You are Good Enough!!

An increasingly disturbing trend is rippling through the literary world. It can be seen in both self published novels and traditionally published novels alike. It has the ability to change the way that people all over the world view themselves and others… and not for the better.

I can first remember hearing about “girl power” in the 90’s when the world was introduced to the Spice Girls. Of course, as early as the 1920’s, most of us alive today can recount when we first heard about women’s equality and why females deserve to be treated with respect as opposed to servants who are there for a good lay (trying to keep my cursing down for this post) and to cook a hot meal when the man commands it. Women’s liberation has been a force that’s gained a lot of forward momentum over the years. There are still a few bumps we have to overcome, but we were almost there… Then, in the last 10 years at least, there has been a slow backward slide that has come over society. Women’s view of self and status have taken a sharp downturn and they are slowly becoming more and more needy and self loathing. Now why do you think that could be? I think I have the reason the literary world is a part of the problem in some regards, even if it might not be that popular of an opinion. However, I think by now, you guys know me well enough to get that I’m going to say what needs to be said, even if it isn’t popular.

If I were to tell you that I had a man in my life that refused to let me see my family, told me constantly that he can’t control his rage around me, broke up with me and left me in an unfamiliar place because I am just me, and he made me feel like I wasn’t a person unless I had him, you all would tell me to leave him, right? Well, that’s the premise of Twilight. Bella goes through the whole book series desperately clinging to Edward because she doesn’t feel like she’s good enough without a man in her life. She spends a third of New Moon in a crippling depression because Edward broke up with her because of his inability to control himself around her. She has incredibly low self esteem and looks at the Cullens as god like creatures because they’re so beautiful and she’s so not.

I know, I know, this is old stuff by now, but I wanted to bring it up because I am reading more and more novels with a Twilight type overtone with a submissive sad sack of a girl who falls in love with a sexy bronze god and he returns the feelings instantaneously, but always turns into a stalker type love interest. So many girls are leaving these novels thinking that they have to find the right guys and get into a relationship or they’re just not good enough. It’s sick.  To base one’s entire existence on finding a significant other is no real existence at all. These type of novels are teaching young women to be self loathing and men that it’s okay to treat girls in a crappy manner because that’s what they want.

To the women/men reading this post that feel that way: You are good enough. You are beautiful, you are loved, you are amazing. You don’t need a relationship to define yourself. Find a hobby, find a passion, find something that belongs only to you (outside of a relationship) and have fun with it. Mr./ Ms. Right will come along, but don’t waste your life looking for them.

To the women/men reading this post that feel women/men should be treated like garbage: It’s not okay. You should never seek out people who will let you treat them like crap. If you feel that the only way to be a good partner/ spouse is to treat your partner/spouse like they’re insignificant, then you might want to find some help.

I know that some post on a small blog floating out in the interweb won’t change the world, but I want to do what I can. I’m a plus sized, over the top, loud mouthed author who deals with self doubt on a daily basis, but my husband goes out of his way to make me feel like I’m worth something. I hope that every person can find someone like that, but if you don’t, it doesn’t mean that you’re a lesser person because of it. You are all amazing people who just have to find their footing. You are more than your relationship, you are more than your self doubt, you are all rock stars waiting to be born. So the next time you pick up a novel with a Mary Sue, Bella type character who has less common sense than a fruit fly, put the book down and pick up something with more substance. You’ll be better for it.

I love and adore you all!

 

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About Maegan Provan

I am an indie author and proud of it. I try to update as much as humanly possible, but I'm a busy bee.

Posted on July 12, 2014, in Inspiration, Journal, Random Stuff and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Tricia Drammeh and commented:
    This article by Maegan Provan is sure to ruffle a few feathers, but she’s right. There IS a disturbing trend in a literature. Maegan mentions Twilight and the Bella/Mary Sue type characters who tell our girls that true love is giving up everything for a man. Even more disturbing (to me) is 50 Shades type books where women swoon over Christian Grey because he’s rich, attractive, and masterful in the bedroom. Never mind that he’s abusive, controlling, and a stalker. That’s okay as long as he showers the heroine with gifts. Friends have told me 50 Shades is romantic and that I have to read to the end in order to “get it.” I don’t want to read past the first book. Christian is a seriously disturbed, abusive individual in Book One. To me, that’s a bit like telling a loved one to stay in an abusive relationship because it might get better later on.

