Friday, May 23, 2008

Kick Arse heroines...is there another apart from tough?

Kick arse heroines - we see them emerging from authors' computers like the proverbial mist turning to ice. I'm just as guilty!

These heroines will kick your teeth in from twenty paces with one leap just because you were levelling your flame thrower at some innocent. These are the new breed of heroines. They give you the "come here" gesture, proceed to wipe the floor with you, then give you the other famous universal gesture, "the Bird".

But do kick arse heroines have to be tough in body? I beg to differ. There is another kind of kick arse heroine, and she's peeping around the corner. I've used her (well, I mean, in my books *guffaw*).

Katina and Lysie from Love's Sweet Assassin and Love's Bewitching Thief are two plump heroines who love their food and comforts. They aren't tough in body - they'd be lucky to kick the stuffing out of a cushion, never mind fighting their way out of a wet paper bag. But what they lack in the brawn department they make up for with cunning.

Yep, I reckon this other breed of kick arse heroines are cunning. They use their female wiles, know just when to flutter their eyelashes, and can con a big, tough, he-man into thinking they're not a threat. Then they're close enough to kick him in the crotch or stab him.

Think Stephanie Plum (the heroine created by Janet Evanovich) and her off-sider, Lulu. Are they the ideal view of today's kick arse heroines? Not in this lifetime! But they always manage to get their man and leave you screaming with laughter about it the whole time. Yet I class these two as kick arse - they'll go the distance for those they care about (after some chicken from Cluck in a Bucket, of course).

I think the tough kick-arse heroine is overshadowing the smaller, cunning, not-so-brawny-but-quick-thinking little heroine. You need brains and brawn to match each other.

Yep, I reckon even we plump, short women can be kick arse heroines when the need calls for it!

now, there's trouble brewing...where did I put my lipstick and mascara again?

Angela *searching the bathroom cabinet and muttering to self*

3 comments:

Lynda K. Scott said...

Yep, kick-ass can be a frame of mind. It's got to start there before it can go anywhere else :)

Great post!

Savanna Kougar said...

Angela, that's adorable! I'm no good at that type of heroine. Probably because I don't have those particular skills myself. I admire them in other women, but, somehow they got left out at birth. I can include those wiley, make the guy feel big and powerful, ladies, as secondary characters. But you've got writer's floor. No competition from me.
Or, maybe, I should make one of my heroines learn how to do that???

Skylar Masey said...

A lot of the suspense novels which are hot now don't necessarily have heroines who have kick-assitude, but the women are capable and able to problem-solve. I think for the middle-aged women in the readership, they represent choices they might have wished they'd been able to make. But that's just my opinion. :0) I know my grandmother always seemed to want to be Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote :0) And she still loves a good true crime novel to solve (especially since she got her eye surgery done).