I want to turn the world upside down by getting women to see themselves as heroes in all its guises. I checked the synonyms for hero in the Oxford dictionaries online: brave man, champion, man of courage, great man, man of the hour, conquering hero, victor, winner, conqueror, lionheart, warrior, paladin, knight, white hat. male protagonist.
Notice all the “man” qualifications that Oxford specifies. The word “hero” has until recently meant only a man, something that makes no sense to me since it is a woman’s name from Greek mythology. Hero was a priestess of Aphrodite who, okay, drowned herself because her lover died trying to reach her. Suicide is not the best basis for a modern day hero, but maybe she was bound to die for love if she served bloody Aphrodite. Whatever the origin of the word, once it got associated with all sorts of admirable qualities, the default became male, and some references are stuck in that swamp. It smells to me of rotting, decomposing dead ideas, however, and I think it's time for a dredging.
Thesaurus.com has a better list, using gender neutral synonyms: adventurer, celebrity, champion, conqueror. Even better are secondary synonyms, the ones connected to the synonym adventurer:
stunt person swashbuckler
Now we’re in business. These are the kind of female protagonists I want to write about. Female heroes. These are characteristics for XX-ers I want to encourage with my creative work and with my life. This list is the closest I’ve seen to the females - and males - I like to read about and fantasize about being in my dreams. This is my raison d’être, to be this kind of hero and to open the door to the possibility of being one to other women and girls.