Why This Author Made Santa Female
Santa, his elves, Rudolph and Frosty the snowman have been Christmas tale heroes for years, but a new book is out to shake-up the narrative.
Sick of the gender imbalance in Christmas stories, photographer and storyteller Sarah-Jane Edis created a new book that puts Mrs Claus front and centre.
'Mrs Claus Does The Unthinkable!' is all about the once-background character stepping up when Santa falls ill and taking on the huge task of delivering presents to 'nice' children around the world.
The story highlights the new hero's 'independence, courage, creativity and multi-tasking abilities' while attempting to overthrow the gender imbalance often seen in our holiday narratives.
Edis said that she came up with the idea while making up stories to tell her four-year-old son during a long Christmas road trip.
"Some days Mrs Claus would get equal pay and other times she would finish her rounds of present delivery and set off to a tropical island to enjoy ‘some me’ time," she explained.
"But the more I thought about Santa’s story, the more I began to wonder why a man was getting all the credit”.
Edis said that for her, women were the ones that always made the Christmas magic and that was the message she wanted to get across.
"Women are the Christmas makers," she told 10daily. "We buy the presents, we cook Christmas lunch. Ultimately, we’re the backbone of the Christmas experience."
"Kids need females in stories more because they learn from what they see," she said.
Her book is all but certain to draw criticism as she removes the male role-models almost entirely and replaces them with an all-female cast.
One of the most glaring issues is the fact that the main character isn't given her own name.
Despite her new role, responsibilities and power, Mrs Claus remains Mrs Claus.
But despite that, Edis is confident the story will be met with a largely positive response.
"There is always backlash with feminist things but there might be a great deal of positivity," she explained. "People would like to see more females in stories and right now, just 17 percent of books on Dymocks bestsellers list have a female protagonist."
She's hoping that the new Mrs Claus narrative will help right the gender imbalance of our Christmas heroes.
"Mrs Claus is such an old fuddy-duddy representation. It is time to modernise her as a strong female lead and give her a bit of an image update to bring her to the forefront".
While the story has been written, French illustrator Aurore McLeod is still working on the finishing touches.
The project has been added to Kickstarter in a bid to raise enough money to get it in bedrooms around the country by Christmas.