Maxine Sewell Is Brutal and Crass
Ugly. Inside and out. That’s Maxine. I didn’t hold back when it came to writing Maxine’s character into SEETHINGS. I’d love to be able to apologise for bringing the ugly side of femininity into modern fiction. I really do.
Against today’s #metoo social backdrop, putting such a corroded female upfront defies all sensibility. It’s dangerous for a writer to cross that line. Women are supposed to be nice. Nurturing. Kind. Sweet. Vulgar behavior for a female doesn’t make sense. To write one into fiction is to commit literary suicide.
I should apologise now.
I’ve met vile females in life. They do exist. Regardless of where society currently sits on the matter, the ugly woman is out there. She’s not out there because she’s a woman, or feels that she is protected by an army of feminists that enable her to say anything she likes, but because she’s a downright nasty person. Being female has nothing to do with it. It’s in her genes. Those genes just happen to be living inside a female. It happens. They could’ve ended up belonging to a male.
And what about that?
If it were a man behaving badly, it’d be tolerated. It’s kind of expected. In fiction, it’s an entertaining archetype to tease out and explore. The ugly male loves to be hated by both women and men alike. A good dose of comeuppance would give it a certain lift – and there’s nothing better than watching the bastard fall.
But doing that to an ugly female just doesn’t feel right. Saying ugly female is cringe worthy. It sounds like an attack. It’s definitely not entertainment. She doesn’t need to fall anywhere. She needs to be lifted up, understood, patience, empathy, love – a happy-ever-after thrown into it would be nice too. Why write a damaged woman into a book anyway? It’s the men who do the real damage. A damaged woman was probably damaged by a man. Let’s reveal him and out him for the coward he is.
I don’t buy into that behind-every-damaged-female-is-an-even-more-damaged-male story. There is an occasion when a girl is responsible for her own actions. There is a time when no one else is to blame. She’s a pig, has always oinked like one and sticks her snout into places where it shouldn’t go. She’s trouble. Strangers and friends are left to pick up the pieces while she goes forth to create another tragedy elsewhere. It’s no one’s fault but hers and hers alone. All I need from the reader is to believe in that, to step through my open door and take a peek on the other side of it.
I don’t apologise for creating Maxine. I’m just glad that I made a unique door.
-Michael Forman (Author – Dark, Adult Fiction)