I'm writing a novel which has alternating point of views; odd chapters are from an angsty, neglected twelve/thirteen-year-old girl who's struggling with belongingness, puberty, and parental confusion/neglect, and even chapters are from the perspective of an academic who's been thrust into his scholarly position at too young of an age (twenty-five), and in general has prematurely aged to the point of wanting to adopt the first POV character.
Naturally, both of these characters are highly flawed, and the girl in particular has a poor attitude to sexuality in both others and herself (calling herself a 'slut' for liking a boy with a girlfriend, blaming her mother's promiscuity for her childhood neglect when in truth it's her mother's hedonism and inability to prioritise her children's wellbeing).
Now, I know this is a flawed perspective, I intend it to be a flawed perspective (I don't think an angry, confused twelve-year-old girl is the epitome of a role model), yet some (not all) readers interpret my work as somehow endorsing 'slut-shaming'.
I have a few ideas of my own regarding how to make these flaws appear to be deliberate, but obviously I'm not fully clued in if readers are still making this mistake, so I want to know you guys' thoughts on the matter.
Edit: I'll elaborate on a few of the ideas I already have.
- Have reality or another sympathetic character disagree with their view, in the form of consequences or interpersonal conflict.
- Have the character wrestle with these wrong viewpoints themselves.
- Incorporate the removal of these misguided views into their character arc.
- Make sure the character's worldview is regularly challenged by other characters and not taken as gospel (acting closer to a broken clock, right twice a day).
None of these are mutually exclusive. Can you guys think of anything else?