I’ve decided to start a new series of blog posts that honor “anti-heroines“—women who’ve gone down in history not just for being amazing in their own right, but for throwing decorum out the window and just not giving a fuck what people thought of them.
There have been numerous websites / books dedicated to “badass” women. They’re all pretty awesome. But my carefully curated list is going to be slightly different in that I’m only going to feature women who *really* gave propriety and social conventions the middle finger.
Why I am I doing this, you might ask? Well, there are a couple good reasons: 1. History (aka, shit recorded mostly by white men) lies. It lies depending on who is writing it, and on that individual’s own personal prejudices. No doubt the good stuff about women and minorities have fallen through the cracks intentionally, because they just didn’t fit into the story properly. 2. I’m finding stories about women who have done amazing, heroic things, but remain unsung because they didn’t fit in with society’s expectations. History is littered with “she did this amazing thing, but”s. Maybe she was a lesbian. Maybe she left her husband, or cheated on him, or had too much sex, cursed, or smoked. (God forbid she did ALL THOSE THINGS).
Which brings us to the definition of “anti-hero”:
While anti-heroes may not always follow society’s rules, they have their own set of moral principles, their own code of right and wrong. We forgive men their moral shortcomings all the time, and still call them “heroes.” Women? Not so much.
Want some examples? Just look at the fictional anti-heroes in television shows: Jamie Lannister, Walter White, fucking Dexter. We LOVE these guys. We root for them. We forgive them their indiscretions (such as, oh, murdering people) because they’re just so badass. This is true for “anti-heroes” in the real world, as well—men are allowed to walk the line between good and bad, and still be considered heroic.
Take the anti-heroines of Gone Girl, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, or Girl on the Train. Murderers, alcoholics, cheaters. We, as a society, may be fascinated by them, but we still hate them, whether they are fictional or real. We still condemn them in a way we wouldn’t condemn men.
Let us begin, shall we?