Once again (and perhaps since I'm now down to a single female PC from my various range of PCs across the years), I ponder gender and rping. Good stuff linked from the 20x20 Room. Setting, genre and gender, oh my.
Now this is really good:
and this LJ commentary:
Well, okay, let's say you're playing a game where traditional gender roles are an indispensable component of the setting, and your players are all cool with this. Surely the girls have no grounds for complaint now, right? Well, there's still the matter of the many choices you make about plot. (Or characterization of your NPCs, if you're playing in a game where GM authority is shared to the extent that talking about a premeditated "plot" isn't helpful.)
A friend said something recently about my own NPC/PC females. I'll paraphrase, "Your females are always a lot smarter than they pretend to be, or else they don't really pretend."
Another aspect of Zelazny's Corwin? "Neither interested nor fit?" Lots of female readers blow off Zelazny's Amber because of the 'all boy' world shown. RZ framed the tale through the eyes of a moody male privileged protagonist. (I don't automatically think this means Zelazny was one, but I can see why it wouldn't be entertaining to read about one.)
So I think I'm a canon buster on this. Or perhaps a princess-apologist or something. I tend to do that with the Amber female characters in my rpgs: they always seem to say exactly what the boys expect them to OR they bite back hard about the chains of paternal expectations.
Unstable or insane women with possible axes to grind? Well, yes, my game has those archetypes as well. But they aren't the movers or one-note archetypes.