This is a great concise article summarizing the role of women in media. I’m particularly fond of the excerpt from writer Sophia McDougal arguing that she’s over the “Strong Female Character.” I myself have been a culprit of wanting to write and create female characters that can take on and challenge the toughest of male characters. I realize, however, that this is not a service to women because it would still be a pigeonhole. I’ve learned that what I really want to do is create a personality for my character, to give them several dimensions and allow them to be complex and just as complicated as I am.
I want a male:female character ratio of 1:1 instead of 3:1 on our screens. I want a wealth of complex female protagonists who can be either strong or weak or both or neither, because they are more than strength or weakness. Badass gunslingers and martial artists sure, but also interesting women who are shy and quiet and do, sometimes, put up with others’ shit because in real life there’s often no practical alternative. And besides heroines, I want to see women in as many and varied secondary and character roles as men: female sidekicks, mentors, comic relief, rivals, villains … I want her to be free to express herself … I want her to have meaningful, emotional relationships with other women … I want her to be weak sometimes … I want her to be strong in a way that isn’t about physical dominance or power … I want her to cry if she feels like crying … I want her to ask for help … I want her to be who she is … Write a Strong Female Character? No.