by Lisa Marbly-Warir
Or not—when I write my stories I’m sometimes nervous of the presumption of some readers that because my female protagonists are Black that they will assume she is a boss bitch—cut throat, chews men up and spit them out types. And when someone who is not your target audience gets your book it can spell trouble for how your book is rated if they were expecting one kind of character but got another.
I’ve had a couple of people not care for two of my characters because they felt they weren’t strong. But as I’ve posted online before, I can’t help what my characters tell me. That may sound funny, but if you’re a writer you know this is true. You can be writing, thinking one way, but the characters say, um, no this is how it goes down.
My characters tend to be more than boss bitches, matter of fact; I wouldn’t call them boss bitches. I don’t like care for how the term bitch has been turned into a positive. It may be generational; it also depends on the environment of the women who embrace the phrase--boss bitch. I see nothing endearing about it at all but that’s just me. I know a lot of women do. Or maybe I’m just hung up on the word bitch.
A female that is extremely successful, stunting, and has plenty of power.
You see that girl over there, she's a boss bitch.
Credit to Denel June 08, 2006
Now of course boss bitch can mean different things to different women. My characters, Destinee, Jewel, Evermore etc. are strong, successful and independent women in their own right—but they would never refer to themselves as boss bitches.
But that doesn’t make them less strong because they label themselves differently. I wanted to write about women who convey strength and independence, but they are also vulnerable and insecure at times as they go through this thing called life and dealing with the men that come their way.
It’s ok to be strong and have it together; however, it is also ok to be delicate and feminine. That doesn’t take away who they are. I guess I am writing this because as mentioned above there is sometimes a misconception that all or most Black women are boss bitches especially in books, too strong to be vulnerable and even we perpetuate that perception.
Our strength comes in many different forms and I want my characters to reflect that. Thanks for reading.
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