Ms. Tamora Pierce is the author of, well, let’s just say “oodles” of books. I’ve read all but the most recent of her Tortall novels. What I love most
about about Ms. Pierce’s novels are her heroines. Not only are they strong, quirky, and unique, but they are also allowed to be believable sexual beings. Most of her heroines who are physically and emotionally mature have had multiple sexual partners. What is great about this is that her ladies are responsible about it. Birth control is discussed. Romantic notions of “giving” your virginity to the man that you are certain you will marry are not brought in to the discussion. They don’t feel devalued in anyway for not being virginal. Not only that, but her heroines actively enjoy their sex lives. And they are not punished for it like in a stereotypical horror film when the sexually active teens are killed off. Yes, Ms. Pierce’s ladies suffer from heartache when their romantic relationships end, but these ladies recover and move on. With all these strong, relatable, and responsible women running through Ms. Pierce’s novels who could complain?
It would seem that some people disapprove of women taking charge of, and responsibility for, their sexuality. Ms. Pierce’s novels have been challenged repeatedly and at least one, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, has been banned by at least one institution. One of the reasons was “use of an amulet to prevent pregnancy.” Rather than be challenged, Ms. Pierce ought to be applauded for her portrayal of female sexuality. She offers young women good examples to follow. Her heroines are discreet, selective in choosing their partners, and responsible about preventing pregnancy. Additionally, when a relationship turns sour, the woman gets out of the relationship; she doesn’t hang on to an incompatible lover. She respects herself enough and has the good sense to extract
herself from bad relationship, mourns the romantic loss, and moves on. That is what I want my daughter to learn. I want my future daughter to know that sex is for pleasure but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Sex is serious enough to require that precautions be taken but it does not determine your worth as a person.
Ms. Pierece has a good handle on the heroines that a modern young reader needs. Kudos to her.