Why I don’t like kick-ass heroines

Here’s another thought-provoking article on heroines in literature, particularly fantasy and paranormal lead characters. A couple of days ago, I reblogged a post from Maegan Provan regarding the flood of weepy, clingy young heroines who are dependent upon the male lead character for their self-esteem. Today’s reblog explores the flip side of this – the kick-ass heroines. Have we gone too far in our quest to present strong female characters? When is violence in literature justified? What is strong character? And why do we call female characters kick-ass and feisty when we would never use those terms to describe a male character? Food for thought. Please hop over to Jane’s blog to join the conversation.

Jane Dougherty Writes

There was a time not so long ago when girls in fiction got a pretty raw deal. Raw in the sense that if they stepped out of line, didn’t conform to social norms and expectations they got severely put down. Often in a permanent fashion. Think of Emma Bovary, Cathy Earnshaw, Jo in Little Women (the idea of her being yoked to that old German gave me gooseflesh when I was a kid), Katy of What Katy Did. They might have kicked against the traces, but they all ended up dead, crippled or married to a fate worse than death.

Women were allowed to dream but God help them if they got what they dreamed for. Women were allowed to dream but God help them if they got what they dreamed for.

Recently we have seen the rise of the ‘kick-ass’ heroine. Women, if they are to feature in the number one slot of a novel are advised to conform to a different model. It helps…

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