I like this rant because it hits on several things that I would like to see in fantasy writing and things that I want to do in my own writing.
For example, the younger sister of my protagonist is asexual and she remains asexual. At one point, she becomes really close to a male character and everybody thinks that they're in love, which exasperates both her and her male friend. They're close friends and they remain close friends for the rest of their lives. She has no interest in children and no lightning bolt comes down to tell her that she's wrong either. She's also devoted to her work without being a workaholic.
I especially liked #7 because it drives me crazy that authors force their female characters to choose between work and children. Men can get away with having a family and serious work but women can't in their warped little worlds. "Oh you want to be warrior and have children? Forget it! You have to give your sword to raise your children otherwise you'll be a horrible mother..."
As far as I'm concerned, that's a load of dog crap that needs to be scooped up and thrown into the trash. My protagonist wants to have children and keep up her work and she sees nothing wrong with that.
I would also love to see some female philosopher protagonists on the scene.
Alanna the Lioness has children :) Though most of the books about Alanna were some of Tamora Pierce's earliest, so the writing style isn't as sophisticated as it gets later, and also they are, like, young adult fiction. Not exactly high prose. The Will of the Empress (and in fact all the stories set in Emelan) also has female friendships, and Tris who really has no interest in romance at all and is quite happy to sit around talking to 70 year old men about crop production.
And she does interesting things with human limitations with Dove and Sarai in the Trickster books - Sarai is a really awful choice for a new queen, and it deals with that.
I'm a huge fan of Tamora Pierce, especially the Tortall books. The fact that her women can have careers and children and the fact that not every female character ends up paired to someone else are things that I really like about her writing. However, Tamora Pierce appears to be the exception to the rule. If you can prove me wrong, that would make me happy.
And the Trickster duology rules
Dude I love Trickster. Trickster and Will of the Empress <3
It really is odd that that attitude of the mother needing to take primary care persists even in fantasy worlds with completely differnet gender role/family set-ups, isn't it? I think a large part of the problem is that the author can say the society is equal and that women can do men's jobs- but we never see men doing women's jobs, i.e., nurturing children. If that occurred, then I think the work-children gender imbalance would be decisively corrected.
I get to play with this in Castalin. It's fun. Famous women who work hugely in the public sphere have husbands that vanish into the background and raise the kids. This is even NORMAL. (The other is also normal. Famous person = house spouse. The slightly less usual is famous important person = other famous important person. This causes people to go " . . .wow - but how do they find time? *SUSPICIOUS LOOK*")