Today is my stop on the Scroll blog tour! I am here to host D. B. Nielson with a guest post about bad-ass heroines! Hope you enjoy it.
Badass Women! by DB Nielsen
Whilst futuristic dystopian fiction is forging ahead with Badass female characters, the world of romantic fiction (and I’m pointing to the bestsellers here from Twilight to Fifty Shades of Grey) seems to be lagging behind. Let me explain my frustration with young female characters who allow themselves to be used as doormats (even if the hero is seriously good-looking, wealthy, seductive, complex, and has that air of mystery) or are just plain boring – they just aren’t good role models for young women. Well, for any woman. Especially the 21st century modern woman.
Come on, let’s face it – whilst the fantasy of a a man who is almost unbearably handsome, rich and perfect, who spoils you and makes you laugh, gives you pleasure, is protective and makes all the decisions in your life sounds heavenly and leads you to believe that the ‘darkness’ within him is something that can be tamed with the ‘love of a good woman’, and perhaps that he’s even redeemable as he awakens your burning desire to conquer him – my issue here is that it begs the question: why would such a ‘wonderful’ guy be interested in a female that is shallow, superficial, insipid, silly, stupid, boring, lacks self-esteem, lacks imagination, or is predictable? Am I being too harsh? Well, let’s take a look at some female characters you can admire and who are definitely worthy of the ‘ideal’ man…
On the top of my list is Elizabeth Bennet. Okay, I know Austen’s novel was written in the 19th century but hey, this girl is seriously Badass. Lizzie is everything the modern woman should be – strong, bold, unconventional, intelligent, outspoken, with a playful disposition, and who takes delight in the ridiculous – basically, all the things I admire most in a female. The great thing about this novel isn’t just the romance/ fairytale ending with Mr Darcy (and he really is a proud and prejudicial man worth ‘taming’), it’s Lizzie’s learning curve as she realises she’s capable of serious misjudgement and seeks to rectify her failings. At the same time, she challenges the snobbery and hypocrisy of the aristocrats, and refuses two advantageous proposals of marriage for the sake of love, family and self-identity. Go Lizzie!
2. Jane Eyre. Another 19th century heroine, Jane Eyre is far from insipid. She may be plain in appearance but, even as a child, she stands up for her rights against the oppressive figures of her aunt and cousin, the Reeds, and later, the dreadful Mr Brocklehurst. Highly individual and bold, Jane challenges her employer (and the man she loves) Mr Rochester – and, realising the cost to self, flees Thornfield Hall rather than submitting to Mr Rochester’s proposal to become his mistress rather than his wife (move over Anastasia Steele – you won’t see Jane settle for some dodgy contract). No wonder she finds true love and asserts at the end of the novel, “Reader, I married him.” which suggests her own agency – she married him. Not the other way round. And purely of her own choosing. You go girl!
3. Hermione Granger. In the Harry Potter series, Hermione starts as an insufferable know-it-all yet blossoms into an intelligent, feisty beauty who, on many an occasion, saves the day with her quick thinking and steadfast nature. Intelligence translates into strength and Badass behaviour – such as when she king hits the obnoxious, odious Draco Malfoy – and Hermione’s compassion tempers both Harry and Ron (seriously, boys can be daft at times!). I love Hermione … and Sage Woods, my main protagonist, shares many of Hermione’s wonderful traits.
4. Almost all of the women in The Lord of the Rings. From Arwen to Éowyn, these ladies are truly Badass. Imagine a young woman defying convention to disguise herself as a man and go into battle because she feels that she loves her country and family as much as any man, or giving up her immortality for the man she loves – well, this is what Badass is all about and one shouldn’t make comments like “No living man can kill me” when there a feisty woman around to do the job!
5. Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This girl is seriously kick-butt, take-no-prisoners Badass. A world class computer hacker with an eidetic memory, she’s survived an abusive childhood, exploitation and patriarchal oppression to become a “feminist avenging angel”. Girl power at its best!
6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Before Katniss, Tris and all those other imitators was Buffy – her stake-‘em-in-the-heart, kick-butt attitude is only matched by the fact that it wasn’t just about killing vampires but slaying her love interests too. Both Angel and Spike couldn’t keep up with this Badass female – and her sardonic wit was a killer too!
There are many more Badass females to choose from so take your pick, but the Bella Swans and Anastasia Steeles can move over and make way for the Badass female characters we all can look up to and learn from…
Identical twins. Poles apart. Light and Shadow. Saffron and Sage. Their Destinies interlocked in a Quest that will determine the fate of Humankind …
Seventeen-year-old Saffron Woods is haunted by strange voices as if from a distant past. With the SEED’s sentience awakened, these mystical voices intensify, forcing Saffron to acknowledge that she has also inherited its legacy of dark secrets, intrigue and death. Venturing out alone, Saffron is driven to locate an ancient manuscript charting the location of the only undiscovered Wonder of the Ancient World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, gateway to the Garden of Eden. But last seen in the Library of Alexandria, the SCROLL is long thought to be lost.
Saffron meets Finn, the compelling caretaker of Satis House who appears to know more than he is willing to reveal. Knowing she cannot trust him, Saffron is drawn to this rebellious figure who seems to both threaten and protect her. But her feelings for Finn are complicated by the charming yet inscrutable Anakim, Gabriel Chevalier, who offers her his invaluable assistance in locating the elusive manuscript.
Torn between competing passions and facing an increasingly implacable enemy, the Grigori, Saffron struggles to find the SCROLL which holds the secrets to the past and the key to the future…
SCROLL: KEEPERS OF GENESIS II by DB Nielsen is published on 12th March
D B Nielsen was born in British Hong Kong and immigrated to Australia in childhood. Dee likes to travel the world with family; dividing time between residing in Sydney and visits to the cathedrals, crypts and museums the world over, researching new projects. The author is a university lecturer in Linguistics and Semiotics, and continues to teach English Literature and Language whilst writing fiction.