I was at a publishing event a couple of weeks ago and I got talking to one of the authors about the role of female characters in fiction, especially young adult fiction. Sometimes I don't think authors are aware of the responsibility that they have in creating strong female leads that will inspire young girls to become more and to believe in themselves.
More and more books nowadays seem to have a female lead that is never quite as good as the male lead, she always seems to be in his shadow and I really wish this wasn't the way. Don't get me wrong I've read plenty of fantastic books with amazing leads, I'm only taking issue with those that have a soppy love sick female chasing a boy that is nothing but mean to her. It really irritates me.
Anyway back to the original conversation, I made the point of saying about how many negative reviews you see about games that inspire violence in young boys and yet no one ever makes the point about how books can create negative emotions and bad stereotypes in young girls. I think people don't give enough credit to the power of imagination that books can create. How many times have you read a book and imagined yourself in the females lead, being the object of affection of your favourite male character. I know I have but as they say with age comes wisdom, being in my twenties I think I can safely say I know that these characters are not real, as in no guy in real life would ever behave like that and girls shouldn't want a guy like that. Who wants a guy that leaves them for months and then you become emotionally unstable, I'm looking at you Twilight.
Teenage girls have enough to worry about with insecurities with looks and boys and books shouldn't add to them. Books should have characters that have strong, realistic females, flaws and all.