Women Who Behave Rarely Make History
It’s women’s history month and as a lover of history and a woman, I feel that we should be learning more about the great things women have contributed to our history. Truthfully, I feel learning about the great people and events, as well as some of the horrors of history that have effected women, people of color, and native peoples is important to truly understanding our past.
There are so many historical female figures who have been both heroines and villains. Some have been truly good or evil, but others it depends on which side of the tale you are on. In The Great Courses program by Joyce E. Salisbury, Warriors, Queens, and Intellectuals: 36 Great Women Before 1400, I discovered women I’d never before heard of and some I had but knew very little about. Have you heard of the Trung sisters of Vietnam who fought the Hun, or the martyr Perpetua? Zenobia and Boudicca are famous for fighting the Romans. Aisha, wife of Muhammad was instrumental in shaping the Muslim religion. Women, sisters, wives, daughters, dancers, queens, and nuns have changed the world around them. Some for the good, developing mathematics, science, and the first novel, others, well, some were conspirators, spies and murders. Women in history, just like modern women, are capable of good and bad things.
As a romance writer I am inspired by these historical women. Like these women who didn’t back down from a challenge, I want my characters to be tough and strong. Maybe because I never felt very tough or strong myself. All through history we find women who went against society, challenged society and even used society’s expectations to make changes. But if you’ve read my books, you know that my female characters are also inspired by women I know. They are the bad girl with the big heart who has survived a difficult life, the woman whom the whole town depends on to get things done, or the good girl who does what she is supposed to do but yearns to be just a little bit bad.
There are people who believe romance books are passe, that they aren’t about feminism. But if you read modern romance, you see that the story isn’t about waiting for the hero or stronger character to come and rescue the heroine or weaker character. It is about finding that one person who brings out the best in you, encourages you to be strong, and is willing to sacrifice to help you achieve your dreams. Anyone who says this isn’t realistic, well, I’m sorry, but I can name several who have found that one person who’ll do whatever they can for their partner to help them achieve their dreams or goals. My own husband has helped me achieve mine.
In Chrome Pink, Rae has always been strong else she would not have survived all the bad things that happened to her. Her friends and her grandfather were her support system but until she met Logan, she didn’t realize her own strength and worth.
Dana and Jenna both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Dana in White Gold is the busiest woman in Leeward but cannot find a man who can keep up with her until Agent Jake Monroe returns to Leeward. Jenna’s strength comes from her sense family and her kind heart. When her estranged husband returns, she can’t send him away.
Tracy is a ballbuster. In Red Steel, we see she is tough and strong, but her attitude hides a vulnerable heart. She’s afraid to trust Billy but can’t deny her desire for him. Together they overcome each other’s weakness to find their strength.
In the Harrell Family Chronicles, Willow and Liz don’t feel strong. They each suffer from their own weakness yet they’ve overcome obstacles and with the love of their husbands discover their strength.
Janie, of Janie’s Secret is a good girl. She hides herself behind that image afraid to allow herself to be wild for fear of what might happen. One of her secrets is her feelings for Chief of Police Mike Mackenzie.
Roxy is the bad sister. In Roxy’s Betrayal, she is a bit more vulnerable than she acts. She comes across as a user but she does bad things in order to help. When she meets Jorge Claudio, she wants to be better.
Maddie and Melodie, sisters in Christmas Inn at Teach’s Island and Trent’s Melody, overcome past hurts to give love a second chance. Maddie is the tougher, older sister who has trust issues. With Cole Harrell, Maddie feels safe enough to be vulnerable. Meanwhile, Melodie is determined to ignore her feelings for Trent but as she learns his vulnerability, she discovers her own strength.
In my historical cozy mystery, half Lakota wild west performer, Winnie Applegate has always had to be strong. Motherless and young, she is vulnerable in her desire to be loved and accepted. When her family is threatened, she leaps to protect them and uncover the mysteries.
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