Today I am very excited to welcome a wonderfully generous person and a great author, Sarah-Jane Lehoux to Mel's Random Reviews to celebrate the release of the third book following the adventure of mercenary, Sevy. I liked book one, Thief (My review here) and I REALLY liked book two, Shades of War.
I'm lucky enough to be the first stop on this book tour with a wonderful guest post from Sarah-Jane on strong female characters - something that intrigues me as pretty much every book I enjoy has a strong female character - and I do have a pet peeve against stereotyping of women in fiction so I found this fascinating - enjoy!
More than This - Sarah-Jane Lehoux
Anyone who has read anything of mine or who follows me on Twitter knows that I like strong female characters, and I like to bitch about the tropes that plague female characters from certain popular book series.
Yes, I am a feminist. No, I am not a man-hater.
I’m just a woman who looks at the way women are portrayed in current literature, and I think, “We can do better.” We can take a cold, hard look at gender roles in our society and we can re-define them.
What does this mean? It means that women are more than the sum of their parts. They are more than damsels in distress. They are more than femme fatales. They are most definitely more than Mary Sues whose lives revolve around good looking (but abusive) guys.
Women are can be ugly and still be worthwhile. We can be whole without needing a man to complete us. We can be strong without having to fight, but when we do fight, we can kick some serious ass. All that is required is a mind of one’s own. A strong woman knows who she is, or who she wants to be. She knows what she wants out of life, and she goes for it. She doesn’t wait for it to be handed to her.
Sevy, the protagonist for the eponymous series, is what I consider a strong female character. “But wait,” you might exclaim. “Wasn’t Sevy’s goal in Thief (the first of the series) to get her man? Aren’t you being hypocritical?”
Yes and no. Sevy did indeed go to some very dark places to try to win the heart of her beloved, but there is more to her than “I love him,” just as there is more to Harry Potter than “I must defeat Voldemort,” and more to Lestat than “I’m a vampire.” A well rounded, three dimensional character is complex, has faults, makes mistakes, learns, and grows as an individual. And over the course of the Sevy Series, it becomes clear that her journey is so much more than just loving a man. It’s about loving herself.
So let’s take a critical look at how women are portrayed in our favourite books. Are they being allowed to be actual people instead of simply pretty props? There are little girls out there who need role models, who need to read that they are more than just the side-kick or the seductress. There are little boys out there who need to learn that women are not just sexual objects.
Books have power, and through them, we have the ability to influence the future of humanity. Yeah, that sounds highfalutin, but I’m an author. Words are my weapons and the way I will (hopefully) leave my mark on the world.
Masquerade - Sarah-Jane Lehoux
Publisher: Mundania Press
Released 26th February 2013