Last Week’s Discussion:
‘Strong’ Female Characters
Last week I decided to bring new light to a very popular discussion topic: strong female characters (specifically in YA literature), and woah! My readers kind of blew me out of the water with their responses (and kind of shut me down :p), but I’m so grateful for their amazing, thought-inspiring words. Let’s see what they had to say!
Carla Louise said:
“I think some of these things can be applied to men, too, – until Shrek, we had a very stereotypical hero, and I think that’s important to acknowledge. But a lot of these women I can and do relate to. I like the strong woman as a character, and whilst I don’t need her to be cutting everyone down, and I accept her flaws and all […] it beats someone like Bella Swan. […] I hate that pathetic, damsel-in-distress I-can’t-live-without-my-man shit. I feel like it’s a massive disservice, and insult, to women – and leaves little to aspire to.”
Sophie the Stark said:
“[Strength] cannot be contained to a single series of traits. It really depends on the reader’s personal opinion. […] I do believe there are many ways to describe someone as strong, whether physically and mentally, and many ways to achieve that strength without being considered unrealistic.”
Bookmark Chronicles said:
“Why can’t strong women (physically, mentally, and emotionally) be realistic? You actually can gain strength in a month if you’re training properly and pushing yourself. And not all women are emotional. Some are, some aren’t, and some keep it to themselves and it may not seem like they are. None of those are bad things.”
Wow! I really was surprised by some of the responses I got purely because of how passionate they were. Readers truly care about the definitions and portrayals of heroines. Not only that, but many turned the tables back around on men and how they were stereotyped into ‘strong’ characters as well (but that’s for another week. ^.^) All in all, I learned quite a bit from the discussioners this week. I think the takeaway from this discussion is that there is no one word or phrase to describe what female characters should be because everyone wants something different.
Check out this week’s discussion on Thursday at 10am EST:
Weak vs. Weakly-Written Characters