Feminist Friday: What Are Strong Female Characters?
As part of the Feminist Friday postings organized by GeneO, I am posting Hannah Givens’ contribution. Let’s keep the discussion going. Please visit her blog and leave a comment.
You may have noticed I’ve been blogging about female characters all week! Well, there’s a reason: I want to discuss the concept of “strong female characters” today. That phrase gets thrown around a lot, but people have widely varying ideas of a) what a strong female character is, and b) what a strong female character is supposed to accomplish in the real world. So, let’s compare notes.
In its most casual usage, the phrase seems to mean either a female warrior or a female character who gets a lot of “screentime” in the story. Both of these things can certainly be important. Women are traditionally not portrayed as warriors or physically/emotionally “strong,” and as we talked about two weeks ago, the Bechdel Test illustrates that women are often only present as token supporting characters in a male character’s story. (There’s nothing wrong with telling stories…
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