On The Lone Heroine

Now, this is an epiphany I don’t quite know what to do with.

Fantasy books for women perpetuate a binary that makes no sense: be ordinary, with company, or be extraordinary, alone. Well, I say “ordinary”. I probably mean “feminine”. And I say “extraordinary”, but I probably mean “masculine”.


All those female leads, with no family, no female friends, only one or two men, at least one of whom they invariably end up having sex with…. To only realise now what kind of message that gave me, that it still gives me – well, it feels about as clever as the time I spent half an hour looking for my glasses, only to find them on my face.

I always wanted to be that girl.

Always alone, always the best. Never needing anybody. Especially not other women. I don’t like to write that, but it’s true. Yay for deeply entrenched misogyny. It’s always fun discovering that in yourself.

And only now do I realise that I’m not that girl, that I never was and I never could be. Not only that, but now – now I don’t want to be her anymore.


One Comment on “On The Lone Heroine”

  1. Isabelle_Aumentou says:

    A couple of thoughts occur:

    Heroes tend to be lonely too. Films, TV, books, all stories have relatviely small casts, because if they had a cast like real life and action like real life then you’d need a diagram the size of wales to follow them. Also, it would be difficult to make the central cast special if they were surrounded by real people.

    That said though, heroines tend to be more alone. I don’t know if that’s because writers tend to default to same-sex pairing = friends, and there aren’t usually as many women in stories. Or whether it’s the other way round. Films fail the bechdel test because the heroines must be lonely?

    “I always wanted to be that girl. ”
    Me too.

    Also, I’ve been in work too long.


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