Seperis (seperis) wrote,

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the age of reading comprehension, ages eleven through fifteenish

Via metafandom:

What I Think About Twilight by helen_keeble, which explores the agency Bella has in her own life in transportation, social expectations, and, oddly yet not, dinner menu.

That reminds me of the fact that even now, fourteen years past legal, I still get a certain thrill from eating out. The more I have to dress up to eat there, the more I enjoy it. Huh.

However, it was in comments that I took a moment, specifically this one:

I can imagine myself as a teenager enjoying the books, but I've never gotten into books with female protagonists. Almost all of the books I devoured as a teenager and absolutely loved had male protagonists and were written by male authors. For some reason, I connect with the content of those stories far more than when a female protagonist is presented. [...]

That fascinates me, because I was entirely the opposite. In the name of getting a female protagonist (or at least a female point of view), I would do a page check to see who had the point of view. In the comment, the commenter mentions F'lar, while I was all about Lessa, liked Brekke, loved Menolly, adored Sorka, was a little in love with Sharra, and carried on a long-term love/hate relationship with Mirrim for years.

(I also really didn't get Mirrim; McCaffrey generally wrote types of female characters, either ones you were supposed to like or, you know, Kylara. Mirrim is still an anomaly in that I kept feeling like McCaffrey at some point meant to write a purely Mirrim story, because even considering the company she kept, Mirrim was really damn special in that way that made me want to throw things because all of her accomplishments were pretty much throw-away lines in other people's stories. I mean--gah. And did that girl have abandonment issues. Which with the fostering thing in place, made me wonder what McCaffrey was trying to say, since the idea seemed to be All Fostering, All the Time, Best Way, Only Way. Mirrim. Dammit.)

I'm thinking of Darkchild by Sydney J Van Scyoc, and Call of Madness by Julie Dean Smith and By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey and Six of Swords by Carole Nelson Douglas, lots of Patricia Wrede and then Mists of Avalon (and only now becomes irritating when I can't reconcile the use of Christianity, as while I do not have a degree in religion, the timeline seems off for a lot of what was considered Christian female requirements unless it was totes obscure sects, but whatever). And I'm not sure that's changed too much; unless by specific recommendation or unless I'm going to get a specific book, I default looking for a female main character.

I think it was the multitasking. Sure, men fought dragons and came home and got a princess. That was new and interesting. But you know, compare and contrast that to the girl that fought the dragons, took her father's throne from evil misogynist advisors, got married, had a baby, saved her country again, and still had time to read a story to the kid before going to bed. Then sometimes, she'd stop a war somewhere in there. And did it wearing a crown and some deeply cool evening gowns. I mean, that was a role model for twelve-to-sixteen.

You know, especially Darkchild. It's been years (read, nearly two decades) since I read it, so I am blanking on her name, but she's the equivalent of a princess, left at home alone while her mother goes off to recharge her sunstones in the mountains, and can do pretty much whatever she wants, including adopt a mysterious cute boy who she can teach cool games and hold hands with a future of controlling unimaginable power if she is her mother's successor and is expected to have sex with lots of different men when she grew up so she could have a daughter to be her heir.

(And now in retrospect, I am noting how sex was so casual with men, to the point where even their names weren't considered all that important; in contrast, barohnas had another barohna they bonded to with this stone that let them have, I think, a soulmate thing going on. After they retired from their position, they'd go live with their female soulmate. And the barohnas didn't seem to have very strong ideas about fathers, either; most never knew their father's names. Okay, now i have to go re-read these; if i remember correctly, the heroine mentioned above having a single monogamous husband was hugely revolutionary and disturbing to everyone, along with never choosing to bond with another barohna, etc. Hmm.)

Man, I loved her.

Yes. Carry on. I really need to find a copy of that book again, along with Six of Swords to check my memory against what actually happened. I'm almost sure I missed one or two of that series.
Tags: books
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