We are all wonderful in our own ways,
Overqualified yet undervalued by the
Many people who underestimate us.
Every girl should know her worth, and
Never stop believing in her courage to
Stand up and let her voice be heard!
Don’t ever doubt your value, ladies!
Always remember how amazing you are!
You are all true superheroes!
A belated Happy Women’s Day to all the amazing and inspiring women out there! Keep on being the awesome superheroes you are!
Happy Women’s Day! Because face it, world: you couldn’t exist without us. March has been designated National Women’s History Month, so to continue the theme of celebrating women on my blog, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite female characters ever! There are tons of amazing characters to choose from, of course; it was quite a challenge just to narrow the list down to fit in one blog post!
So to celebrate Women’s Day, here are six awesome female characters that I believe every girl can look up to as a potential role model. Enjoy, and keep being awesome, ladies!
Note: I was originally going to include a couple of my favorite Disney princesses in this list, but the post was already becoming too long. Instead, they’ll be the subject of another post coming soon!
1) Hermione Granger (The Harry Potter series)
Hands down, Hermione Granger is my favorite female character ever written. Growing up reading all seven Harry Potter books, I witnessed this beloved character’s transformation from a naïve know-it-all girl to a brave and intelligent young woman. I always admired Hermione for how much she loved reading, and even more so for how skillful she was at applying her knowledge to real-world situations. Her brains and dedication to her studies may have qualified her for Ravenclaw, but her courage and determination prove she was always a Gryffindor at heart! And let’s be honest: this girl was the real hero of the story all along. Do you think Harry and his friends could have accomplished as much as they did throughout the series if Hermione didn’t read so much? It just goes to show: never underestimate the value of intelligence and a good education, because they’re the most powerful tools to save the world!
2) Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)
The heroine of Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet. She is one of the greatest and most complex characters ever written, not that you would know.
– Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail (1998)
After finally reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time last year, I can honestly say it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, thanks in no small part to the fascinating complexity of its female protagonist. Elizabeth Bennet is a remarkable character who, like the author who created her, could easily be seen as very much ahead of her time. While many of the women around her are inclined to marry for convenience (her best friend included), Elizabeth is determined to marry for love. She is clever and quick-witted in conversation without compromising her integrity to impress anyone, which wins her the favor of her proud-yet-good-natured soulmate, Mr. Darcy. Lizzy is observant enough to make quick analyses of people’s characters, yet ultimately proves her real intelligence by overcoming the prejudice that almost costs her true love and a lifetime of happiness.
Smart yet proud, charming yet headstrong, idealistic about love yet critical about people, Elizabeth Bennet is the epitome of a multidimensional character and a powerful role model for women even today. So to all the clever young ladies who can relate, never feel like you don’t deserve to be appreciated for your intelligence. Keep on channeling the Elizabeth Bennet in you, and you may find your Mr. Darcy is just around the corner!
3) Juliet Capulet (Romeo & Juliet)
This may seem a strange choice to some, but hear me out. First of all, no, I am not condoning teen suicide nor the total abandonment of family in favor of romance. I know Romeo and Juliet are often criticized as a couple of stupid kids who get six people killed in four days (which is so untrue it’s not even funny), but I’m not trying to praise their totally normal recklessness or their totally justified attempts to break out of a broken system. No, what I really find so admirable about Juliet is her determination to take control of her life in the face of an overbearing patriarchal society.
Remember that Romeo & Juliet takes place during a time when men literally controlled everything, including the women in their lives, which really makes Juliet’s triumphs all the more inspiring. Her family is eager to have her married at the age of thirteen, a thought that has barely even crossed her mind once before the night of the Capulet Ball. She politely agrees to consider Paris as a potential husband while cleverly avoiding committing to him. When it becomes clear she won’t be able to break the rules that bind her to marriage, she bends them to her own wishes by choosing love (Romeo) over convenience (Paris). She handles the aftermath of Tybalt’s death with a much clearer head than Romeo (who at one point tries to stab himself out of guilt), sacrifices her social status and security for love and freedom, and defies the fear that would send her back to her unfulfilling life by (painfully) following her beloved into eternity. Say what you will about Juliet and her Romeo, but you have to admit this girl is a fighter to the very end, a woman who knows exactly what she wants and who will do whatever it takes to have the final say on how she lives her life.
Of course, if you want to see this taken a step further, you should check out the anime series Romeo x Juliet, in which a 16-year-old Juliet Capulet leads a revolution and masquerades as a sword-wielding vigilante known as the Red Whirlwind. Now that’s a strong woman!
4) Jo March (Little Women)
Another book I finally got around to reading last year is Little Women, a recommendation from my mother that I absolutely loved. She told me going in that I would strongly identify with Jo, and being a tomboyish bookworm and writer, it didn’t take me long to see why.
