Female Role Models in Fiction: Are They Lacking?

As a lot of you may know, I’m active in the world of social media. I have a Twitter, Facebook, and an Instagram. I love YouTube. Another thing I love is politics. So it’s only natural that I use social media to get involved in politics. For better or worse.

One trend that I’ve been noticing is that people are saying they grew up without female characters in TV, literature, or movies that they could look up to. My question to these people, what exactly were you watching? Because I have never had a shortage of amazing female characters to look up to.

When I was little, Inez and Jackie from Cyberchase were super cool female characters. I always thought they were amazing! I loved Kim Possible and Shego. Princess Leia from Star Wars was another amazing female character in my life. I devoured all of the American Girl books, each one with loads of smart and strong female characters. Another incredible show I watched when I was little was Fetch with Ruff Ruffman. The cat Blossom was always one of my favorites. She was smart and funny and she had a way of speaking without ever saying a word.

When I got a little older, seven or eight, I was introduced to the world of Harry Potter. Out of this came Hermione Granger, a girl who showed me that being super nerdy and clever wasn’t such a bad thing. Being smart and studious was cool! Luna Lovegood showed me that it was okay to embrace your quirks, and to not let anyone’s opinions change who you are. I still admire Luna to this day. She’s shown me so much.

Entering my teenage years, I found Tris Prior from the book Divergent. She was my role model, and got me through some seriously difficult times. When I wanted to give up, I remembered her strength, and how she was both vulnerable and strong at the same time. I love her so much. The lessons I learned through her are invaluable.

But now, I am finding a lack of female representation. And not because there aren’t enough girl characters, there are plenty, but because all of them seem forced. People have become so obsessed with the idea of ‘strong female representation’ that female characters have basically become boys. ‘Strong’ females characters have become defined by their muscle, and how many bad guys they can take down at once. Feminists call it empowering, but I don’t need politically correct female power force fed to me to make me aware of my own strength. I’ve always had that. The characters I grew up with taught me that. They were raw, emotional, and strong. And sure, some of them helped around the house, did chores, cooked meals, helped take care of their siblings, and had crushes on boys but it’s okay for some woman to want that. Everyone, man and woman, should aspire to be helpful, responsible, and willing to do their part. The world would be so much better if we all helped and loved each other more. We need to break down this new idea of woman like men: more stubborn, brutal, emotionless, vulgar, and crude. I feel like this is what modern day woman aspire to be, at least a lot of the feminists I see on social media. I think more woman should aspire to be like the characters I grew up with. Smart, studious, helpful, kind, empathetic, and loyal. Of course we should stand our ground, not as woman, but as people. There is a time and place to fight and take down bad guys, but it shouldn’t be the base of who we are as people. We were created to balance out our opposite gender, and they were created to balance us. And no, I’m not saying girls can’t enjoy ‘boy things’ and boys can’t enjoy ‘girl things’. I’m only saying that there is a balance between the two genders, and modern day feminism is taking a gigantic step across that line.

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