15 literary heroines, factual and fictional

Literary Heroines

"...Besides, if women are educated for dependence; that is, to act according to the will of another fallible being, and submit, right or wrong, to power, where are we to stop?"

The above sentiment, to today's eyes and ears, might sound quaint, or even obvious. But when Mary Wollstonecraft published it in her 1792 work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, her views were largely unexplored openly, and widely unpopular. She received a fair amount of critical acclaim for the work, but was unsurprisingly also subjected to a healthy amount of outrage and scorn (from both men, and women). Nevertheless, she continued to argue the importance of women as key members of society, and champion the necessity of women having access to higher education. She persisted.

Here we are, more than 200 years later, and while we may have come a long way (baby) since Wollstonecraft's early feminist text, people all over the world continue to fight hard for the rights and equality of women. And what better medium than a book? Books are accessible, affordable, shareable and translatable. One can do much within its covers. Today we are celebrating 15 literary heroines - whether fictional character or real life fighter - who bettered the world for women, through books.

Our Heroines

from the comic series by Georges Chaulet
Fant?mette is the secret identity of French high school student Fran?oise Dupont. Fant?mette donned a mask to fight crime with her wits, her talents and her friends over 40 years before anyone had ever heard of Kick-Ass.
By Nigerian Author and Feminist
Nigerian Author and Feminist
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is not only an accomplished novelist, but also an outspoken critic of the status quo around gender, using her voice to elevate women and marginalized groups. Her 2012 Tedx talk We Should All be Feminists was adapted into a book-length essay in 2014.
18th Century Feminist
An early feminist (protofeminist - before the word feminist existed) writer, in 1792 Wollstonecraft wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, whose ideas and themes, while radical for the time (even among suffragettes), are now widely acknowledged as some of the key foundations for modern feminism.
from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
In the 17th century, when Puritanical slut-shaming was at an all-time high, Prynne has a baby out of wedlock and is subsequently imprisoned and socially tortured. Throughout the novel she gradually embraces her strength, learns to rise above, comports herself with dignity, and cares for herself and her child.
18th century poet
An essential name in Spanish poetry, de Castro was among the earliest Spanish women to publish under her own name, not a pseudonym. Her bravery made her a symbol for the whole Galician nation, as she wrote high literature in local languages - in many ways, she became the voice of the people.
Media mogul
Oprah's wealth, fame, and tireless hustle have made her unstoppable, and she endlessly advocates for women. The original Oprah's Book Club provided instant spotlight attention to over nearly six dozen books over 15 years, over half of which were by women, including many women of color.
Benedictine abbess (1098 -1179)
Despite living in a time where very few women had access to education, she founded two monasteries and became famous for her theological, botanical, and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, and poems. She is widely recognized as the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.
Swedish teacher and children's author
In 1909, Selma Lagerl?f was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. She was prolific, but is best known for her children's book Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (The Wonderful Adventures of Nils).
from the Agatha Christie novels
The charming Miss Marple, an elderly British woman who solves murders for a hobby, is a refreshing take on the male dominated detective genre - Miss Marple herself knows that she is often underestimated and uses this to her advantage. Her creator, Agatha Christie, is one of the most successful women writers of all time.
from JK Rowling's Harry Potter series
An inspirational role model to young girls everywhere, fictional Hogwarts witch Hermione Granger is smart, brave and loyal to boot. And she's a double whammy, because Emma Watson, who portrayed Hermione in the film adaptations, is part of many feminist causes.
from The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
Elizabeth uses her bravery and wits to defeat a fire-breathing dragon and rescue a prince, who is a sexist idiot. Rather than conforming to his warped ideals of femininity, she tells him where to stick it, and dances into the sunset, solo. Dear girls: you have a choice, and your own company is a beautiful thing.
Queer Cartoonist/Author
Best known for her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which ran for 25 years (!), Bechdel is also the author of two poignant and touching graphic memoirs, and the mind behind The Bechdel Test, whose existence shines a much-needed light on portrayals of women and female friendship in film.
from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Early 20th century Florida was no easy climate for a young black woman, yet Janie quickly learns her own worth and fights for it. She refuses to be defined by her marriages, refuses to let her womanhood, or society or the men around her dictate what she will settle for, and holds her head up high.
by Joaquín Salvador Lavado (Quino)
One might not expect a comic strip about a six-year-old girl to teach lessons in critical thinking. Nevertheless, Mafalda, with her intense curiosity, insatiable restlessness, and perfect balance of idealism and cynicism is an excellent role model for little girls everywhere. Question everything!
from the series by Astrid Lindgren
The ultimate free spirit, nobody cares less for convention or expectation than Astrid Lindgren's vivacious Pippi Longstocking. A fierce defender of justice, Pippi lets neither gender nor age limit what she does (including equal parts housekeeping and repairs). Pippi is unapologetically herself.

