In my genre, creating a strong female lead character is a must. She has to be beautiful, smart, amazing, and perfect, as well as able to save the universe with her pinky finger. So...does this mean she can't be rescued?
That's something I struggle with. If a woman is supposed to do everything a man can do and more, she shouldn't have to be rescued. She should be able to outwit, outgun, outfight every villain.
This afternoon, I saw Jupiter Ascending. For the most part, I enjoyed it. And while this isn't a review of the movie, it sparked my thought about this idea of strength in leading female roles. Jupiter herself seems pretty strong. She handles being swept away to a new world and culture pretty well. She takes her share of hits. And in the end (sorry for the spoiler), she stands up to the bad guy.
But she can't seem to get through a scene without being rescued. If she falls (which she does a lot), she's caught. If she's trapped, she escapes with help. Her counterpart, Caine, is always there. Of course, that sets up the rather contrived love story. It gives her a reason to fall (not literally) for the guy.
We see this in the more popular stories, too. Bella in Twilight is another example. Always rescued for the sake of the love story.
So what is it that identifies a female lead as strong?
I think it boils down to character. The very essence of what makes her take a stand for her beliefs. For her friends and family. Honor, integrity, heart.
Look at Katniss in The Hunger Games. She stood up to protect her sister, and later the other folks she loved. Would she have chosen those terms normally? Probably not. Her hand was a little forced in the matter. Going back to Jupiter, she made a similar choice.
I made several revisions to my books to ensure a strong female lead, but I still like the idea of the rescue. There's something deep in our souls that longs for that rescue. I know the secret. Do you? It's pretty awesome once you figure it out. But that's another post for another day.
Hanileh in Poison experienced a few rescues. In the end, she was the one to save the day. Raven in Fusion got herself in trouble on more than one occasion, but she was instrumental in bringing about the resolution. Both characters had to identify what was important to them and fight for it. In that, they found their strength.
And in my eyes, that makes them worthy.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3