Time for a mini-rant.
There’s currently some debate as to whether Stephenie Meyer has the right to call herself a feminist because her female protagonists aren’t strong, independent women. Give me a break. First of all, they are works of fiction, not theoretical discourses on the rights of women. Secondly, she didn’t invent these characteristics out of thin air, some people are dependent and needy (in fact, I think the entire central love triangle in the Twilight series would fit that description).
My issue isn’t really about whether Meyer has the right to call herself a feminist or not (she does by the way). It’s with the way that some people analyse fiction to death, and then get all judgemental about the writer, or readers.
I quite enjoyed the Twilight series – not as much as the Harry Potter books, or the Hunger Games, but it was okay. It wasn’t until sitting through Breaking Dawn part one, that I felt uncomfortable with the amount of crap Bella’s character had to go through to get what she wanted out of life.
Yet why is Katniss having to kill kids to survive, somehow more moral than Bella’s almost killing herself to have a baby? These choices made perfect sense for the characters and plots. That’s all that matters.
Once you’ve had a book published, you have no control over how the reader chooses to interpret what you’ve written, that’s part of the deal. I just find it highly annoying when people get all preachy about something that a fictional character has done, or what they represent.
The fact is, some girls (and guys) are as driven, sarcastic and independent as Katniss, some are nerdy like Hermione, and others are a bit wet – like Bella, while many are completely different. That’s what makes people interesting, we’re not all the same, and neither should the characters we write about be. No matter how individuals choose to read them.