strong female characters, YA fiction

The Lion Sleeps No Longer

I am woman.  Hear me roar.

This week I stumbled across articles and tweets that woke the beast in me.  Right now, the beast is pacing and growling and gnashing its teeth.  Time to let it loose.  Or at least loosen its leash a bit.  What I want to do is rip through and tear up everything with pointy fangs.  I want to rant for pages.  But to keep things digestible I’ll be nice and I’ll take it easy.  Very, very easy.  One blog post at a time. 

Jezebel published an article the other day revealing one movie critic’s experience with an editor who refused to publish any reviews in which females played strong leads.   In an e-mail that was heavy on the hatred, the editor basically called movies with empowered women “moral rot” and said some seriously heinous stuff that completely floored me.  If you want to go into a rage, read it here. 

Then on Twitter, writer Shannon Hale was quoted as saying, “No one ever asks ‘Why do you write strong male characters?'”  An excellent point.  One that touched a nerve in me.  One that woke the beast.

And one that got me paging through the piles of YA books on my shelves, examining how authors and editors portray strong female protagonists.   I discovered that, in my opinion, even those authors I love sometimes do things that drive me crazy.  Things that don’t always help the young female reader find herself.

Go ahead.  Look through your books.  Write down what makes that character a kick ass character and not a limp lettuce leaf.  Next blog post that’s what I’m covering.

Until then, I’ll be sharpening my claws.

2 thoughts on “The Lion Sleeps No Longer”

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