Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Open Letter To YA Heroines

Dear YA Heroines,

It's been a while since I've thought about you. Usually, I just spend my time swooning over your male counterparts. Or wishing they were dead. It's a toss up, really.

But lately I've been reading things like this, this and this. Things that make me think, which has given me severe allergies in the past. I mean, can you imagine? Me, thinking. Hmm...

Anyway, let's get to the point. YA Heroines of the world, I heart you. I really do. But you have to step it up. 

What do I mean, you ask? 

Simple. I mean stop being so predictable. Stop apologizing for doing exactly what you wanted to do. Stop pretending you don't think about sex. Or that you don't like it (if you've had it, of course). Stop being nice simply because you have a vagina. That doesn't guarantee ANYTHING. Neither does having a penis.


Because you are whoever your creators want you to be, not what people expect you to be. 

You are whoever you need to be in order to find happiness, not fit the mold. 

You are free to shout instead of whispering. To jump instead of tiptoeing. 

But you're also free to whisper and tiptoe if--and only if--that's WHAT YOU WANT. 

I am sick of people complaining about you, YA Heroines. It makes me do painful things like thinking. But it also gives me something to say after the pain goes away.

What do I have to say?

This: there is no one way to have a vagina. Or a penis. 

Get over it.


The Girl Who Played With Stereotypes

P. S. I'd like to thank Sarah LaPolla, Kirsten Hubbard, and Natalie Whipple for giving me the best headache of my life. 


  1. LOL - hilarious way to make your point. And a good point it is. A strong character does not have to meet a certain 'nice' quota just because she's female. Great post!

  2. Oh I love this post. I do like a nice strong female character. Now I'm off to help my own heroine kick some ass. ;)

  3. LOL!! I love this!!! The headache was for a good cause - yay!!

    Awww let's have more heroines who are true to themselves and find strength and confidence with the support of genuine sisterhood!

    Take care

  4. I absolutely love a strong female character. I agree, they should stop apologizing for being that way. (Hugs)Indigo

  5. LOL. I can agree with this in so many ways. I am sick and tired of seeing wimpy, whining and simpering Heroines popping up everywhere. Whatever happened to the real girls/women? They need to start standing up and speaking out. lolz. ^_^ Great post!

  6. I love this. It's precisely what I had in mind when I wrote the heroine in my last MS--and she resonated pretty strongly with my readers and agent. Nice post!

  7. Hee hee. Love the thesis of this letter in bold!

    There's no one way, and our characters must be as complex as people--which means stereotypes are only the pictorial instruction manual we must end up throwing out for being useless. Being a man or a woman is intuitive, because we each do it differently.

    Sometimes I tiptoe. Sometimes I whisper. And sometimes I'm a sight and sound to be feared. My MCs are the same way.

  8. I definitely love a strong heroine. The MC of my current WIP is a girl who tries to be a proper Victorian lady but pretty much throws the rules to the wind when it suits her - and she does a pretty good job of solving the mystery and saving herself too :) Though a little help from Mr. Tall, Dark, and Dreamy is always fun too :D