Thoughtful Thursday is a feature here at The Nighttime Novelist which usually consists of me ranting, raving, and flailing about all manner of things, from books to films to how many ballpoint pens I go through in a given month. It’s awesome.
So let me just say straight up that this post will basically be me + lots of flailing + fabulous women + BAMF commemoration. You have been warned.
Okay, first of all, I cannot be the only one who is permanently pissed off at the damsel-in-distress archetype. It’s like, yeah, sure, I don’t mind if a girl needs help once in a while, but we vagina-owners know that not only is being stuck in a tower boring as hell, but it’s a bit insulting when you get down to it. Women don’t have to be weak and helpless to be attractive, nor do they always require the strong arm of a prince charming to make things happen and get what they want. I mean really.
So then there’s this compromise heroine figure that came up, where the woman can fight or has a cool power or is just a general sassmaster. Don’t get me wrong, I love that, but the fact that these kickass women do most of their kickassery in completely impractical, uncomfortable, skimpy clothing just makes me sigh every time. Think Anna from “Van Helsing”. DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW STUPID IT IS TO LACE UP IN A TINY CORSET TO FIGHT MONSTERS AND RUN ALL OVER EASTERN EUROPE? Like, in reality she would have been winded five minutes in.
That heroine figure also bothers me because it’s basically like saying, “Yes, you can fight and have a mind of your own. Oh, but you have to dress like a hooker pirate in order for that to be cool.” Uh. No.
However, I’ve found a decent amount of female protagonists that I just want to kiss for being so awesome. And I’ve made a list of them, because I love lists and I am a nice person.
1. Natasha Romanov, “Black Widow” (Marvel Comics, Iron Man, Avengers)
CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT THIS FABULOUSNESS? I know there’s copious amounts of skin-tight leather involved, but I mean, she is just so freaking smart and strong and fierce and she takes nobody’s shit. It’s like the second you think she couldn’t get any cooler, SHE GOES AND GETS COOLER.
2. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
If you don’t love Katniss Everdeen, there’s like a 99% chance we can’t be friends. (Jk, I will just respectfully think you are crazy.) She not only does not do the “oh my God boys what do I do” faint-flutter-flail nonsense with Peeta (or Gale); oh no, she’s just like “I will do this shit” and does what she does, and it’s awesome.
3. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
This girl just takes it all in stride and is always in kickass mode. She’s constantly at work to protect the people around her and succeed and she’s so smart and clever. She is also ridiculously good at making me want to shout, “YOU TELL ‘EM, HERMIONE!” at the page/screen. Let’s face it, Harry would’ve died like two minutes in if it weren’t for her. How can you not love her?
4. Daenerys Targaryen (A Song of Ice and Fire)
FEEEEEEEEELS. I mean, she starts out too shy to say boo to a goose, and by the end of the seasons she’s just like “I WILL DO ALL THE AWESOME THINGS RAWRRRRR” and basically rocks my socks off. And she’s not just doing the it’s-my-crown-back-off-bitches routine. Oh no, she is a freaking LIBERATOR. She refuses to play the same game as her enemies; everyone who follows her does it because they want to, and she protects those people like NOBODY’S BUSINESS. I just generally want to bow at her feet and make her president of the universe.
5. Merida (“Brave”)
I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the AWESOME. I mean, Scottish warrior princess wins every time. This girl takes her life into her own hands and even though she may go about it in the wrong way, she doesn’t let people tell her who to be and what to do. She refuses to be put in a cage and she also has a freaking spectacularly cool horse and knows how to shoot with a bow and I just want to give this girl all the kudos.
Those are my top five heroines. To me they’re everything a good female protagonist ought to be: strong, courageous, loyal, smart, fierce, loving, passionate, and carriers of the awesome gene.
Let me know who your favorite heroines are. One can never have too many great female characters in one’s life. (Geez, that made it sound like a harem or something.)