Hey there guys!! Welcome back to another Let’s Talk Bookish discussion! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by me & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.
Today’s topic is: How do you feel about strong female characters?
This topic was suggested by Dani, and even though this post is incredibly incredibly late, I’m still going to write a full discussion about it.
Everybody loves strong female characters. They love those girls & women that go around taking what they want, not waiting for someone to hand it to them on a silver tray. They probably do a good deal of threatening men’s precious body parts when these men even think about suggesting that they are any lesser, and they are an absolute sight to behold with their strong boldness and unwavering determination.
But just as awesome as these deadly women are, sometimes they are kind of annoying. They’ve become so common that they kind of have the same backstory. Something tragic happened to them, such as slavery, or witnessing their family murdered, etc etc. They’re always always seeking revenge.
And while that’s not bad, it’s just become so common in YA that it gets boring after a while. Sometimes, it just makes me roll my eyes. Just because the MC is a woman with guns ablazing and a thirst for blood and revenge doesn’t make her all that awesome anymore.
Now of course, there is usually something more, and as the story progresses, you get to see the other vulnerable side of them. The side that “died” when they became who they are now. And that’s good, because it gives them a personality beyond their tough persona. But then it all gets kind of reversed when the first guy swoops in and they are determined to push him away because they are “independent” or “don’t need a partner” while at the same time having an emotional breakdown every time they hear his name.
But other than that, they are driven and determined and amazing. They don’t let anyone tell them no. They’ll sooner kill you than admit you were right.
And while it’s awesome, it’s also one of my pet peeves. They’re just so strong (unless a guy is involved) and so awesome, they don’t really seem real. They aren’t people that I can possibly become.
My other pet peeve is that they always come from a broken family, or a horrible past like slavery. I’m not saying that it’s bad that they do come from that, and honestly, that’s what makes them stronger than the rest. But can’t we also have a strong female MC who wears glasses, likes books or math or whatever, is quiet/bubbly, comes from a “normal” and stable home, and can’t throw a punch to save her life? Not necessarily wealthy and spoiled, but comfortable and possibly sheltered? Why can’t they be heroes too?
Right now, I can’t really think of any such character except for Khalila from Ink and Bone. She’s, well not really quiet, but she comes from a good family without a horrible past, is sheltered in a way, I’m pretty sure she wears glasses, and she definitely isn’t an advocate for violence. She loves learning (she’s a Librarian) and she’s the exact opposite of all these common strong women, yet she’s just this amazing calm and collected fountain of strength. She doesn’t go around slitting people’s throats and making threats, but when pressed she’s just like steel anyway.
I want more characters like her. Maybe because I can relate to her better than I can relate to all the other strong female characters out there. Maybe because she reminds me that I can also be strong and formidable without learning how to throw a dagger.
Strength comes in many forms, and I appreciate the fact that we are getting more strong women in YA books who don’t let themselves be stopped from doing what’s right. However, I would also like to see other types of girls and women being just as formidable and amazing as knife-wielding women, but in their own wonderful and quiet way.
This Week’s Participants:
So, what do you guys think? Who’s your favorite strong female character? Do you think that sometimes, they’re a bit repetitive? What other kind of strong women would you like to see? Chat with me in the comments below!!