Where are the empowering stories?!


#1

In light of the two disastrously misogynistic featured stories on Episode, It Starts With A Bra and, most notoriously, In My Bed, I find myself asking the following question: WHERE IS OUR GIRL POWER?!

I mean, I have read so many empowering stories by Episode readers that portray women not being constantly objectified, victimised and sexualised. Why can’t Episode seem to be as progressive as its users in its own featured stories?!

All I seem to see throughout this app lately with regards to featured stories are bad boys, girls who care about nothing but bad boys and men who just always get away with being terrible. Even when the stories are about girls, it seems that only the guys do anything useful. The featured stories are so… samey and, quite frankly, portray women in a negative light.

And I don’t mean that Episode can’t make stories about romance or bad boys every now and then. What I mean is that the featured section is saturated with stories that show women as only caring about men who don’t even treat them very well. It’s fine to have the occasional bad boy or victim, but not when all stories are presenting the same kind of girls! There’s nothing wrong with a woman having a sexuality and embracing it. There is something massively wrong with acting like a woman’s sexuality is the only interesting thing about her and therefore the only thing worthy of an Episode Featured Story.

That’s without even mentioning the boys! I mean, Episode is still struggling massively, apparently, when it comes to breaking away from “gendered” clothing. The guys are toxically masculine and often their softer side is overlooked. What about guys who don’t want to dress in a super masculine way? What about stories that promote nice guys treating girls well?

The app has so many good stories which would improve its reputation if they decided to focus more on bringing amazing community writers into the forefront and working with them to create something fantastic. I’ve always held out for Episode to hear our pleas and change their minds, but things just seem to be getting worse.

Episode, if you struggle so much at presenting positive and diverse female characters, read my blog post. I’m sure you can learn a thing or two. It’s pretty sad, really, because you’re probably all older than I am and there’s a whole TEAM of you.

I love well-written, grammatically correct and empowering stories with women who can have love interests but don’t let love define them. If you know of any, please feel free to share!


#2

I absolutely agree with this whole post (and every post I’ve seen of yours, actually). The only positive thing the release of “…In My Bed!!!” did for me is that it gave me the extra push I needed to delete the app entirely. I can’t keep supporting Episode with ad revenue after this.

I don’t have much else to say that I haven’t said already in other threads. So I’ll share the first story that came to mind when reading the last line in this post: Birds of Passage by Brooke Adair. It’s a stunning story with a good female protagonist and I honestly find it insulting that it’s given any less promotion by Episode compared to “…In My Bed!!!”, “It Starts With A Bra”, and many of their other featured stories. The original version of Back and Forth by earlgreytea is great too, I wish it wasn’t modified in the way it got modified when it appeared on the featured section. Even when Episode decides to promote a good story, they often decide to modify it and take away from what originally made it a great story. If anyone can find the original, I’d really recommend them to read it. Oh! And Purple Envelope is also amazing! There really are so many great stories with empowering female characters, it’s a shame they get pushed away from the spotlight that is given to straight up disgusting stories like “…In My Bed!!!”.


#3

Awesome! Thank you so much for those suggestions! I definitely need something to sink my teeth into. I’ve got such a bad taste in my mouth after In My Bed.


#4

I bet! You’re very welcome, I hope you enjoy them if you haven’t read them already. And I hope we can see a lot more story recommendations with empowering female characters (and good male characters, may I add! Because the current candidates aren’t glorious either) on this thread~

P.S: I wasn’t a fan of the MC in Purple Envelope at first. She seemed like a character to slowly warm up to, and I did eventually. Hopefully it’ll be the same for anyone else who reads that story.


#5

And no, Episode. The occasional temporary shelf with a few stories featuring empowered women doesn’t count as being an app which positively represents women.


#6

Hey there! I know what you mean I did a review on my thread of in my bed chapter one and it was bad! I’m also very mad about these things. I’ve read too much stuff that includes a man that our mc just needs! You can go over to my thread if you’d like to see my review.


#7

Agreed.

Episode, at this point, is terrible for everybody. Most women in Episode stories can be put into around three categories; weak/shy, mean girl, and… best friend, I guess?
You get a weak/shy MC who lets her best friend boss her around (telling her she has to get a boyfriend, pressuring her to go to parties, and bullying her about her clothing choices if they don’t cost 15 gems), and is walked all over by the stereotypical mean girl.
Now, of course, not all stories are like that. And that’s great! While I am a fan of the Blake series (Grace was eh to me, thanks to Alden), both Grace and Blake, more or, less, fit into the first category. In the newest entry, Queen, our MC is breaking to mold more, and I’m glad to see it. And holy shit, The Ruby Tiara? An amazing story, with a literal badass for a main character.

