holds a degree in communications and is a self-professed “computer geek.” During training it was learned she has an aptitude for marksmanship and she is adept at using most sniper rifles. Ashley is tall and athletic, with dark hair and eyes.
As you can tell, Ashley is defined by her deafness. When they read the beginning of the description, the reader will automatically envision a deaf child and all the challenges that entails, so my message is properly delivered. Her physical appearance is least important to the character, so it goes last.
My point is this: I no more believe in sexism in character descriptions than I believe in the fucking tooth fairy. Most authors are trying to convey important visual cues with words. What they consider most important will come first and usually they are correct. We need to stop seeing sexism where it really doesn’t exist and get on with things.
And to the Twitter idiot who started this shit? You’re a narrow-minded little troublemaker who needs a fucking hobby.