2 August 2016

The "strong, female" charcter

Hi everyone!

If, like me, you are a fan of YA novels, you have probably noticed the character in every book which is identified as the "strong, female" character. There are many aspects of this terminology and the characters themselves that sort of contradicts the message that the author is trying to get across. That message is of course that women can be strong, this character is an attempt at feminism I suppose.

So, the problems. First of all, you would never get a "strong, male" character, so why is there the need to label this character as strong, it suggests that perhaps every other female character in the story is not strong, that it makes her a better than all the other characters because she is "strong". This kind of has the "I'm not like other girls label"
(See Savannah's video here:

Another problem is that this character is generally nothing but a strong character, her entire personality is based on her being brave, strong physically and independent. But there are so many other aspects to women and I think books ans movies should show that you can be strong if you cry, if you're shy, if you make mistakes, that there are other ways to be strong other than physically. 

One of the perfect characters for this, in my personal opinion, is Margo from John Green's 'Paper Towns'. She is undoubtedly a strong, female character but she is seen to have realistic and common faults, she's real, she gets upset, she's confused, she doesn't know what she's doing and you get a glimpse through her mask. Margo for me is undoubtedly the perfect feminist character because she is clearly a badass and yet she still has the feminine traits such as painting her nails and wearing designer jeans when breaking into seaworld. She is complex. For example, when Q and his friends go into Margo's bedroom they see the collection of records that she owns and you see that there is so much more to her that no one knows about. 

That's just some brainstorming here really, if you are interested in this topic, I suggest you watch Lucy Saxon's video here:

Thank you for reading, 

Ellie xxx

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