The Feminine Constraint
You know what I find interesting? Unlike most female characters who “break the mold” by being super masculine (wearing pants, rejecting anything remotely girly, being one of the guys), Lizzy treats her femininity as a strength. She treats love as a strength. Love can make you stronger, it gives you something to fight for—so why is a girl who embraces love, kindness, and loyalty seen as a weakling?
Lizzy’s stronger than Ciel, a better fighter than Ciel, and has a moral compass a million times stronger than he does. (Not hating on Ciel—I respect his high intellect, Machiavellian capabilities, and rational savoir faire. Just pointing out he’s also a HUMAN character with flaws.) Elizabeth is honest, sincere, and loves Ciel without expecting to be loved in return. That, I believe, is what makes Lizzy so strong—that she’s able to keep smiling, to remain so sincere and sweet even while knowing Ciel has changed, that he’s become darker and more malevolent. That he’s hiding things from her, dismissing her and ignoring her—she is still able to remain sincere in her love and strong in her devotion. (The most impressive part? That she’s not trying to change Ciel back. That she’s learning to love him for who he is now even though the temptation to try and bring back the boy she once loved must be excruciating.)
That, I believe, is what makes Lizzy unique amongst the “strong” female protagonists we see in fiction—she’s not butch. She doesn’t hate the color pink or despise traditionally pretty things. She is one of the few females (and yes, there are others) who’s able to embrace her femininity and become stronger because of it.
Note: I am NOT an antifeminist because I say this. I believe ALL people, men and women, should be empowered—to be able to chase after their dreams and fight for what they believe in. (Which is why I love Lizzy.) That’s not to say that I don’t love the more rough and tumble female characters. One of my favorite, favorite female characters of all time is Brienne of Tarth and if you don’t know who she is, please Google her up because that woman is the definition of empowerment. (She’s also one half of my OTP. Yes, yes, yes—I’m a Jaime/Brienne shipper. What can I say.)
Discussion, as always, is welcomed though I ask that you please refrain from using derogatory language, unsubstantiated arguments, and flippant dismissals of Lizzy’s character because she “gets in the way” of your ship. Thank you.