I'm all for equality between men and women. I can't stand it when people are treated differently because of their gender. So why is that I'm having trouble writing about a character, while if she was male, it wouldn't have been an issue.
Basically, my story revolves around three siblings, all fighting to become the king. Where they live it's unheard of for women to be rulers. Yet the king's oldest child (and only daughter) is clearly the only one fit to rule of the three siblings, something the king's council agrees with, yet the king still chooses his oldest son over her.
The princess then convinces the youngest prince to have the oldest prince out of the way. They trick him into ending up on modern day earth (they live in a half medieval, half sci-fi floating city). The king falls ill before they can find the oldest prince, and because no one wants the youngest son, considered a loser by the kingdom, to rule, the princess gets her way.
This eventually ends up with a large battle between the three of them. And this is where the problem comes up. The princess ends up getting a beating, and I feel bad about it. If it was a large war with people dying left and right, it probably would have been okay, but this is is basically two large men beating a girl to her death, even though she is almost as strong as them. Well, basically, there are three strengths that matter in my story. Intelligence, physical strength and magic powers. While all three are trained at all things, the princess is the most intelligent, the oldest prince is the strongest, and the youngest son is the best magician. Their father wanted it like this so that they together would be practically unbeatable. I guess in the belief that if they all tried to become equally good at everything, they would have just end up being mediocre at everything (can you say that?)
But anyway, this brutal beating of her, even though I guess she is kind of the villain... No one is really all wrong in this story... She would never have turned on her father and kingdom had she only been chosen to be the ruler in the first place, which she should have been. Had they only put their personal issues aside and ruled together as their father wanted, their country would have prospered under their rule. Instead they all walk on wrong paths that lead to destruction. The oldest prince is pretty much the only one who grows in the right direction as a character.
Regardless, the end result is the needing to kill the princess. Had she been male, I wouldn't have been bothered by the death. And it's not like she can't take a beating either. A lot of the stunts I've pictured in my mind would have caused a normal human's back to break into pieces, and she can just shake it off. And it's not before both brothers turn on her that they can defeat her. Well, I dunno... Most of the story would have been pointless if she hadn't been female, so it's not like I can just change it without changing the whole plot.
But could you really read something like this, when I have difficulties just writing it?
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