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url 2013-10-18 21:23
Cliches Explained Part Four: Dangerous Sexuality

A less-popular, but tenacious trope in YA and fantasy is having a heroine's virginity tied to her supernatural powers. Legit plot device or just an extension to the same Victorian morals that make us cry out in outrage whenever Miley Cyrus goes out of her way to be sexual and provocative? 


Let's see.

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url 2013-10-10 22:10
Clichés Explained Part Three: Welcome to the Club.

"The instant conflict created in the narrative by such divisions amongst the world’s citizens can be an excellent storytelling device. It can also be an incredibly lazy one. I come back to “Divergent” here because honestly, I have no idea how anyone can read that book, look at the factions and think “Sure, make sense”. Separating people based on one vague character trait, from selflessness to honesty to bravery? Leaving those who fail initiation into such a system to fester on the streets with no help whatsoever? Declaring that those who possess more than one of the five character traits to be dangerous divergent dissidents? And Chicago managed to survive with this system? It boggles my mind.


This is one of the big faults with the sorting system for me; it assumes that we as human beings are as simple as the authors decide we should be. Even the most two dimensional character doesn’t fit into such a small box."


Read more on The Book Lantern! Read, comment, share, argue like hell! 

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url 2013-10-04 11:28
Clichés Explained Part Two: Plain Girls Gone Beautiful.


There are many things about this trope that bug me. The biggest issue for me is the way it renders heroines to be utterly passive wrecks with no self-belief. I understand lacking in self-confidence. I’ve been there many times myself. However, it becomes incredibly tiring once you see the trope repeated over and over again and almost entirely coming from young women. It sets in place a deep-seated assumption about young women and the importance placed on looks.
Why is it so uncommon to see a YA heroine, or heroine of any category or genre, happily own her attractiveness? I would love to see a YA where the female protagonist knows she’s sexy and just gets on with her life without needing validation from a stock romantic hero. Of course, then there are the issues of how we perceive women who talk of their own attractiveness. There’s still a pretty unfair and gross generalisation of such women as “smug” or “bitches”, and the appearances of such women are then sneered at by both men and women. “She’s not that pretty” is all too often said, as if the standards of beauty placed upon girls and women weren’t ridiculous and unattainable. Indeed, the attractive female characters who exhibit some sort of body confidence are often smeared as “sluts” or “whores” because it’s seen as a sign of sexual promiscuity, something that the “good” girls don’t do. The reader is supposed to empathise with the shy but gorgeous protagonist who the boys love but has no self-belief, not the “slut” who dares to show some skin."
Read more at The Book Lantern! Comment, argue, share, do as you please.
Also, this post contains RuPaul. You better work! 
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