My favorite stories always have a badass girl. She isn’t always the main character, though when she is that’s awesome. She doesn’t have to have a sword, though if she does I’m cool with that. She doesn’t have to be the wittiest, or the snarkiest, though again, both I’m cool with. She only has to fight for her choice. What is right for her. (Also, this is assuming she’s not the stereotypical mean-girl.) Because a girl who makes her own choices, stands up for what she believes in and fights for those beliefs and choices is an important form of representation, especially in YA literature.
As a woman and a mother to a little girl who one day, I’m absolutely 100% positive, will read YA (hurray!!), I love diverse stories about girls. I also believe that all girls are badasses.
Give me your badass strategist in a dress. Your military lieutenant in boots. Your cunning spy in heels. Give me your demon-slaying warrior in gear. Your poet prodigy scribbling away on a notepad. Give me the spines made of steel and the hearts full of resolve. Show me girls who have their chins turned toward the horizon of tomorrow, that don’t back down when told they can’t do something. Because at the heart of it, a badass is made on the inside. Regardless of what a girl wears or how her mind works, a girl is only a badass if it’s in her heart.
That’s not to say boys aren’t wonderful little creations too. I love boys. I have a little boy myself and I love his cute little button nose to pieces. And, yes, he too will read the greats of YA. And he too will be versed in the diversity of literature and the power of language. One day he’ll meet the many amazing boys and girls of YA who’ll inspire him to live and explore this world. But today’s post is about loving on girls specifically and loving the diverse kinds of stories about girls out there.
For instance, I like stories about girls who stand up for themselves and their right to not have sex before marriage and their common human dignity to not be called prudes by the rest of society. I also like stories about girls who stand up for themselves and their right to have sex before marriage and their right to common human dignity not to be called sluts. I like stories about girls who go to college and I like stories about girls who don’t. I like stories about girls who have boyfriends and girls who don’t. I like stories about girls who like boys, girls who like girls and girls who just aren’t sure who they like or if they like anyone at all. Because that’s okay too and there’s nothing wrong with that. I like stories about girls who have a choice because all of these choices are valid. All of these girls are badass. They are the women of today and of tomorrow. They are reflections of beauty in our diverse world. And there is something wonderful about that.
That’s why I believe all stories should have a badass girl. Because all girls are badass. Because it’s important to highlight the diversity of not just our own humanity, but also our own choice. Because what we decide to do with our own life is our choice. And those choices have the right to be respected. And people (both girls and boys) who fight for what they believe in deserve to have their stories heard.