Damsel: Oh, do save me!
Knight: Never fear, my lady, for your hero has arrived!
Damsel: Oh! [half faints] Oh look, my dress is falling off . . .
According to Wikipedia, the damsel in distress is usually “a beautiful young woman placed in a dire predicament by a villain or monster, and who requires a hero to achieve her rescue.” Now, as romantic as it is to be rescued by your “hero” (and it’s true that I’m currently in love with a certain I Need A Hero song ), you’ve got to admit that it’s way more fun to read about a girl who can kick the villain’s butt herself. And luckily for us, YA literature these days features some fantastic kick-ass heroines.
Here are just a few:
- Hermione Granger: she started off bossy and nerdy (actually, she never entirely lost the bossiness/nerdiness!) but there was a reason the sorting hat put her into Gryffindor, the house that values courage and bravery. I mean, she fought Death Eaters!
- Isabelle Lightwood: this demon-stomping shadowhunter does not need a man to take care of her.
- Katniss Everdeen: like I need to expand on this one. Anyone who can survive the horrific Hunger Games—twice—deserves to be on this list.
- Evie: with her trusty pick taser, Evie can handle just about any paranormal creature.
I’m not saying these kick-ass heroines have to be strong all the time. They have their moments of vulnerability. It’s part of what makes them human, and I love them for it. But I also love that they don’t just wait around for someone else to rescue/take care of them.
How do you feel about the kick-ass heroine vs the damsel in distress?
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