Thursday, June 6, 2013

Strong as Steel?

My first book.
Beamer was at least
semi-strong, I think.
It’s been over 20 years since my first YA was published. Back then and continuing today one hears frequent call outs for “strong female characters.” Hard to argue with the goal; still, I’ve always kind of wondered about this, frankly. A voracious reader once I actually started reading, I never felt the lack of strong female characters. My reading roamed over all sorts of books, fiction and nonfiction, and I was more concerned with being engaged by a good book than whether there was a strong female character.

Yes, I know…I shouldn’t extrapolate from my limited experience and decide that there’s no problem in the content of the books we create for and provide to children. But what do we mean when we say we want more “strong female characters?” Or more African-American characters? Or more LGBT characters?  We want them to all be strong, no doubt. But do we even know what we mean by that?

This post by Alyssa Rosenberg raises an interesting question about female strength in fiction. It’s worth reading.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your post. I am always in pursuit of female heroines in YA novels. However, Alyssa Rosenberg goes further in defining how authors could strengthen their female protagonists.