5 Totally Awesome Female Characters3:15 PM
On Tuesday I talked about the problem with the push for 'strong female protagonists', and how I wished there were more female characters who were allowed to cry or be girly or want a boyfriend or whatever they may be like. (Also, all of you who commented had such eloquent and perfect things to say in agreement, so thanks for that!)
Today, it only seemed fitting to talk about some of my very favorite female characters who don't carry swords and kick people in the face and reject all emotions. Some of them are protagonists and some of them aren't, but they're all awesome and realistic and tough in their own ways.
Honestly, she might be my favorite on this list. Marissa Meyer is the master of well-developed, unique female characters, and out of all of them Cress is the one I love the most. Why, you ask? She's not like me at all. She's girly and sparkly and head-over-heels for a guy she's only ever stalked online (
oh wait) and not nearly as physically tough as Cinder or even Scarlet.
What she is, however, is tough. Yes, she's a little obsessed with a guy. Yes, she's girly. But she carries her own plot and stands up for herself. Heck, she's a hacker/computer genius! What about that isn't awesome?
Also, I see no problems with ending up with a guy like Thorne.
Cinderella movie (2015)
I will pretty much defend this one with my dying breath. Cinderella is by no means a conventional 'tough girl'. She's sweet and kind to everyone, even to people who are totally nasty to her and even when she doesn't really have any reason to be nice or when she's upset. "Have courage and be kind" is the motto of the movie, and it's something that Cinderella makes an attempt to live the whole way through. Not to mention, she's totally into our prince Kit and absolutely thrilled with the dress the fairy godmother gives her.
Who wouldn't be?
But come on, guys, Cinderella is actually pretty hardcore. It takes effort to be kind all the time! It really does! It takes a lot of strength and determination and she does it well enough to make me want to be a better person. She's not a total pushover, either. She stands up for herself in abusive situations, tells that evil stepmother off a few times, and takes things into her own hands.
She's seriously the best. (I blogged about her in greater detail here.)
Isi, Enna, and Dasha
The Books of Bayern
|I'm fairly certain it's Enna who said this one, but don't quote me on it.|
Shannon Hale is a pro at the whole female characters (and characters in general) thing, and this series of hers is my favorite example of that. Technically this is three characters but whatever, they all deserve recognition. Now, none of them take swords and go out and smite down all the men. They all have guys they fall in love with. They all cry and have their weak moments and have to be rescued.
But you know what? They're all incredibly strong. Ani is a freaking queen, literally. She goes from being a princess to being betrayed, attacked, forced to be a servant in a strange city for months, falling in love with a guy who turns out to be a prince, and a bunch of other really sucky things, but she goes out and outsmarts the people who betrayed her and marries that prince and becomes queen. You know what that is? Hardcore. She has a husband she loves, and eventually kids, and she's a pretty strong and decisive queen at that. Who can also harness the wind. Enna is a little more hot-tempered (literally; fire's her thing) and aggressive, and she'll argue with anyone who tries to give her trouble or underestimate her. She gets her guy, too, and is a loyal friend and all-around role model who still respects the people around her. Dasha is my personal favorite of the three -- she's sarcastic, witty, and very clever. She uses her political connections and skills to help her friends, and finds a goofy guy to fall in love with besides.
So much respect.
Heck yes, some Tolkien is going down here.
In my personal opinion Tolkien is great at the hardcore female character thing, but the story of Beren and Lúthien is one of my absolute favorites of his. First of all because it's beautiful, second of all because Lúthien. We need to talk about this.
Not only was this lady known up to even the point of Lord of the Rings as the most beautiful woman/elf/whatever to ever live, but she totally owned it with the singing, too. There's a whole long song about her, specifically her. She falls in love with Beren, a mortal man, which is kind of frowned upon, but she doesn't care what anyone says about this. And when Beren has to go all the way to to the darkest and worst parts of the land to earn her hand in marriage, she goes with him. And saves him once or twice.
Also, they both die later, but they were so heroic and hardcore that it's decided that they should be allowed to end up in Middle Earth and live again as mortals for a while. Win.
The Unwind Dystology
It would be ridiculously unfair of me if I didn't include someone from one of my favorite books of all time, so here we are. Risa isn't as feminine and sweet as some of the girls on the list, but she definitely deserves to be here. Because Risa puts up with a lot. She's tough. She keeps the guys in line when they're doing stupid stuff. But she's not overbearing about it, nor is 'tough' her only trait.
Risa plays piano very well, and she's passionate about it. She's totally in love with Connor
and I ship them more than all the other ships ever and doesn't play games with that, just admits it and is cool with it. She breaks down sometimes, because who wouldn't in those horrific situations, but she comes back from it in a realistic way and keeps moving forward. She creates her own plot. She drives the plot of the series forward in many ways. She doesn't let herself be pushed around, but she's not all guns-and-swords all the time, either.
Risa Ward, everybody.
Violet - All the Bright Places
Joi - How to Lead A Life of Crime
Shallan - The Way of Kings/Words of Radiance
Ida Mae - Flygirl
Let's show some appreciation for the non-standard 'strong female character' -- who's your very favorite, and what makes them awesome? Comment away.