Posted on the Squeetus Blog July 07, 2006 12:27 PM PST.
There's nothing wrong with that phrase, I don't think. It didn't use to bother me when I heard it used...until, that is, I heard reviewers refer to my books as a "tribute to girl-power." Now it bothers me, and I'm trying to reason out why. My reaction doesn't really make sense, I think, because the phrase is meant to be complimentary, and yet it feels insulting--not to me or my books necessarily, but to girls in general.
First, I'm not setting out to write girl-power books, I think I simply have books where the main characters are usually girls. Just because they succeed, it's girl power? Just because they're not wimpy? Though sometimes they are wimpy and scared and fail and mess up, and they don't do everything on their own, they need family and friends around them to help. Is every book that has a main boy character who does stuff instantly a boy power book? I do not set out to make feminist statements (though there's nothing wrong with that). I never started a book and had a thought like, "I want to show the world that girls can be active and interesting, too!" That would be ludicrious. In my mind, I'm just writing about girl characters who are realistic. Is that so unusual? It was last century, but there are plenty of books now where realistic girls take active roles.
I don't know, am I off base here? Or has anyone else twinged at the phrase?