I know I’m pretty much preaching to the choir, but…
Female characters can be physically weak, unusual, “unattractive” or disabled and be well-written characters.
Female characters can be emotionally fragile and be well-written characters.
Female characters can be introverted, shy, frightened, inexperienced or have little personal agency and be well-written characters.
Female characters can be assertive, defensive, volatile, stubborn or manipulative and be well-written characters.
Female characters can be dynamic, changing drastically in their beliefs and/or behaviors over the course of a story, and be well-written characters.
Female characters can be any damn sexuality and have any degree of sexual desire/knowledge or lack thereof and be well-written characters.
Female characters can present as feminine, masculine or anywhere in-between and be well-written characters.
Female characters can be anything at all and still be well-written characters because women are, as deeply disturbing as it is that this keeps needing to be said, people and have an infinite range of traits, personality types, appearances, life experiences, biases, preferences, disorders, abilities and belief structures that determine their behaviors. As long as a writer is being thoughtful and purposeful about their choices while writing a character, a female character does not need to be strong in a culturally determined sense to be a well-written character. There seem to be so many voices in the world demanding otherwise and discouraging writers from writing female characters by holding them to nearly unattainable double-standards of what makes a quality female character; expectations that place “acceptably feminist” female characters in a tiny box between the walls of “realistic” and “powerful” and “role-model material,” and result in characters whom a lot of women and girls would not be able to identify with.
So, basically, dear world-at-large,
Can we please not tell writers that they’re bad people for struggling earnestly with writing female characters, when the fact of the matter is that what they’re really struggling to be is better writers who are also feminist, in spaces where they’re facing criticism and censure from one side by misogynists who attack them for writing female characters outside of a sexualized or objectified context at all and the other side by fellow feminists for writing female characters who aren’t strong-willed or good-hearted or badass enough for their own personal tastes?
THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT
Tagged: #There's nothing wrong with enjoying a traditionally 'strong' female character #but to dismiss female characters who are 'weak' because their strengths do not lay #in the kinds of traits that a culture which promotes masculinity and extroversion endorses #and to discourage others from writing female characters who are not STRONG~ in the name of feminism #is doing a huge disservice to absolutely everyone #yet is distressingly prevalent in spaces which are supposed to be feminist #I JUST CARE SO FUCKING MUCH ABOUT FUCKING DOUBLE-STANDARDS PLACED ON THE WRITING OF WOMEN OK #nobody asked for me to get up on my stupid writing soapbox but this subject is on my mind p much always #I was literally going to explode if I didn't write this #gooey rabbit paste all over the walls #ok I'm done
4:35:36 @ 1/12/2013
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