A while back a seven year old young lady by the name of Charlotte sent this letter to the LEGO corporation.
It reminded me of a blog post I read by Maggie Stiefvater about how, growing up, she didn’t have crushes on the male action-adventure leads, she wanted to be them. When I read that, I had a “You, too? I thought I was the only one!” moment.
Now, I have never wanted to be a boy. As a little girl, I was required to always wear dresses (not as unfair as it sounds, a long story), even with my jeans. I played with Barbies (G.I. Joe dolls, too), had tea parties, loved fairies (still do), and was a fan of every Disney princess. But none of that stopped me from rolling in the mud, climbing into trees, crawling under barbwire fences, building forts out of juniper trees, wrestling goats, and exploring our woods. I was a tomboy extraordinaire.
Amid my earliest memories are recollections of my father watching the likes of Conan the Barbarian, Gladiator, The Patriot, Braveheart, Sharpe’s Rifles, every John Wayne movie in existence…you get the gist. I grew up on intense action flicks with kick@$$ leads who took on crime bosses, monsters, empires, killer super robots, and whole armies. (Xena was somewhere in there, too, but I barely remember any of her stuff.) For the most part, the guys were the ones who got to have all the “fun” while the girls (with a few scant exceptions) got to sit at home holding down the fort until the party was over or, worse, waited to be rescued.
Like Ms. Stiefvater said it was for her, I related most to the male leads, the ones who did the swashbuckling and running down of outlaws. I didn’t want the knight in shining armor to rescue me, I wanted him to watch my back when I went to slay the dragon. I wanted to do what the heroes did—save the day. Who am I kidding? I still do. I am a girl in her late teens who has daily fantasies of casting down empires, leading armies, and pulling the sword from the stone.
I heartily agree with Miss Charlotte. This world most certainly does need more girls who go on adventures.