Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Fictional Female Role Models

I had some weird role models as a kid. Not in RL, I wasn't really impressed with the people I saw around me (since they were all culty and crazy) so instead I had a bunch of fictional characters as my female role models. Which is probably part of the reason I'm so weird... Anyway, I was thinking about the characters that made a big impression on me and how that still shows up in my life and I thought I'd share.

Princess Leia
Princess Leia was the ultimate: she had power, intelligence, looks and the ability to not only run with the big boys, but to boss them around. I totally adored her strength and the way she could get out of any tight scrape with flare. For me, Leia was the ultimate tomboy grown up and, since I was a huge tomboy it gave me hope for the future.

Anne of Green Gables/Emily of New Moon
Listing these together since they're both characters out of L.M. Montgomery series who aspired to be writers and who were orphans. I really related to not having any family you could rely on and to dedicating your time to fantasies and writing when people around you think it's a waste of time. They encouraged me to be strong and to keep writing no matter what. Also, I could totally relate to Anne's getting crap for having red hair. There was a period of time when I really hated being a red head.

Meg Murray
Meg is the main character in Madeleine L'Engle's novel, Wrinkle in Time and, like me, was an outcast with a ridiculous level of smarts. I loved how intelligent she was and how she was strong enough to put up with crap and even end up loving her tormentors. Also, I strongly related to Meg's bond with her little brother, cuz my little bro has always been my favorite sibling. No contest.

Claudia Kishi
From what I can tell, just about every American female of my generation grew up reading The Babysitter's Club books. I was no exception, though I mostly just read for Claudia. I related so strongly with her overbearing parents who forced her to hide her true self. I also adored her fashion flare and I soaked up each discription of her outfits like a freaking sponge. Honestly, I think it's the first thing that ever got me interested in fashion.

Cuteness is something I've always loved and apparently I have it in spades. I attribute at least a bit of that to how much I loved Dot from The Animaniacs and her whole "I'm cute!" thing. Plus, she was sassy and smart and didn't play by the rules. I love that shit.

Armitage the Third is a movie about a robot cop in the future when robots are generally hated and someone is going around killing the most advanced ones, like Armitage. They were able to procreate, which set them apart from other robots, and she grappled with coming to grips with this while being a kick ass mother fucker. I've had tons of "womb issues" in my life and I related to this sad little robot so much. Plus, there's that whole outsider thing again. I tend to related to them. Armitage gave me hope that I could be a strong woman, have babies, and still dedicate myself to saving the world - or at least battling the evil overloads.

Ranma 1/2
Ranma 1/2 is a boy who was cursed when he fell in a pool, so now whenever he has cold water splashed on him, he becomes a girl. This show played with gender identity and Ranma slipped from being male to female so easily, each gender side of him being different and yet the same. I loved this so much because I always felt half boy and half girl on the inside. I have a lot of masculine tendancies (although more like a gay man than a straight one) and watching a character being able to have and be it all impressed the crap out of me. It's still what I consider my first introduction to a world in which gender identity wasn't rigidly defined by crazy people.

What characters have influenced you?

Related posts:
Margaret Cho is a Goddess
Create Your Own Reality
Now and Then

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JOCOeveryman said...

Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite books when I was kid and I still have a Princess Leia fantasy.....oh my....she was cute, smart, powerful and oh that hairdo. Was she just as hot to you??

May said...

Hell yes she was!

Tony said...


As usual.

Pete Dulin and Pam Taylor, said... is putting together Top 10 Lists for the year including Top 10 local blogs. Care to submit a list to us? Also, would you be willing to post a call for submissions? We'd like to hear from as many local bloggers as possible about what blogs they're following and would recommend. Responses can be sent to us via email - - no later than December 21.

Pete and Pam

Anonymous said...

May, you rule.

Anonymous said...

Montgomery's Anne totally rocks and I too had read Anne of Green Gables as a kid.