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Embrace the Powerhouses: Kickass Female Characters in Literature for Women's Empowerment 2023

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

strong female protagonists, midjourney, women's empowerment 2023

Hey there, bookworms!

Women's empowerment 2023 is set to be an exciting year! Get ready to dive into a literary adventure that celebrates strong female characters in all their fabulous shapes, sizes, and diversity. Women in young adult and adult novels are breaking stereotypes, smashie-characters-in-literatureng clichés, and empowering us with tales of badass protagonists who inspire us to embrace inclusivity and kick some literary butt.

So, buckle up and join us as we explore the traits that make these characters extraordinary, check out some epic examples from our favorite reads, learn how to avoid tired clichés, and grab tips on creating kickass women that rock your literary world.

Oh, and don't forget to put your story to the test and ensure it passes the Bechdel Test—a crucial checkpoint for gender representation. Let's get this party started!

So, what makes these ordinary women extraordinary?

It’s not always the half demon genetics like in my storyCatching the Bull’s Eye.’ Sometimes its circumstance that decides between woman or superwoman. In a world that's all about embracing diversity and championing inclusion, it's high time literature reflected that. We need women of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds taking center stage in our stories, showing us what it means to be fierce, fabulous, and fearlessly authentic.

Here’s what these women have in common:

  • She is resilient: These women face obstacles head-on, shake off the punches, and come back stronger than ever.

  • She is about action: They call the shots, make their own choices, and drive the story forward like the bosses they are.

  • She is complex: Forget one-dimensional characters! Our leading ladies are multi-faceted, with strengths, vulnerabilities, and growth arcs that make them all the more relatable.

  • She has empathy: They're not just kicking butt; they're also showing love, understanding, and support to those around them.

  • She is smart: These ladies are brainy beauties, rocking intellectual prowess and problem-solving skills that leave us in awe.

Here are some of my favorite powerhouse female protagonists:

  • Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series: This clever witch embodies brains, bravery, and loyalty in equal measures, showing us that intelligence is indeed magical.

  • Zetian from the Iron Widow: The woman comes from the slums and becomes Queen because she just refuses to be put down.

  • Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice: This sassy and independent-minded woman challenges societal norms, reminding us that it's okay to speak our minds and follow our hearts.

  • Jude from The Folk of the Air Series: She battles treacherous fairies and their machinations to create a king and then defeats the baddest of the bad to become a monarch in her own rights.

Oh, I have so many more, but I have got to stop here, or you’ll never shut me up!

Some clichés to kick to the curb:

  • Damsel in distress: No more helpless princesses waiting for rescue! Our heroines take control of their own fates, proving they are more than capable of saving themselves.

  • Love interest as the sole purpose: It's time to break free from the cliché of women existing solely for romantic pursuits. Our characters have their own dreams, ambitions, and adventures that go beyond finding "the one."

  • Catfights and rivalries: Let's put an end to the tired trope of women tearing each other down. Instead, let's celebrate their genuine bonds of friendship, cooperation, and support.

  • Unattainable beauty standards: It's high time we embrace diverse representations of beauty. Our heroines come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, showing that true beauty radiates from within.

Are you writing a kickass female character? Here’s how.

  • Don’t be scared. Give them the spotlight: Let these powerhouses take charge and drive their own stories. They're the heroes we've been waiting for! I hate the word ‘unleash’ but unleash them already!

  • Brag a little. Flaunt their flaws: Perfect is overrated. Realistic characters have imperfections, doubts, and struggles that make them human and relatable. So give them some flaws and complicate the hell out of them.

  • Unite! Foster sisterhood: Explore genuine and meaningful relationships between female characters. Friendships, rivalries, and mentorships all add depth to their journeys. But this is where you avoid the cliches. Even villains have a story.

Bonus Time! The Bechdel Test—Your Litmus Test for Representation:

The Bechdel Test asks 3 questions. Does your story (1) have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man?

How cool is that! Now go check how many awesome books actually fail this test!

If you enjoyed this, then you’ll enjoy reading about three awesome powerhouses I wrote in my book ‘The Ink Weave.’

women's empowerment, strong female protagonists, Fatima Razi, The Ink Weave, Amazon, KDP, Author, book cover

Check it out on my Author page on Amazon:

Happy reading!

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Samreen Shah
Samreen Shah
Jun 22, 2023

Impressive work. A perfect blend of simple language, with strong emotions to get the message across in a powerful manner.. Kudos to the writer!

Aug 20, 2023
Replying to

Thank you Samreen. You're my favorite powerhouse female ;)

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