Anne Blackwood

United States

16
Christian
Theatre kid
Singer (soprano)
Poet
Twin (fraternal)
Spoonie
Disfusive
Highly Sensitive Person
Living oxymoron
Kindness Krusader: Blueberry cotton candy
XXFJ, Melancholic-Sanguine, ambivert

Joined 1/16/20

Message to Readers

So I was thinking, and I really appreciate the Lunar Chronicles with this piece in mind. It has characters like Cinder, who is an independent cyborg mechanic, but also characters like Cress, who's sweet, romantic, and innocent.

what happened to old fashioned heroines?

June 16, 2020

FREE WRITING

20

    why must i be tough and tomboyish, different from other girls? since when did female protagonists have to lose their romanticized daydreams in favor of a self-sufficient attitude? i'm all for female empowerment, but girls can still save the world while giggling over fashion tips and cookie dough ice cream.
    moreover, i don't think it's a crime to want to rely on someone else sometimes. strong women can like strong men, and who says either gender has to be strong all the time, anyway? we can split the victories 50/50; that seems fair to me.
    in between the conflict, our main character can still whisper about boys without sacrificing her independence. her thinking a guy is cute does not mean she needs a boyfriend, but she's allowed to want one. after all, aren't more readers going to relate to that than another story about a girl who never wanted a boyfriend getting (guess what?) a boyfriend?
    i'm not saying that all heroines need to don a dress and read romance novels. everyone loves an exciting tale of a confident girl with no romantic attachments, because those girls are cool and inspiring. however, it's still alright to pick up a book with somewhat more traditional or feminine characters and enjoy it just as much.
What do you guys think? Tell me in the comments! But be respectful of everyone's opinions, of course. No single view is going to be "right", so just keep that in mind.

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  • June 16, 2020 - 11:08pm (Now Viewing)

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19 Comments
  • Tushar Mandhan

    In a nutshell, why not include more diversity to characters, that'd be the best! Like I personally think a man can be emotional and typical masculine (Btw I hate this term) at the same time as Phoebe dated one such guy (man! Again sorry for F.R.I.E.N.D.S. reference).


    5 months ago
  • Tushar Mandhan

    That's so Monica! Strong and independent but still girly girl.....(sorry but F.R.I.E.N.D.S reference comes to me by default). For most movies characters are characters, there are a very few in which character are actually humans, say for example, a beautiful day in neighbourhood (2019). I personally agree with you but at the same time, I would love to see a woman playing Bond.
    I would love to see a diverse female protagonist but what pisses me off the most is the idea of fake feminism in movies. There was this Bollywood film that was marketed as 'feminist' but in reality, the movie was all about women doing drugs, leaving men at altar and feeling proud of being called 'sl*t.' If it's wrong for men then it's for women too! You can show such characters but please don't call it 'feminism' It's a disrespect to the movement.


    5 months ago
  • Kayden

    Hollywood: Women with attitude and absolutely no respect for men 100% equal strong and independent female protagonists yeah?
    People: Um okay but it doesn't though.

    I totally agree with you. I feel like there isn't much diversity when it comes to female protagonists in a lot of big budget films these days. A woman doesn't have to swear and act all tough and manly to be a strong character and it honestly makes me sad that a lot of heroines fall into this stereotype.


    5 months ago
  • MazeRunnerGirl

    This is fantastic, thank you! I've just started reading the Lunar Chronicles and I'm excited for it :D


    5 months ago
  • joella

    i agree! it sucks that nowadays, feminism has to be synonymous with unromantic. it's as dangerous a stereotype as the reverse; you can be a strong woman and still love!


    5 months ago
  • inanutshell

    yes! i myself am not too feminine and but we definitely need feminine characters who aren't put down for being exactly that. :)


    5 months ago
  • The Campbell's Kid

    Like everyone else I totally agree with everything said in this piece! I agree with the part of A Certain Type Of Decisive's comment too that says "We should probably abolish all notions of what is traditionally feminine or masculine, (all people can be curious about love, passionate about beauty, polite, close with friends, giggle, they can wear whatever they want, etc)". I definitely think that people shouldn't have to trade off masculine or feminine features to be viewed as independent or caring! Great piece and wonderful message Anne!


