The "Strong Female" Archetype Needs to End

The "Strong Female" Archetype Needs to End

We, as viewers, want to see women who can do more than simply punch bad guys and step aside for the male lead.

First, we had one-dimensional damsels in distress and manic pixie dream girls. Viewers pushed to have more confident, independent, badass women and we were left with one-dimensional kick-ass love interests.

The way to put many people's feelings is best expressed through this post:

“Screw writing “strong” women. Write interesting women. Write well-rounded women. Write complicated women. Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner. Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband. Write a woman who doesn’t need a man. Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no sh*t, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks. THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN. Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people. So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong. Write characters who are people.”

— madlori, on Tumblr

Often times, it's the male characters that receive the multidimensional and complex personalities and backstories. Female characters deserve the same kind of attention to detail. We, as viewers, want to see women who can do more than simply punch bad guys and step aside for the male lead.

Well written female characters do exist, there's no denying it, but they need more recognition. Some of the most complex female and well-written female characters, in my opinion, can be found in literature and even *gasp* YA Fiction. (ie: Celaena Sardothien, Feyre Archeron, Tessa Gray, Clary and Isabelle, Winter, Cress, Scarlet and Cinder, Karou, Mara Dyer, Ruby Daly and Blue Sargent to simply name a few.)

All the people are asking for is for the screenwriters and novel writers of today to add complexity to female characters. Make them more than the side kick, the love interest, the manic pixie dream girl, but most importantly, simply make them human. Make them strong, and weak, and selfish, and kind, and beautiful, and deep. Hollywood needs more Reys (Star Wars) and Moanas and Wonder Women and fewer Trinitys (The Matrix).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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