Katniss’s vow to never have children was very obviously tied in with the oppression and poverty she faced and not exactly equivalent to a modern day, western world woman’s decision to remain child-free. Feminism is about freedom of choice, and Katniss chose to have children. If someone believes she didn’t choose and was either forced or coerced, than that is another thing, and to be honest I don’t understand how anyone could read three entire books from her POV and still come away with that conclusion unless they’re being deliberately obtuse or projecting.
It is absolutely, fundamentally sexist to take qualities that are considered traditionally or inherently female and associate them with weakness. I think it’s ridiculous that getting married and/or having children, something both women and men do, is labeled by many as a ‘feminine’, but society has definitely gendered these roles.
Similarly, the lifestyle that is generally thought of as “male” (think of bachelorhood versus old maids…it’s ingrained in us to think of never-married men as having chosen that road, whereas the ‘old maids’ were forced onto it by lack of options) is touted as superior, or the one we should want our young girls to uphold as the role model.
Basically, it’s the implication that a woman has to act like a man to be considered a strong woman that’s so offensive here.
But I do understand that choosing to stay single and/or child-free is a lifestyle that is sorely underrepresented by females in fiction. I try to be sensitive to that, and I can understand disappointment that yet another female character did not go this route.
Just don’t assume that she didn’t go that route because she was forced onto the other one. It’s just a really gross accusation to make about one character while it completely undermines the autonomy of another. The beautiful thing about the end of the series is that, for the first time, Katniss was truly able to make her own decisions without being bound by her circumstances. Before the epilogue, she was never truly free.
Yes, she would struggle with her trauma for the rest of her life- to sugarcoat that as anything else would have been a huge disservice to SC’s central theme about war and its effects. But she chose to struggle with it, rather than give up. She chose to have children, because life could be good again. She chose to get out of bed even when it felt impossible. She chose to live.