Melissa Walker

Friday, April 18th, 2014 Melissa Walker

The amazing Courtney Summers just wrote a great post “on unlikeable female protagonists”, and I had to share a bit of it here (though you really must go read the whole thing).
Basically, when people responded to one of her novels saying they loved the guy protagonist, who was not exactly a sweetheart, but hated the girl protagonist, also not sweet (they couldn’t connect with her, she was cold, etc). So Courtney says:

“I did a lot of navel-gazing soul-searching and I just kept getting annoyed because my thoughts decided to circle in this way: WHY DO GIRLS HAVE TO BE NICE ALL THE TIME THEY CAN BE MEAN AND ANGRY AND GENDER STEREOTYPING MUCH ARGH. Just. Like. That. I was bothered that the behaviours that are supported, loved, celebrated or romanticized in male characters would be, I thought, rejected in female characters because we have the perception that girls are sugar and spice and everything nice (er, not that I think wanting your significant other to DIE is an inherently male characteristic).
“We are HARD on girls.”
The whole post is fantastic, and it reminded me of this video clip I filmed of Libba Bray last year discussing something similar.

Let’s let female characters be compelling — must they always be likeable? Thoughts?

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