    5 months ago
  • CactusKid

    Yes! Totally agree! I'm all for more diverse, real female characters!


    5 months ago
  • Deleted User

    I agree with you.
    Like seriously, girl heroins can have girly characteristics. And at the same time, they can be more tomboyish. I think we just need a little more variation. :)


    5 months ago
  • Emi

    I also totally agree! Though I am not super girly in the modern sense, I still love doing things like baking/cooking/sewing and traditional "female" tasks; it gets so annoying when books seem to belittle the things I love and say that I need to be mean and tough to be strong. You worded it amazingly!


    5 months ago
  • Starflower

    Yes, you have a very good point! Some of my favorite books have "old-fashioned" heroines, and that's what makes them special. Characters need to be realistic to be enjoyable, and sometimes it's hard to believe that a heroine is so self-sufficient that she doesn't need any relationships. I'm also all for female empowerment! :)


    5 months ago
  • A Certain Type of Decisive

    Your right- can't spell feminism with feminine! I don't think those are "old fahioned" though, because before strong women, it was weak women or no women in the media. I am, in reality, a physically imposing woman and I try not to label the things I like as gendered, but they aren't super feminine. I adore the many characters I can relate to, but I fully support strong feminine characters, too! Girls who cry over unrequited love and fight crime! Ladies with closets overflowing with heels who win the chess championship! Girls who have bestie-sleepovers and solve the mystery! Female cheerleaders who are good friends and kindhearted! Women who wear lots of make-up and have good fashion as they broker peace between warring nations! Girls who date lots of people as they explore the galaxy! We should probably abolish all notions of what is traditionally feminine or masculine, (all people can be curious about love, passionate about beauty, polite, close with friends, giggle, they can wear whatever they want, etc), but in the meantime, representation is important!


    5 months ago
  • happy butterfly

    I TOTALLY AGREE!
    I also agree with these other comments!
    Who said we cant like dresses and girly things and romance and still be strong.Also I love that you said we are allowed to be dependent on others and don't always have to be the "strong independent woman"
    I just agree with everything you said so I'm not going to repeat it.
    Oh and also I hate when people say you have to choose between being girly and a tomboy because you can be both.I am both.somedays I wear dresses and put glitter on my cheeks(lol weird but I like it) and somedays I just put a marvel shirt on while I play sports and my feet get muddy.or sometimes I talk to my friends about facemasks and fashion then talk about really geeky stuff!
    Lol that was probably tmi sorry:/
    Anyways I stand for this piece,I love it so freakin much.you put it so well!


    6 months ago
  • kealoha

    Well said! You did a great job writing this :)


    6 months ago
  • spectral

    i totally agree with piece. tomboys? fine, but the 'bUT sHE's nOt liKe oTheR giRls' trope is just lazy to me. feminine doesn't equal weak. get it in your head, YA authors!


    6 months ago
  • sunny.v

    omg yeah totally agree with anoushka “ Especially hate the whole "women are superheroes and the not like other girls" narrative. Internalised misogyny at its finest.” thank youuuu. i get so annoyed when i read a protag and she’s like “i’m not like those girlie girls who care about mascara. i’m TOUGH” like geez girl i can save the world and still put some lip gloss on :(


    6 months ago
  • sunny.v

    awww yeah i’ve written about this before way way back in my old days!! i hate the narrative that girls have to be “less girly” or less feminine to be strong. especially as a girl who’s more feminine (though i do kinda do some tomboyish stuff)—awesome!! i hate the narrative that a girl being all girly is somehow a weakness. “girl giggling over fashion tips” ME LITERALLY ME. i mean i don’t giggle i make donkey laughter noises but felt that in mah GUT. anyways: THANK YOUUUUUUUU. heck yeah gimme a girl who saves the world in a rose gold dress and dreams about going to homecoming and cries over romcoms afterwards.


    6 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    Yes dude, I agree so much.
    Especially hate the whole "women are superheroes and the not like other girls" narrative. Internalised misogyny at its finest.


    6 months ago
  • chrysanthemums&ink

    oh my goodness THANK YOU FOR THIS.


    6 months ago