Just before I left home yesterday morning I saw Adrienne Martini's post over at the Locus Roundtable: Where Are the WOACAs? WOACAs is shorthand for Women of a Certain Age, which is an expression used to refer to women past childbearing age who are "not yet crones." (Which for me raises another issue: when do women become "crones"? When does a woman cease being "middle-aged" and become, simply, "old"? What is the magic year of doom?) But here's what she says in her post:
A recent Making Light post by Teresa Nielsen Hayden about her invisibility at Home Depot got me to thinking about women of a certain age,* one of which I am rapidly becoming. Not only are we difficult for Home Depot employees to see, we also seem to be largely invisible in science fiction as well. ** In fact, I'm not sure I can think of more than a half-dozen. And even a couple of those are fraught, like Maureen in To Sail Beyond the Sunset.But what's more interesting to me is that the WOACAs who do show up, don't get to do all that much. I can list quite a few men in the same age range who are the SF story's main actor. But women like Bujold's Cordelia don't get to do all that much once they are done with having their young. Is it that they stop being interesting after that point?I feel as if I'm missing quite a few of these characters, however. Who would be on your list? And what part in the story does she play?
I think she's missing quite a few, too. The first one to occur to me is Vandana Singh's eponymous "The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet." I invite you all to help make a list to bring some of these characters a bit more visibility.