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"I may not know how to fly but I know how to read and that's almost the same thing."-- Gregory Maguire, Out of Oz

"...while finding true love was one of the most splendid things that could happen to you in life, finding a friend was equally splendid." -- Felix J Palma, The Map of the Sky

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G = Girls

"Who run the world? Girls!"

There's an overwhelming amount of powerful male characters in fiction, from superheroes, wizard savants, and knights. Women are often cast as clever sidekicks and distressing damsels. It's done often, because it's a proven methodology that works. Men want to be the heroes and women want to be swept off their feet. There's nothing wrong with that. Except once in awhile, it's a nice change to read about a woman saving herself, who doesn't need a man to validate the person she is. Today I want to showcase some of my favorite literary heroines.

 Morwenna Phelps, the daughter of a crazed witch, goes to live with her estranged father and attends a boarding school. She's struggling to overcome her tragic past in an environment that is devoid of magic, except for Mor's personal talent for seeing fairies. She's a bookworm, she knows who she is, and she embraces it. For Mor, life isn't a popularity contest--You need a reason to live and that reason has to be your own.

 Isabel Duncan is a primatologist working with bonobos. After her laboratory is bombed in a suspected animal rights protest that nearly kills her, Isabel's beloved apes are sold to a company that wants to exploit the animals. Isabel's willing to do whatever it takes to save them.

 Jilly Coppercorn is a painter who sees magic everywhere and skillfully puts those visions onto canvas. She's a survivor of domestic violence, of sexual assault. After an accident confines her to a hospital bed, it's time to confront the reality of her past and acknowledge why she's so determined to bring beauty back into the world. 

 And how can you talk about leading ladies without mentioning, Elphaba? She doesn't need a man, she doesn't need anybody... She doesn't even need a logical explanation for her skin tone. She will strive for social justice by anarchy. If you can't love her, you can't love anyone.

10 comments:

  1. I have strong female roles in my books. I think it gives a good balance and they play well off the males they are with.

    Stephen Tremp
    an A-Z Cohost
    @StephenTremp on Twitter

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    1. That's good, especially for contemporary roles. I think overwhelming neediness, or even seeing the clever female supporter when she's so clever you have to wonder what she isn't front and center, starts to get hard to believe.

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  2. I just started reading Wicked.

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    1. Oh, I hope you enjoy it! It's one of my all-time favorites. There's so much in that book to appreciate.

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  3. I don't know the first books and characters you shared, but I have to love Elphaba.
    Thanks for visiting y blog today.
    Mary at The View form My World
    www,mary-sky.blogspot.com

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    1. Isn't she delightful? The first time I read it, I remember thinking, "if I lived in this universe this woman would be my best friend."

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  4. Agree... without girls there is no story. ;)

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    1. I think strong ladies are so important; I used to care less about it, and if the story in question supports a weaker character I don't mind it still, but the idea of contemporary females being so needy... it's not believable. Let a girl stand on her own two feet.

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  5. :) Yes it's nice to see a woman character over come life challenges and be saved on her own free will or through strength from with in. Nice Article!
    http://sytiva.blogspot.com/

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