“I hit a boy in the face, today.”
I raised my eyebrows and turned the eyeballs towards my 6th grader, Samantha, who was relating the events of her school day, with a hot red glare. I’m pretty sure there was steam coming out of her ears.
“Really?” I asked, “What brought that on?”
I didn’t want to over-react and ruin the story, or sound like I was ‘stepping in’ to save her or something. You know, I was trying to be the sensitive, 21st century man, even though it was still, technically, the 20th century.
“Well, I asked Shep to go to a dance at school, and he said that I had too many freckles!” she answered.
Now there was definitely steam screaming from her aural orifices.
“So I hit him in the face with my padlock and walked off!”
“Good for you!” I said. “Your freckles are beautiful, and you should never take crap like that from anyone!” I was probably Father of the Year in that moment…
I come from a long line of bad ass women. Hell I might be a bad ass woman in a man’s body, for all I know. I certainly learned most of my bad-assery from them.
My mom is tough as nails, but most of you probably already know that, since I’ve written about her ad nauseum in my books and articles. I had a string of strong aunts, too, not to mention two nail-spitting grandmothers. My mom learned her toughness from a pretty good teacher. And my dad’s mom raised six girls–all superwomen–and him, through the depression and a world war, all while working full-time as a Salvation Army officer.
My daughter, Sam, is my hero. She takes no shit, and can smell the bovine-variety from miles away. I have four nieces, as well, and there ain’t enough money in the world to goad me into arguing with them. They’re super smart and brook no insolence. I love’em all, because they’re strong as hell.
For too long, we’ve raised our girls to be little princesses. Not that the occasional adolescent, aristocratic movie or book is permanently damaging to their development of self-worth. My daughter and all of her cousins have seen The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Princess Bride. They even managed to drag me along for the ride.
But too much of that crap isn’t a good thing.
We need way more girl-power characters in our entertainment, and I don’t mean chicks in leather with guns, though I have to admit, Linda Carter as Wonder Woman was amazing, sans guns, add bullet-rejecting bracelets and a Truth Lasso.
No, we need girls with gumption, not guns.
My favorite character in the Harry Potter series was Hermione Granger.
Because she totally reminded me of my daughter, Sam. She was smart, tough, and cute, all at the same time! And she took no crap! I always thought the series should have been the Hermione Granger Adventures!
What’s cool, is that now I get my wish. Well, sort of. J.K. Rowling isn’t on my speed-dial or anything. I wish. No, I’m afraid Hermione will have to remain one of Harry’s sidekicks.
But I’ve found a new, bad-ass, kick-ass, smart, cute, and resourceful strong girl-power hero: Kitty Tweddle!
A good friend of mine, and fan of my books, is relaunching her first novel, Kitty Tweddle and the Wishing Well, and the main character is everything a girl hero should be. Loads of gumption, and she throws like a….well, like a GIRL! Yeah! That’s what I said. She throws like a girl who was taught how to throw, since girls aren’t little princesses and should be taught such things.
“Hsssssssss!” Nutmeg winced as a small stone hit him in the side.
“I got your cat! I got your cat!” Emily chanted.
Kitty picked up the stone and threw it back. Being a good aim, she hit Emily right on the forehead. Emily screamed then burst into tears and ran away.” –H.J. Benkinsop, Kitty Tweddle and the Wishing Well
So, if you love magic, fantasy, talking animals, and you’ve ever thought–like me–that Hermione Granger should have hit Ron and Harry in the face with a skeleton-key lock for being so bone-headed and clueless, then you definitely want to read this book. It’s only $.99 right now, for a short time.
And pass the word along to your own daughters and nieces, hell to your nephews and sons, too! The time has come for some GIRL POWER!