Katniss Everdeen: A True Heroine for Girls
As I have wrote about before, my seven year old daughter Anna is drawn to Princess Leia in Star Wars instead of Barbies and pink dresses. Anna says she likes her because she can fight. Instead of pushing her to take the identities that culture wants her to fit into as a girl, we encourage Anna to pursue her passions and develop her own identity. I firmly believe that God gave Anna the same gifts, talents and leadership skills as he would give to a boy.
This means that we are on the lookout for women who can be role models for Anna. Women who lead and aren’t content to just be a beauty to be rescued (sorry John Eldredge). A few nights ago Anna and I were going through our nightly ritual of watching the news and there was a story of how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leading the charge to find Amelia Earhart’s plane. Anna now wants to learn more about Earhart and picked out books about her from the library. She also says she wants to be the first woman president of the United States and devours books about the presidents.
So what does this have to do with Hunger Games and Katniss Everdeen? As I read the books and watched the new Hunger Games movie last night, I am impressed by the heroine, Katniss Everdeen. Contrary to other heroines she does not rely on men for her identity or flaunt her sexuality. She is not afraid to speak up against injustice. She stands up on her own and leads a revolution. She remains true to herself and her identity throughout her adventure.
Katniss Everdeen is an example of the kind of woman I want Anna and Norah to see. I want to give them options other than the oversexualized girls that rely on men for their identity and worth. Katniss’ father taught her to hunt and survive and these skills keep her alive. As fathers we too have a role in training our daughters not just to survive but to thrive.
Dads, how are we empowering our daughters to be who God made them to be? How do we hold our daughters back when we give them reduced roles as the “beauty to rescue?”
I for one want to raise daughters who stand up for themselves and lead. I wouldn’t mind if they had some Katniss’ qualities.
For a great explanation of Katniss’ heroine qualities, check out this article from Wired.