Ah… Women. More importantly, women of literature. From fearless heroines to independent feminists, I absolutely love a well-written, female character. Who doesn’t? Being a bookworm as a child meant I was exposed to a lot of books, and therefore, a lot of literary women that I attached myself to. Intellectual and curious, strong-headed and fierce, and some of the earliest introductions that I received to feminism, I absolutely loved everything that these literary women represented. I wanted to reminisce about some of the biggest women of my literary childhood that made me question my sexuality!
1. Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter
If you think of childhood feminists in the modern age, many people may think of Hermione Granger. The Harry Potter fantasy series is already a major part of every bookworm’s childhood, but one of the primary women that stood out to me was, actually, Luna Lovegood. As soon as she came in with those funky spectacles and turnip earrings, I knew she instantly became my new favorite Harry Potter heroine! Not only did she share the same Hogwarts house as me, but she was also so unabashedly herself, and that confidence made her an extremely attractive and unique character that I aspire to be.
Luna was fearless and unafraid of criticism, and provided the wise words of advice for many of Harry’s adventures, even if he never immediately realized it. Wise and unique and confident- she really did have it all!
2. Annabeth Chase, Percy Jackson
If I didn’t ship her relationship with Percy Jackson so hard throughout the books, then I would not have put my woman crush aside for Annabeth Chase! Not only was Annabeth the daughter of my favorite Greek Goddess, but she also became recognized for her sarcasm, insane problem-solving skills, and hard-headedness. Plus, she had a knack for some serious ass-kicking! I’m starting to think I may have a thing for stubborn literary heroines. It was meant to be, I tell you! My Percy Jackson days consisted of me obsessing over anything owl-related and taking every online character quiz to get matched to her.
3. Jo March, Little Women
Although many fans became upset at seeing that the long build-up between Jo and Laurie come to an end, I was ecstatic! Jo’s sharp wit and mind, combined with her talent for writing and reading, made her every literary nerd’s dream woman! I knew the first time I finished reading Little Women that Jo March is who I aspired to be. And the fact they got Winona to play her for a film adaptation? A dream come true. There was even a point I considered naming my child Josephine in honor of my love and obsession with one of the first classical heroines of literature!
4. Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew
One of the most famous kid detectives, we have Nancy Drew, my first introduction to the crime and mystery genre. As a child, I loved reading about her adventures and seeing a teenage girl prove all the grown-ups of her town wrong! Nancy Drew became my early glimpse into woman power, and her consistency in intellect, detective skills, and open-minded personality made her a true object of my admiration.
5. Elizabeth Bennett, Pride & Prejudice
Move over, Mr. Darcy! I personally thought that I would’ve had a much less tumultuous course of events to get together with Elizabeth if it were me in his place! Elizabeth’s feminism and candidness made her an extremely unique female figure not only in classic literature but also in her time period of the 19th century! I love intelligent women, and Elizabeth had wit and character that made her a particularly memorable female protagonist for me when I think of classic romance lit.