Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and it was so inspiring as a woman to see loads of videos, tweets and posts about how people are proud to be a woman and the work everyone is doing to break down societies perceptions of what it is to be a woman.
Literature is a huge influence and I am so pleased to see more and more independent and powerful women as protagonists in novels especially in the young adult genre. From someone who has been reading books from mainly the young adult section for a while now, it is easy to see the influence they have. All these wonderful women have all had positive and lasting impacts on my life right from a young age and prove that you don’t have to be like a man to be strong – strength comes in many different forms.
I remember clearly when I was younger I was obsessed with the Harry Potter series (I still am) and after reading the first book, I wanted to be just like Hermoine as she was a smart, kind and powerful girl who didn’t let anything stand in her way. The amount of times that I dressed up as her for World Book Day or Halloween, was ridiculous but that was until I found out that I didn’t have to dress up to be this powerful girl, all I had to do was look in the mirror and realise that I too can be like Hermoine Granger but in my own unique way. And now here I am, I am proud to call myself a woman and every day I strive to achieve more and my dreams get bigger and bolder, so here’s a thank you to the authors and their characters who each and everyday support and inspire their readers.
Anyway, to celebrate International Women’s Day, I wanted to share a few of my favourite powerful women that inspire me in different ways and I would love it if you share some of your favourites or characters that inspire you in the comments!
Hermoine Granger, Harry Potter – Like I’ve already mentioned Hermoine is a smart and determined woman, who is not only brilliant, but she is noble, courageous, and does not question who she is despite Draco’s incessant “Mudblood” name-calling.
Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games – Another badass woman for young adult fiction, she’s a survivor, protector and a warrior who will do anything to protect the ones she loves as well as constantly defying expectations!
The Stark Women, Game of Thrones – I applaud George R.R. Martin who I must admit has created some of the most badass and powerful women in literature especially the women of the Stark family. Sansa has gone from the foolish romantic girl to a woman who is able to face her fears, to endure pain, abuse and shame. Arya is an independent fighter who will stop at nothing to seek revenge and finally, Catelyn was the protector and ruler of her family who fought until her death.
Hua Mulan, The Ballad of Mulan – The Disney version of Mulan isn’t the only version as actually she was originally imagined in the Chinese poem ‘The Ballad of Mulan’ in which Mulan is presented as a bad-ass seventeen years old who is already a martial arts and weapons expert. Like the Disney film, she goes to war in place of her father despite the laws restricting her and returns home triumphant.
Elizabeth Bennett, Pride and Prejudice – Though Elizabeth may not be as handy with a sword as the other are, she is good with her words and uses them as her weapon. She is not afraid to share her opinion or even care what others think and she was the one, like may others who taught me to open my eyes to the importance of independence and that it’s ok to look out for yourself.
Éowyn, Lord of the Rings – Lord of the Rings is mainly dominated by male protagonists but I think that is what makes Eowyn stand out as such a powerful woman. Not only does she go against her father’s orders and ride into battle but she also kills the Witch-king of Angmar! What a woman! I want to end this post of one of my favourite quotes from this series and I feel like it sums up and ends this post beautifully:
“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”
“But no living man am I! You are looking upon a woman.”