Why an Ice Queen?
The author Stina Hemming has adopted for her series a protagonist, Alexis Olsen, whose personality fits into an upgraded and feminist version of the traditional Ice Queen persona. Not accepting the sexist version of the popular “cold” Ice Queen archetype, Hemming has created a new version, taking the “good” aspects of the Ice Queen and dropping the bad ones. The result is a version of the Ice Queen that is consistent with ever-changing twenty-first century culture, mores and behavior. To that end, Hemming has bestowed her protagonist with extraordinary drive and determination. Alexis Olsen is a mature woman who insists on her right to control her own life and she does not let anything or anyone, stand in her way.
As Hemming’s books demonstrate, Alexis Olson knows what it takes to succeed in a testosterone-fueled profession and a business world still dominated by men, who often refuse to accept that she as a woman can do and be, whatever a man can. Alexis counters the negative view of a successful woman as an alpha female which is code for abrasive, ruthless, and aggressive, basically a cold-hearted emotionally unbalanced bitch. Successful men are rarely tagged with those characteristics. The basis of this view lies in the old double standard for men and women that the series attempts to address. Alexis works in in a world where value and success is determined and measured by money. The traditional female virtues of nurturing, empathy, gentleness and humility just don’t cut it in her world. Alexis knows that if a woman wants to have power she must be tougher and smarter than her male rivals. Weak men and insecure women around Alexis perceive her as excessively domineering, vindictive and even violent but that gives her an edge.
Simone De Beauvoir in her seminal book, The Second Sex, which was first published in 1949, wrote: “I hesitated a long time before writing a book on women. The subject is irritating, especially for women; and it is not new. Enough ink has flowed over the quarrel about feminism; it is now almost over: let’s not talk about it anymore.”
Amen to that Simone. Let’s stop talking about it and let’s start living it.