I don't even know where to begin with this. I guess I'll start from the beginning. I'm the advocate for Katniss in the YA Tournament of Heroines hosted by the YA Sisterhood. The tournament itself is fantastic, and it has been such an honor to represent my favorite heroine. I have made new friends, found others who are just as passionate about Katniss as I am, and have discovered even more heroines that I want to read about. These very things were the intent of the tournament to begin with: friendships, discovery of new books.
But I can't deny that there is an ugly side to the tournament that is beginning to come out. The last tournament the YA Sisterhood hosted was the YA Crush Tourney, and it consisted of nothing but fun and lighthearted banter. But it seems that when it comes to our heroines, we are all very protective and passionate, and it has been cause for some terrible things to be said and feelings to be hurt. I have watched Katniss get slammed, Hermione, Clary, Tessa, Fire, and many others. The Ya Sisterhood has said from the beginning that they will not tolerate this, and they have been true to their word. They've been working to delete comments and post reminders about acceptable comments. In fact, the comments I am referring to in this post have already been deleted. But it's still happening, and it's getting worse the closer we come to the final match. And until those comments are deleted, they are up for all to read.
Why are we so openly critical of our heroines?
I'm reading these comments, tweets, and blog posts that are comparing heroines based on the amount of trials they have had (been guilty of this one myself), and saying how much worse the other heroine is because she hasn't been through as much; because she first cowered before deciding to fight; because for one moment she gave up; because she doesn't kick butt enough; because the guy in her story isn't as hot as another; because she's only smart, and nothing else.
When on Earth did having the brains to get you and your friends through any situation become a fault? When did being human and giving up for just a moment mean that you are any less of a person? When did kicking butt begin to replace the real definition of heroine? And what does a guy have anything to do with heroine-ism?
We're looking at the wrong things here, people. You can't compare situations. Each character in each and every story is given at least one trial to get through, and usually that one is plenty hard enough. It's called plot, and that's what gives the story substance so you'll continue reading. You will never find a story with a character who doesn't have the hardest test/trial/emotional/physical pain OF THEIR LIFE to go through.
A heroine isn't determined by how much butt she kicks, her kill count, her attitude, her amount of time in the story, the magnetism of her man, or even whether she's on the good side or not. A heroine is determined by how she reacts when the world (or even just a friend) is counting on her. A character can go from villain to heroine in one sentence. It's amazing. A character can also make mistakes, ask for help, and (gasp!) not be perfect. When it comes down to it, it's what happens in that one moment--the only moment that really counts--that matters. And even then, it's all colored by YOUR OWN perception.
I don't really know where I'm going with this, I just know I had to say something. Katniss is going up against Tessa on Wednesday. Let's not compare, okay? They're both heroines. They are both strong, amazing characters who did great things in their stories. Vote for the one you admire; the one who inspires YOU to greatness as well. I hope you'll all vote for Katniss, but I know It will be different for everyone. Let's keep it fun and lighthearted. But whatever you do, don't make the mistake of bashing other people's heroines.
We are all so much better than that.