Why Tris Matters: Representing Every Woman’s NO

Before you read my post, please go read this article. It’s short but man is it amazing. And it may help you understand my post.

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Divergent53

Tris being all badass

 

There’s no denying my love for Divergent, especially Tris. That is easily seen in my Allegiant review. But why? Yeah she’s freaking awesome. Badass? That too. I have had numerous debates about Tris and often find myself defending her and Divergent. But what is it about Tris that made me fall in love with her character? I have thought about it fleetingly. At random moments I’d find myself wondering what it is that I admire about Tris. But it wasn’t until I read The “Divergent” Rape Scene: Here’s Why It Matters: Rewriting the script on sexual assault — and giving power back to girls” that I truly understood why Tris matters so much to me and why so many young-girls should read these books.

At first I thought the article was going to be another report on how bad Divergent is or how much better The Hunger Games is. I was preparing myself to not flip out (which don’t deny you’ve haven’t done. I know at least one of you have). But then I saw title: “The “Divergent” Rape Scene: Here’s Why It Matters: Rewriting the script on sexual assault — and giving power back to girls”. I was intrigued, especially by that last line.

“Tris has one especially unique fear,” says the author, “and it’s an important one: fear of sexual assault.” The author continues to say that, “Every woman knows Tris’ terror, knows the horror of walking home late at night, clutching keys like knives between her fingers. Every woman lives with the looming fear that her refusal, her no, won’t be taken seriously.” We do live in fear. God, how do we not? The amount of times that woman have to deal with lingering looks, with men saying derogatory things towards us. It’s scary. As I continued to read I started realizing why I loved Tris so much. She makes a stand and says that her body is HER body and not anyone else’s. Even when it comes to Jeanine and her family. Tris chooses to do what she wants.

Not only is Divergent important for girls, but for boys too. Teenage girls all around the world are going to witness Tris insisting on consent, and teenage boys are going to witness Four listening to her,” says the author. Boys will see that they should respect a girls no. To listen to any female that says they feel uncomfortable because it is always the right thing to do. 

When I first read Divergent at 16, I just knew that I loved Tris. I said it was because she was a badass. Was my escape from everything shitty around me. Two years and one article later, I finally get it. Tris was the first character I read that voiced her no. I only read one other book where a female protagonist fought another man because he made a crude move toward her: Angelfall by Susann Ee. Two years later and only one other book showed a girl fighting for her voice and body. I want other girls to read these books. Damn it, I don’t even care if they just watch Divergent. They need to see that we are always in control of our bodies. They need someone like Tris to look up to. Tris who is a strong, stubborn, and fierce. Not some celebrity who goes out all the time and does God knows what.

I have read numerous of stories with badass girls as main characters and I’m not going to deny that. Maybe there are movies and books that had the same thing that Divergent had. Tris though… Tris is different. She represents strength. Hope. That we girls can fight. We can fight for our NO to be heard. We can defend ourselves. Tris is the one character that will always remain my favorite, even more so now. I’ll leave you with these parting lines from the article, something I wish everyone took from Divergent:

“Divergent marks the first time I have ever seen a teenage girl articulate, in no uncertain terms, that her body belongs to her. That she gets to decide who touches it, and how, and when. That her yes and her no are final, and unambiguous, and worthy of respect. 

Divergent is important.”

  ~ Lauren

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