    Well, enough about me and my opinions. Let’s hear what Maegan has to say…

  2. You know, I enjoyed Twilight. I enjoyed the world building, especially when Jacob Black and the wolf tribe was introduced. But, yeah. Bella sinking into a depression and then participating in risky behavior did bother me. Not the sort of behavior I’d want my teen to model. Edward ripped her heart out, and though he said he did it for her own good, still not cool. There are a lot of Bellas lurking around these days. I haven’t been reading a ton of YA lately, but Bella has grown up and stepped into adult books.

    In 50 Shades, Bella (um, Ana) pretends to be independent, but is so dazzled by Edward (I mean, Christian. Sheesh why do I keep getting these characters mixed up?) that she is willing to sign a contract giving him total control over her life. He can choose her clothes, her methods of grooming, what she eats, what she drives…and as a reward, he can tie her up and beat her up a little bit. Sounds like a good deal to me! Those who are knowledgeable about the BDSM lifestyle say 50 Shades is a horrible representation of what a “real” D/s relationship is supposed to be. In my opinion, it’s a horrible representation of what ANY relationship is supposed to be. It’s abusive. It’s degrading. I wouldn’t want one of my daughters to be with someone like Christian no matter how wealthy he is.

    I love your post, Maegan, because it isn’t about bashing a book (like I may have done here in this comment – sorry), but it’s about telling our men and women to reach for more. Have some self respect. If you’re a real man, you want a real woman with opinions and backbone and independence. Real men don’t want a doormat for a girlfriend, and real women want an equal relationship with their partner. Relationships are about give and take. It’s not about the female giving up her entire identity so she can have a boyfriend.

    Thanks for posting this.

  3. Completely agree, Maegan. There is such a lot of junk shoved in front of girls with the order: be like that! It’s very little different to the ages old injunction to be meek, mild and obedient. I had hoped empowerment had gone a bit further than just winning the right to be a sex slave.

  4. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    A new blog to me but a very sensible one. This article addresses the way men and women are being portrayed in our modern literature. I will leave Maegan to speak for herself but it is a heads up to those of us who write about how we portray our characters. Good job Maegan.

  5. I could rant for thousands of words on this topic – I’d start with the nit-wits trying to get birth control outlawed and go from there. However, I won’t rant, I emphatically agree with everything on Meghan’s blog.

  6. Reblogged this on Helen Bobis and commented:
    Yes, the literary world, we can’t take it too literally 🙂 good point.

  7. Thank you guys for the positive response. I know it’s probably old news by now, but I am picking up more and more novels like that.

    Thank you for the shares ❤

  8. Totally agree with this post. It’s sadly become a trend because it sold well. Now everyone is trying to mirror the same (but let’s just change the vampires to angels/ demons/ faeries/ insert other paranormal creature here), and it’s so over-saturated the YA market it’s become the defining feature of YA, and it’s created a new genre ‘NA’ when this genre already existed (we used to call it ‘romance’).

    Women should be whatever they want to be, and shouldn’t have to their paths dictated to by anyone, male or female.

  9. An incredible post and so true! 🙂

  10. Reblogged this on Sophie E Tallis and commented:
    SUCH a thought provoking post this, and one I totally agree with, I’d noticed myself a disturbing tendency in some novels to portray women in a very submissive, subservient manner and one which gives a very bad impression of womanhood to young readers.

  11. Reblogged this on Johanna Nield and commented:
    Maegan Provan writes passionately about a recent trend in women’s literature, and echoes my own misgivings about the portrayal of women in the more headline-grabbing romance novels of late.
    Like Tricia Drammeh (see comments on original post), I was more concerned with the portrayal of women and relationships in the 50 Shades novels, and I’m heartened to know that I’m not alone in regarding the weak woman / strong man formula both insulting and dangerous.

  12. Reblogged with comment on Johanna Nield.
    Thank you for starting this very necessary conversation!

  13. not sure if this precisely the same, but I call it self-directed prose.

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