Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Brandon Moskun

Second Advisor

Becky Cooper


Expressions of Femininity in Fantasy Settings is a Creative Writing Thesis focused on examining different ways femininity is expressed in fantastical settings. These fantastical settings include societies that are both different and similar to our own, with fantasy elements present. The stories include a matriarchal, dragon riding society that thrives off the pressure faced by both sides to keep the present system intact. A purportedly gender-neutral society that allows young people to choose their gender presentation when they come of age, as well as the consequences and benefits that come along with it. And a patriarchal society, zoomed in to focus on the academic prejudice present among them.

Fantasy as a genre is often used for the purpose of escapism, I want to use my writing to explore how societal issues persevere through changes and adapt to new settings. Mainly the idea of how societies may differ, but oppression will find some way into any form of society. The character’s identities are drawn from different intersectional backgrounds (i.e., diverse gender or racial identities) and explore how that also impacts how one expresses femininity and how they are treated in society. And how oppression based on different expressions of femininity impacts their lives even with a fantastical, escapist setting around them. Expressions of Femininity in Fantasy Settings aims to expose the prejudice faced by feminine presenting individuals both on and off the page, in reality and fantasy. Escapism is not the solution for prejudice.

This thesis draws upon a very important issue to me; the expression of femininity and how those who express it are threatened in their respective societies. As well as one of my favorite genres, fantasy literature. Completing it in short story format also allows me to use the skills I have learned as a Creative Writing student in my thesis.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Reflection Essay.pdf (112 kB)