The dedication in the front of Daughter reads "To the strong women in my life". What do you think, constitutes a strong woman? Do you think that strength differs between the genders, such that the characteristics of a strong woman are not necessarily those of a strong man. Is it possible to be strong and effeminate? How so?
This is a really vague and open-ended question, I know. But I think it will become an important theme in the novel (and certainly fodder for a future question). So give it a go!
And actually, while we're on the subject...
Someone once told me that one of the problems with the epic fantasy genre is lack of strong, traditionally feminine women in the text. To paraphrase:
"It's like putting a skirt on a girl makes her simpering and reliant on men in almost any adventure plot. Just think of Tolkein. Modern fantasy authors have tried to combat the issue with more dangerous, adventurous women, but their strategy is flawed. Instead of solving the problem of how to be strong and part of the so-called "weaker sex," they've come up with a generation of fantasy heroines that are not so much women as men in drag. Modern fantasy heroines sword-sling, they wear pants, they demand to be treated like a man, and they hide their long hair under a cap until the lucky love interest finally breaks through their "tough" shell to the woman within. Thus, many authors mistake masculinity for strength and seek to strengthen their heroines by giving them qualities traditionally assigned to men.
What do you think of this quote? Do you agree? Is there anything wrong with associating strength and masculinity the way this person claims many authors do? What are some examples of strong heroines in literature, Masculanized or not. Why are they strong?
Subject: Open to all!