Dissecting Dragons

Episode 281: Mean Girls & Toxic Friends - Why Friendship Conflicts are Important in Speculative Fiction

July 2, 2021

There are plenty of less than savoury tropes that probably need to be gently retired or at least adjusted and not used wholesale. The 'not like the other girls' trope for instance, or its close cousin 'girl on girl hate'. However, that doesn't mean that all friendship depictions in fiction should be passive and free of conflict. In real life and in fiction, we learn about ourselves via our relationships with others. Friendships are an important part of that. The dragons are generally against prescriptive writing advice and sweeping generalisations in what you can and can't include in fiction. With that in mind, is there a place for the 'queen bee/ mean girl' trope? What about female characters in competition with each other? Or friendships being depicted in an unhealthy way? This week Jules and Madeleine delve into the value of using these sorts of trope in speculative fiction. Under the microscope this week: Daredevil, Mean Girls, I am the Silence and many more.


Title music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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