This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Pet Peeves with Female Fictional Character Traits

I tend to gravitate towards female authors because they predominantly write from a woman’s perspective which I enjoy being a woman myself, but after finishing another novel where I was disappointed in the female lead I wondered what was the point to this character? Why even write about her? I started to doubt myself. Is it just the way I’m reading this book? My mood? Admittedly, being a strong willed woman myself I have little patience for reading  from a weak heroines perspective and I definitely have my favorite female personalities. I have also noticed that if I’ve had a rough day at work I have little patience, and I do keep that in mind.

Why is it that romance novels show so many female main characters as being weak and submissive to a man? I’ll admit, I like to read romances where the man is take charge. However, if the woman is in jeopardy too much or is too submissive it takes my head out of the story. I get a little offended for womankind that this is supposed to be a fantasy or role model for women who read these novels. Am I supposed to like this?

YA novels actually do a great job of giving their readers strong female role models. Authors like Sarah J. Mass and Victoria Aveyard wouldn’t be caught dead with a weak female heroine. Worlds would collapse and Kingdoms lost! Their heroines aren’t perfect by any means, but they always learn a lesson and grow as characters. (Although I have my doubts about Mare). I am ecstatic that YA authors seem to take their roles seriously? Why give younger women weak role models to emulate when we can teach them to lead countries and conquer worlds?

Some romance authors make a living by writing novels that let men control their woman. Alexa Reilly comes immediately to mind. They write really well, but their formula is a weak brainless woman who is seduced by the man’s money and will. I’m sure you’ve guessed this isn’t my thing. But why is it anyone’s? People rave about Jamie McGuire’s aptly titled Beautiful Disaster. That female lead was a hot mess! People give 5 star reviews to that book. It amazes me. I know, I know, reading, like admiring art, is in the eye of the beholder. It’s totally subjective. I love that! I do really get fired up about having bad role models for women though, even if it’s just fiction.

My favorite female to read is the warrior. Even if a woman is just a lawyer fighting for a cause I get a charge out of it. If she’s in a fantasy world wielding a sword even better! in romance that sword could be words and clever dialog with her man. I do see a place for learning what NOT to do from reading about weak willed characters. Or those women who start off weak and learn a great lesson and use that knowledge to change their life. Those women are redeemed!

OK, I’m sure you’ve heard me rant enough. I want to ask you, what kind of women do you like to read about?

If you are a writer and have a perspective or thought on why some female authors write about women in the victim role I’d love to hear it!

What books have you read where you’ve LOVED the female lead character? I’m always looking for a new book to read and if the female lead is awesome I definitely want it on my radar!

Until next Sunday,