How NOT to Write Kick-Ass Heroines

(Image features Cordelia Vorkosigan, nee Naismith, from the Vorkosigan Saga; an amazing example of a kick-ass heroine!)

I was reading an SFR with a “kick-ass” heroine recently. The book is universally lauded. But something happened early on that ensured I wouldn’t go on to finish it, much less read the rest in the series. The heroine was a highly-trained woman with substantial physical skill. And, after a scene with a companion, she finds herself running late for an appointment. So she goes to the equivalent of a present-day “taxi rank” and, disregarding everyone else, pushes her way to the front of the queue. Because she can. Because she knows that nobody else waiting in that line can stand up to her.

I’m sorry, but that’s not a sign of strength to me. On the contrary, I see it as a sign of weakness. To me, this supposed “kick ass” heroine is nothing but a bully. Let me pull back a little bit so you can understand my reasoning.

Read the full article at Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly.

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