I wrote a long rant on why men in Episode are generally terrible and portrayed in a horrible light, but the gist is that most of them are bad boys, who are pretty terrible representations.

So… what have we got? Weak female MC’s teaching their readers that it’s okay to be walked all over by bad boys, because they’re hot and mysterious?
That’s pretty bad.


#8

I couldn’t agree more!

Remember the good ol’ days when main characters in featured stories actually did something? Like Joseph Evans’s stories and Georgia? :frowning: The app is way too saturated with terrible stories now.


#9

I also think their should be some male MC… Just an opinion cause some people say “Where’s the diversity!?” But the app consists of mostly female MC.
(I don’t really know if I was Off-Topic or not.)


#10

I’d love to see more men leading in stories! And I’d love to see an LGBTQ story which doesn’t revolve around the fact that the protagonist is LGBTQ! I mean, even the romance stories don’t revolve around how straight or cis a person is -.- why does that have to be different?!

I’m going to be writing one soon. It’s gonna star a girl, unfortunately, but it’s going to be about her falling in love with Death (also a woman)! I can’t wait to get started :slight_smile:


#11

PM me when it’s out I’m getting tired of surfing episode for good stories.


#14

Huh?


#16

I feel like I need to add that when I say “sexualised”, I don’t mean being sexual. There’s nothing wrong with a female character having a sexuality. In fact, it is empowering in itself! There is something wrong, however, with other people constantly forcing sexuality on the said character by making constant references to their attractiveness etc. Sure, we get that the character’s hot - but why do they have to be defined by this?


#17

and the only girls that aren’t complete victims are those edgy types with internalized misogyny and the whole “I’m not like other girls” complex which is just as bad. young girls are reading these stories and the messages in them are just horrible.


#18

I agree with this entire thread and obviously it’s sad and disheartening that it has to exist but given the state of Episode at the moment, thank god it does. It’s definitely something that so many people band together to call Episode out on this stuff and even if Episode are still writing and featuring these same toxic stories, I like to think we make a difference by exposig such stories for what they are.

And yes omg @helen790 ! I feel like that’s something that isn’t talked about a lot and as with many of these problems, it goes a lot further than Episode. It’s the whole thing that for a girl to be viewed as… I dunno, “strong” or “powerful” or (what it essentially comes down to) equal to a man, she has to not be like a girl. And god, how wrong is that?? That is such a harmful message to spread and it’s just as misogynistic or sexist. Why is it a good thing if a girl is “not like other girls”? That is still promotion of the idea that women aren’t as valuable as men.

And, I dunno, I just wanted to add that because as @helen790 already pointed out, this is just as much of an issue in stories yet when a girl like that is portrayed she is sometimes idolised as some sort of feminist or powerful female character. What we need for that is female solidarity.


#19

And the “brave women” portrayed on Episode are often rude, nasty, hate men, or are just… horrible.


#20

Everyone should just stop reading the featured stories. I did. If we keep giving them the reads and views, they’ll continue to pump those stories out. Unless I find people saying good things on here about a featured story, I won’t read it. Instead I’m trying to read more user stories that stray from toxicity that is the featured stories.


#21

Bump!


#22

Agreed!

And isn’t it ironic how Episode features a story like Love Life? Where the MC fights for the Love Life magazine because she doesn’t want to write about sex just because it sells - yet Episode features this story where there’s choices with the LIs like “take off his shirt/take off your shirt” and “push him down on the bed”?
It’s just so ironic how we fight to make good, empowering stories get featured and yet Episode features these sexual stories instead.

I’m thinking of writing a story with a really empowering MC though I don’t really have an actual plot yet :thinking:


#23

I won’t say it just about Episode, authors have this tendency too. I just can’t stand when girls are portrayed like sex addicted hoes, who see a hot guy and start acting like brainless maniacs. That’s even not how it is in real life, no one acts like this. We can admire handsome guys, but 99% of girls won’t act as they are portrayed. Im kinda tired of characters who don’t do a shit in their lifes, except for partying n chasing boys, and dont have any dreams or hobbies at least, that could lead a story. Thats why Im struggling to find any interesting stories now. I have like 15-20 stories, that are good, and I just cant find any good one in the popular section at least. They are all the same with same brainless chicks.