At the age of fifteen in 1800s America, Josephine March is a classic example of a girl who refuses to conform to the expectations society has of her. While her sisters live up to a more feminine image, Jo proves herself independent by constantly rebelling against the limitations placed on women. She reads books incessantly, writes and publishes stories, assumes the male roles in the plays she composes, and openly dismisses the idea of romance in favor of holding her family together. She may not embody the ideals of every woman today, but (at least in the first books of the series) Jo does serve as a model of the independent spirit that all women potentially have inside them!
5) Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games trilogy)
I’ve watched all four Hunger Games movies and recently finished reading the first book in the trilogy, and I have to say that I admired the story’s protagonist from start to finish. Forced to endure a lifetime of hardship and more than one battle to the death from the age of sixteen, Katniss Everdeen is an embodiment of strength, tenacity, and survivalist cunning, not to mention the lengths one will go to for the love of family. After losing her father to a mining accident and watching her mother fade away into depression, this girl took on the role of head of her household and sole provider for her family at the age of eleven and shouldered that responsibility through her entire teenage life. That’s not an easy feat for anyone, especially someone who has to survive two Hunger Games and a revolution along the way. Still, Katniss is a fighter all the way to the end of the story, and stands as a symbol for girls everyone to never give up on defending what they believe in!
6) Imperator Furiosa (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Heck yeah, I’ll say it: I loved Mad Max: Fury Road! Who didn’t, right? Remember how everyone was gushing about it two years ago and it took home six Academy Awards out of ten nominations? It’s already a great movie for its incredible action sequences and wildly thrilling screenplay, but what really made the story so enjoyable for me was the sheer awesomeness of its main character, Imperator Furiosa.
Intent on rescuing the Five Wives of the film’s villain, Immortan Joe, Furiosa sets off on a daring quest across a post-apocalyptic wasteland to deliver them to a promised sanctuary (while Max, in his usual fashion, ends up coming along for the ride). This hardcore woman drives a war rig through the desert, uses great resourcefulness to evade her pursuers, and fights off countless enemies with an impressive arsenal of weapons. Oh, and she does it all with a prosthetic arm. With her endless bravery and cleverness, Imperator Furiosa is a model of strength and skill for women and people with disabilities alike. It doesn’t get more badass than that!
Who are the female characters you most admire? What other fictional female role models would you add to this list?
Source: Oxford Dictionaries
Here’s another word I picked up from the Elevate – Brain Training app. Recently, the developers introduced a new game called Association, in which you’re given a set of three or four verbs and have to match each word that appears above them to its synonym in the set. I’ve been learning quite a few new words from this exercise, today’s example being one that I initially failed to correctly match to the verb “criticize”. Maybe you can’t always figure out a word’s meaning right away, but that would hardly be cause to “inveigh” against the gaps in your vocabulary!
To “inveigh” against something is to write or speak about it with great hostility. The word arose in the late 15th century in the sense “to introduce” and comes from the Latin verb invehere, meaning “to carry in” or “to assail”. This verb comprises the preposition in “into” and the verb vehere “to carry”.
While playing the Association game, I probably had trouble deducing the meaning of “inveigh” because it sounds similar to the word “convey”, which has a much more positive connotation. Indeed, the word didn’t always have a negative definition, though one way to remember what it means today could be to associate it with the word “vehement” (“forceful, passionate, or intense”), with which it shares a Latin root. If your characters tend to speak hostilely about others (or do things that warrant heavy criticism), “inveigh” may be a great word to add to your vocabulary list!
What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?
She’s docile and sweet on the outside,
But inside she’s fierce to the core.
You may think to expect her meow,
Just to be thrown back by her roar.
She spends her days working her hardest
For results of outstanding effect.
She may not ask others for much,
But she knows she deserves great respect.
Her value can never be measured.
She has a most generous heart.
Yet if anyone tries to subdue her,
She will fight back and tear them apart.
So never look down on a woman
Or misjudge her even an ounce,
For inside every placable kitten
Is a tigress just waiting to pounce.
Welcome to March! Here’s a fun fact: the third month of the year is also known as Women’s History Month in the US, UK, and Australia! It’s the perfect time to celebrate women everywhere, so this month I’m dedicating my blog posts to all those amazing ladies out there, starting with some new “What If?” Writing Prompts in the theme of women. See what stories you can create from these ideas! Good luck!
What if… since the beginning of history, women had ruled the world?
What if… women were always treated with the same respect as men?
What if… people’s biases were never based on gender?
What if… most of the greatest discoveries and inventions in the world had been made by women?
What if… every woman in the world could feel confident in herself exactly the way she is?
Have fun writing your own stories about women!
If you have any “What If?” writing prompt suggestions (for any theme), please feel free to share them in the comments below. Ideas I like may be featured in future “What If?” posts, with full credit and a link to your blog (if you have one)! Also, if you’ve written a piece based on an idea you’ve found here, be sure to link back to the respective “What If?” post. I would love to see what you’ve done with the prompt! Thank you!