Sunday, May 20, 2012

Strong Women

***This is my concluding post to Divergent Week***

In Divergent by Veronica Roth, Triss joins the Dauntless faction, and goes through training to face her fears and develop bravery and strength. 

 (The author dressed up as a Dauntless faction member.)

It  had me thinking about how a lot of novels recently like Divergent, Hunger Games, and even Jeremy's steampunk Leviathan series have lead female characters who are highly independent, strong, brave, and even fighters.  

 In a review of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins I read a Christian woman noting the strong female Character, and saying basically that these types of characters are wrong for our daughters to be reading because it's teaching girls to take on the roles of men.  Particularly stating that in The Hunger Games it was a complete role-reversal since Peeta was the one who needed more protecting, and he was a cake decorator and liked pretty things, and so he was acting like a woman. 

I have two responses to this type of thinking:

First of all--don't tell my sons that they can't be cake decorators.  My boys can be whatever they want in life.  They don't need to choose interests and professions based on what traditional "manly" jobs are.

Secondly--the world is changing. 

A year and a half ago, Disney announced that there would be no more "Princess Movies"--the type which revolved around finding the man of your dreams, and then living happily ever after.  That type of story has run its course and is no longer applicable.  The ideal of the perfect man has always been false, and "happily ever after" is not a resort destination--it's a triathlon. 

So yes, the heroines of the twenty-first century are different than those of the twentieth.  They are Strong, they are independent, they are brave, and they are even fighters.  Because that's what life in today's society is and will require of women. 

It requires strength to endure hard trials when society tells you you can just run away.  It takes independence to desire freedom above a dole. It takes bravery to bear and raise children when society around you is implying you made the wrong choice. And it will take so much fighting to defend safe havens in which to raise those children.

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