Female empowerment is all the rage these days which in my opinion it was due , we see (and read of course) about so many incredible strong and independent female characters in movies, comics, TV series and Books.
The media has an impact, because whether we tell ourselves that all this is fiction and not reality some of the messages get stuck on our subconsciousness and to have them be positive role models it’s pretty great.
In light of this (and probably because I just finished reading The Forbidden Wish and this book is quite the example of the strong female characters that I mentioned earlier) I wanted to talk about two common types of female protagonist that we find in any kind of genre, it doesn’t matter if it’s YA or New Adult, fantasy or paranormal..
I wanted to discuss with you guys my experience reading wise with this type of character what I like and what I don’t about these leading ladies..Let’s get to the rambling…
The Damsel in Distress
This type of female character was very popular in historical romances a while back but thank God that popularity has been decreasing now days. However it’s still here, present among us in many of our books. I usually don’t mind it so much when it’s presented in small doses; for instance the very typical girl that needs saving from either and evil (monster, warlock, demon, criminal organisation, pretty much insert the bad guy of your preference here) and of course the big Alpha male comes to the rescue.. Cliché? Yep! It is, but I can deal with it just fine…Sometimes I’m even in the mood for that type of read, so, it’s okay.
My problem begins when that same girl can’t do anything for herself and needs to be constantly rescued, time and time again. What’s even worse it’s that the whole mess it’s probably her fault in the first place because of she’s sooo naive and clumsy even when she tries to stand up for herself she fails, to sum everything up she’s just TSTL ( too stupid to live) I hate when this happens to a character, it cheapens the story and makes it just extremely cliché and silly. And to me as a reader leaves me wanting to hit my head against a wall…
The Strong Female/ Bad Ass Heroine
This is my favorite type of female character (when it’s done right) It’s very popular in YA fantasy at the moment, most of the female lead are like this with very small differences…some are trained assassins, magic users, or just incredibly smart.. But what really stands out for me with this type of character is how well rounded they are (or should be) They are strong, witty, filled with purpose, confident and conscious of their worth (even if it doesn’t started out like that)…They are the Alpha Female…And presently because of what I mentioned earlier about female empowerment we find them in a lot of stories from various genres.
However, there’s always a but (that’s life right?… nothing is perfect) I hate, truly hate when this character doesn’t have a flaw anywhere.. She’s pretty, sassy, strong, and excels at everything she does (fighting, swordplay, magic) with little to no training.. Come on that’s hardly realistic, and it certainly doesn’t endears the character to me at all…I prefer a slow growth, a development, and someone with some doubts and flaws..
The other thing that I have found with this female lead is the total 180 they can do when you insert a romantic relationship in the story, It’s just like the guys’ hotness makes them stupid and they become the damsel in distress all over again… This really makes me mad…once again head banging mad…or to be safe book throwing mad.
This are just two archetypes of female leads quite common to any reader, I’ll talk about some others in a future post. Both can be powerful and have the capacity to impress us when done right but like with everything it comes down to preference and what matters most to the reader because we are all different with different background and tolerance levels for everything.
This is simply my take on what I like and I don’t when I find these female leads in the books that I read, I would love to know your thoughts about what favorite type of character you have?, which one you hate? Let me know all about it in the comments, your opinions and suggestions are always appreciated..