What literary heroine(s) would you add to our list?

More essential reading lists

June 03, 2021 05:02 PM
If you were a child in the 1960s, you'll know the names Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, and Shel Silverstein. These were some of the authors who wrote the words that filled our childhoods with adventure, wonder, laughter and more.
1 Min Read
June 03, 2021 05:02 PM
Is reading ever again as full of wonder as it is during childhood? Back then, books seemed almost magic, opening doors to strange, wonderful and frightening realities. Without ever leaving the safety of our bedrooms, we were able to explore all kinds of new terrain.
1 Min Read
June 03, 2021 05:02 PM
Growing up in the 1980s was idyllic in many ways. In childhood, the stories we explored seemed more full of adventure and wonder than could be possible. We would fight our drooping eyelids, reading late into the night by the light of a flashlight, to see what happened next.
1 Min Read
国色天香社区视频在线观看-草蜢视频在线观看www 未来电影
意大利错失直接晋级世界杯资格 红色通缉令 我和我的祖国 周冠宇成为中国首位F1车手 甄嬛传 美人鱼 意大利错失直接晋级世界杯资格 入殓师 国际人士热议中共十九届六中全会 我和我的祖国 峰爆 十九届六中全会公报发布 苏宁易购回应破产传闻 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 长津湖 24岁救人牺牲消防员获批为烈士 五个扑水的少年 失控玩家 寻梦环游记 失控玩家 红色通缉令 甄嬛传 加拿大一枝黄花到底是什么? 逆局 中美元首会谈重点内容 美人鱼 200斤鳄鱼被吓后待水里溺死 200斤鳄鱼被吓后待水里溺死 沙丘 俄方回应卫星碎片危及国际空间站 俄方回应卫星碎片危及国际空间站 花木兰 星际穿越 中国共产党第三个历史决议全文发布 夜色暗涌时 俄方回应卫星碎片危及国际空间站 浦发银行回应近3亿存款莫名被质押 国际人士热议中共十九届六中全会 俄方回应卫星碎片危及国际空间站 星辰大海 浦发银行回应近3亿存款莫名被质押 苏宁易购回应破产传闻 中美元首会谈重点内容 意大利错失直接晋级世界杯资格 外交部回应拜登重申不支持台独 寻梦环游记 许家印为恒大注入超70亿续命资金 苏宁易购回应破产传闻 中国共产党第三个历史决议全文发布 中美元首是否达成新共识?中方回应 大连现超级传播者26人在同一传播链 北京冬奥火炬宣传片获金花环奖 许家印为恒大注入超70亿续命资金 房价上涨城市创七年新低 拐点来了? 意大利错失直接晋级世界杯资格 外交部回应拜登重申不支持台独 动保组织向上饶信州区申请信息公开 北京冬奥火炬宣传片获金花环奖 加拿大一枝黄花到底是什么? 中国共产党第三个历史决议全文发布 北京冬奥火炬宣传片获金花环奖 图兰朵 意大利错失直接晋级世界杯资格 入殓师 大连一密接者擅自点外卖聚餐被调查 五个扑水的少年 浦发银行回应近3亿存款莫名被质押 男子体检血中抽出2升油浆 扬名立万 男子体检血中抽出2升油浆 #耿直真香哥黑化卖惨#
佛学| 海林市| 五大连池市| 浦县| 安顺市| 龙游县| 新源县| 达拉特旗| 康定县| 丘北县| 乌苏市| 清涧县| 富阳市| 黄梅县| 修水县| 邵东县| 迭部县| 循化| 华宁县| 平定县| 岑巩县| 图木舒克市| 名山县| 仁寿县|