I tend not to get the hump too often. If I took seriously all the insults hurled my way, I’d be in a state of even higher dudgeon than I generally am. But this smarts a bit.

Many of you will be aware of my favourite creation, Charlie. She’s been rampaging around on ReadWave for a while, upsetting all the worthies and ecowarriors who do their best to hijack what is a fiction site.


As it happens a lot of people seem to agree with me, and I routinely get upwards of 500 reads per post.

Charlie’s fun, and my favourite invention, and others find her fun too. To paraphrase the tagline for the Jack Reacher novels, ‘All women want to be her. All men want to be with her, though she’s scary.’ Then a little while ago I got a very snotty, if short, message about her. The gist was that this particular person didn’t like Charlie at all, and he made his views known in no uncertain terms.

This niggled at me, so I did a bit of poking about, and made a discovery. Said critic also posts on ReadWave, and is a self declared feminist. No problem there. However he gets read rates of about 80, while Charlie and the rest of the gang pull in the punters like all get out.

I found his dislike to be a bit odd, since Charlie is a pretty good feminist role model I’d have thought. She is intelligent, clever (not the same thing), smart, articulate, funny, witty. She’s extravagantly beautiful but chooses not to play on it. She’s a fiercely loyal friend, and utterly faithful to Rick, her partner/fiancé/husband.

It may be that my correspondent objects to the fact that Charlie is also noisy and swears like a trooper. She drinks like a fish. She can be violent if her friends are threatened. Charlie is a big believer in an eye for an eye, and if you’re on her radar you may want to get hull down over the horizon pronto.

Charlie is perhaps not his idea of ladylike, but that’s an odd stance for a feminist.