Sunday, March 31, 2013

Female Characters Week....Ciara Guest Post

The last guest post for this week is from the awesome Ciara. I love that so many awesome female characters were given some praise. I have found some great TV shows, and books to check out, and hope you have to.

Be sure to check out Ciara's blog and follow her on Twitter.

A big thank you to all the participants in this week!

When Kathy asked me to do a post all about female heroines I was ecstatic. I love fierce heroines, and there are so many of them out there. I knew very quickly who I wanted to talk about, because she is one of my favourite protagonists of all time. And who is that girl? Well, it’s none other than Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Rose is the definition of a badass. She is a tough girl with an attitude and has some hilarious one-liners. She fights evil vampires for a living, and fiercely protects the ones she loves. But, besides being a fighter, she’s also an amazing friend and a passionate person. We get to see her go through an emotional rollercoaster throughout the series but she braves it all with her head held high. I love her sarcasm, her wit, and just her personality in general. I would love to have as a friend because she simply rocks my socks. For me, she is one of the best female heroines in YA because she ecompasses everything I admire: strength, determination, and heart. No one has more heart than Rose Hathaway, and I love her for it.

And while I think Rose is fantastic, I also think you can’t count out the less kick-butt heroines. So, I want to also talk about the heroine that gets a lot of, in my opinion, undeserved hate. That heroine is Juliette from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi.

We all expected Juliette to be a bad-ass. We expected her to jump off the page, guns a-blazing, fighting the good fight, and destroying the bad guy. We expected her to be an undeniable hero because that's what we've come to expect from YA female protagonists. And that's okay. I think it's pretty cool that we've progressed so far as a society that girls who are strong and fierce are just accepted. I really think it's fantastic. And I love to read about it, I truely do. But, in saying that, we can't dismiss those heroes that aren't as proactive. Juliette is petrified. Juliette is overwhelmed. Juliette is exactly what most people in her situation would be like. She has the ability to kill people with her touch, making it literally impossible for her to be close to anyone. All she's ever been told is that she's a monster. That kind of mental abuse, which is truly what she faced is, has left permanent and damaging scars. It has led to such fear and self-hatred she’s terrified of herself. She's not just going to be able to jump up and say "Yeah! I'm a bad-ass killing machine! Let's go!". That's not who she is. Hell yeah, she's angsty. She has every right to be. She's been through complete and utter hell and it's going to take her awhile to overcome it. That's just natural. But she tries. She wants to live up to her potential, but she is so scared of it. Wouldn’t you be, if you could kill someone with your touch? It’s a power that comes with extreme emotional consequences. Who are we to fault her for them? Personally, I think Juliette is a superb heroine. She is realistic, fierce, and determined. She is a beautiful young girl who doesn’t have to be a bad-ass to be strong.

As a final thought, you should not dismiss any heroine because they don’t fit the “kick-butt” role. There are so many ways to be a strong female heroine, not just by being a badass. You can kick-butt with your intelligence, with your fierce will, with your caring heart, and with your quiet resistance. You can kick-butt with confidence, with strength, with love. Being a fierce heroine isn’t defined by being a bad-ass (although, that’s cool too). It’s defined by trying your best, by being yourself, and by doing what is right. And I am so so happy that there are so many books out there showing us what it truly means to be a heroine.

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