Now, more than ever, it's the perfect time to brush up on women's history and stories, support women's causes, and celebrate the incredible contributions of women around the globe and here in the United States. If you're a book-lover, it's also the perfect excuse to curl up with an empowering read written by or about a woman, but just exactly what makes a female character empowering? The answer is more complicated than you might think.
Like the phrase "strong female character" — one which we need to retire ASAP — the label "empowering female character" has become something of a catchall, a simple packaging for a book character that stands out from the typical, one-dimension supporting female role we so often see in books and literature. But empowerment is so much more than that. Being truly empowered, and thus empowering to others, means having the ability to make your own choices, the courage to stand up for your values, the courage to stand up for those less privileged, and the strength — emotional, mental, and physical — to stand tall in the face of adversity, no matter how big or small.
While it may have become something of a buzzword, "empowerment" is an important term that is essential to understand in any context, but especially in light of today's modern Women's Movement. It's more than a catchy phrase on a t-shirt or a protest sign, more than a clickbaiting headline online. It's the cornerstone to women's liberation and freedom, and it's essential that we understand and talk about it in the right terms, even when discussing fiction and literature.