When Girls Become Guys

I'm a huge Piratica fan. Witty, sassy, suspenseful, twisty, snarky, adventurous, romantic. Love it. So whatever else I say, you should know that I have read, re-read, and re-re-read this book. And I would read it again in a heartbeat.

My 12yo brother is on a quest for 'funny' books. And in my own desperate quest to fulfill his wishes, I decided to let him read Piratica. He heartily enjoyed it, but he made a comment that floored me:

"She's like a guy."

I can't quote him word-for-word, but his basic summary was that Art (the female MC) was just like a guy in every sense except for the fact that she is, in fact, a girl. And he's absolutely right. Art despises the ladylike girls she goes to school with, and, when she comes into her own pirate ship, gives orders like nobody's business. She hangs with the guys. Anything they can do, she can do better. She's tough, solid, and bossy. To say she's no-nonsense would be accurate, but to say that she doesn't put up with anybody's crap would be better.

She's like a guy.

And part of me wants to know - what's so wrong with girls that they can't be girls anymore? Why do they have to be guys to be cool? Girls are cool. They do things. They can kick butt...in a dress. In heels. Has "girl power" led us to a point where a girl has to be a guy to be cool?

(More on this intriguing topic at Aimee L. Slater's blog, Seeking the Write Life where she talks about Strength vs. Stupidity.)

What are your thoughts? Have kick-butt heroines come too far? Or are girl MCs still comfortable in their own, female skin? Anyone got any good book example characters of a) too masculine, b) too feminine, or c) just right? Thoughts! I must know your thoughts! :)

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