I’ve finally done it. I’ve jumped on The Hunger Games bandwagon – about four years shy of the date of publication, but that’s how long I needed for the hype to simmer. As Chandler Bing would say, “I couldn’t be more right.” Quietly, I was able to adore a sweetheart like Peeta, loathe a society like The Capitol and root for a badass like Katniss Everdeen. I updated my opinion with this post-Apocalyptic world using my pre-Apocalyptic resources. My status read: ‘Finally jumped on the bandwagon. Katniss is a badass.’
Onto Book Two. I felt like I would be condemned to the dungeons for being a late bloomer but, to my surprise, my opinion was well-received by my female buddies. More and more of my gal pals ‘Like’d my status, agreeing with the blunt definition I gave the book’s heroine. At first I sang a myriad of pop anthems: “Yea! Can’t hold us down! No scrubs! R-E-S-P-E-C-T!” Then, a rock dropped in my stomach when I realized only females loved the literary females I adored. Why? Why?! A literary heroine possesses everything a literary hero does: passion, conviction, fear, courage and independence. Why shouldn’t she be praised? Characters like Atticus Finch and Jay Gatsby are worshiped by both genders? But you never see a boy carry around Pride and Prejudice in his back pocket – unless he has a test, or is attempting to woo someone’s older sister.
I was hot with rage at this epiphany. I wanted to tear my hair out, scream at the top of my lungs, go ‘Since U Been Gone’ on my apartment! Then, it was suddenly okay. It dawned on me that this lack of appreciation for Katniss and all her badass-ness is simply what every woman must feel sometimes. Elizabeth Bennett refused to submit to Mr. Darcy’s arrogance, so she’s prejudice. Hermione Granger outsmarts Ron and she’s a know-it-all. Jo March has ambition and she’s unfit as a wife. At one time or another we don’t see or receive the type of love we deserve. Do we pout? No. Do we complain? Certainly not. We hold our head up high and walk confidently into the arena just like Katniss. And just like Katniss, we’ll know that an adorable, baker’s son like Peeta waits for us, too — a guy who will love our strengths, scars and flaws. Is this something we can all believe or even control? Of course. We run this mother, yup.
You can read more from Kimberly Nagaran on her blog.
Featured image via.