anghraine: watercolour of jane austen; text: intj (jane austen (was an intj))
[personal profile] anghraine
I don't know why, but where I usually get a handful of birthday wishes, they've been pouring in all day today from everyone except my father, who's either an asshat or calling my cell. Anyway, happy twenty-fifth to me! Happy 2055th deathday to Julius Caesar! Happy Pelennor Day to my Tolkien friends! Happy ides of March to everyone! And thanks, all of you who sent me wishes, told me to WRITE MOAR or called me an ebil cupcake, because it made everything that much better.


Also, I found my favourite virtual paper doll maker yet, HeroMachine. (Look, there are some things you're never too old for, and paper dolls are among those things.)  It pretty much kicks paper doll ass, even if using the same colour palette for everything is a little inconvenient (OH LORD DID I JUST SAY THAT) -- I've already made Lucy, c. ROTJ, but sadly "dark blonde" wasn't an option. So she's just blonde, but still, wow.

LUUUUUUUUCY. *thrilled*

I'm kind of tempted to make the entire cast of Once Upon A Time. Must ... resist... (until ... after finals...)

So, meme -- it's this female characters meme, which I (obviously) gacked from [personal profile] majoline . While I know my f-list/reading circle is pretty meme-happy anyway, I especially encourage everybody to do this one. Anyway!

Day 1: Who is your favourite lead female character?

Mary Lennox.

Even during the Action Girl-happy late eighties/early nineties in which I spent my childhood, women (kickass and otherwise) were often relegated to supporting roles. Well, there was She-Ra (and she was awesome), but mostly I read books and even though there were great female characters, most of the time they seemed to be (1) second-most-important to the inevitably male leads (why no, there is NO REASON AT ALL that I take an unholy joy in genderswapping male-dominated-but-otherwise-awesome canons), (2) stars of girly books about girls for girls.

This isn't (she hastens to say) that I'm saying that girls' books are bad, or should be abolished or anything like that. Quite the contrary! But the thing was that there were lots of boys' books, which were about boys, by boys, directed towards boys, in which the heroes were mostly boys; there were girls' books, same as above but for girls; then there were normal kids' books, that anybody might want to write, that also seemed to be led by boys. I wasn't a tomboy by any stretch of the imagination (DIRT = TEH EBIL), but I definitely preferred the "default" books to the for-girls books or the for-boys books. But they were sort of for-boys, too.

In due course, I happened across The Secret Garden -- and, luckily for me, that copy wasn't obviously advertising itself to my uterus. It was just a book. It was a book with a female main character; Colin's important too, but he doesn't even show up until well into the book, and Mary's the driving force throughout. Even more than a book with a female main character, the character wasn't a Disney princess either. She was crotchety and irritable and spoilt/neglected (spoiglected? negloited?), she had blah blondeish hair and sallow skin and people sang Mary, Quite Contrary at her, just like they did at me.

... It, uh, might not be pure coincidence that I thought of myself as 'Elizabeth' from about the time I was five or six.


She was brusque and curious and refused to accept comforting adult lies, or to be patronized by her neurotic cousin. Pretty much everyone hated her and she dealt with it by, oh yeah, hating right back at them. Yet she's not really mean-spirited, either. Unfriendly, easily annoyed, yes -- but there's something large about her personality, even when she's sneering, sulking, snarking, issuing autocratic commands, or just dishing out the same crap that everyone directs at her.

She's about ten times more interesting than Our Lord and Saviour Dickon, and fifty times more capable than (adorable!) Colin, but they still balance each other out and make a fabulous Power Trio. Most of my favourite heroines are The Girl in similar trios, but Mary is the only one I can remember who's both lynchpin and leader for her trio.

Mary is awesome, sympathetic, she's one of the only female characters I ever identified with and certainly the first one -- which convinced me I was unusual but not a freak of nature -- she's neither Super Tomboy Action Girl or a perfect model of femininity and Incorruptible Pure Pureness, she's the main character, she takes charge of her Trio, she's snide and irritable as well as open-hearted and wide-minded, and I've yet to find a more personally satisfying heroine.

on 2011-03-16 07:57 am (UTC)
tree: woman smiling beautifully ([else] joy lies in the fight)
Posted by [personal profile] tree
i didn't know it was your birthday! happy quarter century!

aw man, now i have to do that meme. and i'm so bad at them, too.
Edited (baaa) on 2011-03-16 07:58 am (UTC)

on 2011-03-16 12:56 pm (UTC)
catie56: coffee, water glass, northanger abbey (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] catie56
happy birthday! sounds like you enjoyed it. :)


anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)

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