Writing is not a man’s world now. Women are taking the writing world by storm, and there are many classics about female authors, and they have many things in common. Sometimes they are quite negative. Women writing stories haven’t always been the norm. And let’s give the rundown for the stereotypes I found.
1. In at least one way, these girls aren’t pretty.
I know that is harsh. But many of the female authors in literature have something they have against their looks. In Little Women, Jo March is described to have “limbs of a gangly colt, a conical nose, and sharp grey eyes”. Sorry if this is not the exact quote, but the gist is that Jo, the boyish writer of the family, is plain according to the descriptions- courtesy of Louisa May Alcott. In The Summer of My German Soldier, we find that Patricia Berger hates her appearance: she is too plain and too skinny. Although we are not sure whether that was from her disdainful mom (Patsy did say herself,”If only there weren’t such thing as mothers.”), or Patsy’s low self-esteem, it is clear that she has a problem with herself. In The Help, Skeeter is considered a “not pretty” girl straight from birth, when her brother goes and says, “That doesn’t look like a girl, it looks like a skeeter!”; skeeter, by the way, is the Southern dialect for mosquito, and I’m sure that is quite painful to describe Skeeter. Skeeter has way-too-curly hair, and she is way-too-tall, and it worsens as she looks upon her pretty mother who tries to get Skeeter to hold a date, and her only respite from that pain is her writing, and Constantine the black maid; her friendship with Constantine is rare in Skeeter’s racist environment. While we are talking about racism, In I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya states from the beginning that she sorta dislikes her race:”Maybe before, I had blond hair and blue eyes, and a fairy godmother who was understandably jealous of my beauty, turned me into a Negro with big feet.”. Again, not exact quote, but Maya says this to show the racism that ran high as she grew up. Now, done with that mouthful, let’s go onward.
2. They tend to think differently than what is considered the norm.
Often, these girls are the heroines who try to change the perspectives of life of their neighbors. In The Help, Skeeter actually dislikes Hilly’s proposal for the black maids to have separate bathrooms, and this, plus the disappearance of her black maid Constantine, propels her idea to write a book of the same name as well, this book, at the perspective of the black maids. Unlike all her white peers, Skeeter is not racist, and tries to open up the perspective of the black maids that no one knows about. In Little Women, Jo March scoffs at the eventuality of settling down with a husband and being the submissive wife, as is the destiny of most women in the nineteenth century. Her passion of writing and doing things no lady has tried before, veers her thoughts away from marriage and her appearance; in fact, she’d rather either marry her romantic sister Meg or her pen. In The Summer of My German Soldier, Patsy does what no Jewish-American would have ever done: hide a German prisoner-of-war in her house. It could be because love makes people reckless, but it is also that Anton, the “German soldier” actually understands Patsy, and manages to convince Patsy that she is worth something in the world. And that is shocking to many people, for they think of German soldiers under the leadership of Hitler as racist, nationalist, and just plainly said, intolerant and xenophobic. So, our heroines are the ones who are sanely trying to change the ways people think of people whether it is race, sex, or nationality.
And that’s it. We’ve covered the stereotypes I’ve found. If you have uncovered anymore, please tell me in the “Comments” section. Courtesy of Coffeecara.