Difference between revisions of "Strong female character"

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[[Image:Strong Female Character - Kiki.jpg|thumb|256x256px|Kiki overcomes her self-doubt to save her friend in ''[[Kiki's Delivery Service]]''.]]
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[[Image:Strong Female Character - Kiki.jpg|thumb|256x256px|Kiki overcomes her self-doubt to save her friend in ''[[Kiki's Delivery Service (film)|Kiki's Delivery Service]]''.]]
  
A '''strong female character''', to me, is a character in fiction or a person in non-fiction who is important to the work in a positive way. The character doesn't actually have to be physically or emotionally strong, she just has to be a meaningful asset in her own right. I view a female character as "strong" if she shows beneficial growth, successfully solves problems, or is a valuable asset to a team. I do not view a female character as strong if she exists primarily to help a man or as a goal for a man to achieve. Despite the fact that women make up half the population, writers frequently regulate women to side kicks, window dressing, [[damsels in distress]], and sometimes leave them out entirely. Unfortunately, so much media fails to meet this incredibly low bar that media with a strong female character is a noteworthy trope, so I've added it as a category in my Wiki. The strong female character trope can be applied to books, films, video games, and other forms of media.
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A '''strong female character''' is a character in fiction or a person in non-fiction who is important to the work in a positive way. The character doesn't actually have to be physically or emotionally strong, she just has to be a meaningful asset in her own right. I view a female character as "strong" if she shows beneficial growth, copes with her dilemmas, or is a valuable asset to a team. I do not view a female character as strong if she exists primarily to [[manic dream pixie girl|help someone else]] or [[women as reward|as a goal]]. Despite the fact that women make up half the population, writers frequently regulate women to side kicks, [[women as background dressing|window dressing]], [[damsels in distress]], and sometimes leave them out entirely (like in ''[[The Hobbit]]''). Unfortunately, so much media fails to meet this incredibly low bar that a strong female character is a noteworthy trope, so I've added it as a category in my Wiki and apply it to books, films, video games, and other forms of media.
  
 
Most [[video games]] which feature a [[:Category:Game Mechanic - Playable Female Character|playable female character]] also meet this criteria. However, when the female character is a minor player in a large playable cast, or completely interchangeable in a party of characters, I don't view them as "strong."
 
Most [[video games]] which feature a [[:Category:Game Mechanic - Playable Female Character|playable female character]] also meet this criteria. However, when the female character is a minor player in a large playable cast, or completely interchangeable in a party of characters, I don't view them as "strong."

Revision as of 11:12, 11 September 2019

Kiki overcomes her self-doubt to save her friend in Kiki's Delivery Service.

A strong female character is a character in fiction or a person in non-fiction who is important to the work in a positive way. The character doesn't actually have to be physically or emotionally strong, she just has to be a meaningful asset in her own right. I view a female character as "strong" if she shows beneficial growth, copes with her dilemmas, or is a valuable asset to a team. I do not view a female character as strong if she exists primarily to help someone else or as a goal. Despite the fact that women make up half the population, writers frequently regulate women to side kicks, window dressing, damsels in distress, and sometimes leave them out entirely (like in The Hobbit). Unfortunately, so much media fails to meet this incredibly low bar that a strong female character is a noteworthy trope, so I've added it as a category in my Wiki and apply it to books, films, video games, and other forms of media.

Most video games which feature a playable female character also meet this criteria. However, when the female character is a minor player in a large playable cast, or completely interchangeable in a party of characters, I don't view them as "strong."

I grew up with very few male role models. I viewed most of the older men in my life as bullies rather than mentors, so all of my most formative role models have been women. Because of this, I have always had an affinity for strong women, and I love to see them in media whether it's real or fiction. The fact they appear so few and far between makes me cherish them even more.

Examples

These are works which feature a strong female character that are important to me. For a complete list, see the strong female character category.

Title Released Media Notes
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl 1947-??-?? Biography Anne shows resilience in the face of extreme adversity.
Anne of Green Gables 1908-??-?? Fiction Anne grows from child to young woman while never giving up her dreams.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. 1970-??-?? Fiction Margaret copes with various coming-of-age problems.
Chrono Trigger 1995-03-11 Video Game Lucca is a genius inventor who overcomes her childhood issues, and Marle is inquisitive and incorrigible.
Contact 1985-??-?? Fiction Ellie the astronomer is instrumental in the first contact with an alien race.
Daria 1997-03-03 TV Series Daria, Jane, and Jodi are each strong young women who mature through the series.
Final Fantasy VI 1994-04-02 Video Game Terra and Celes, and, to a lesser extent, Relm, each overcome various problems.
Funny Girl 2014-11-06 Fiction Barbara works hard to not be stereotyped.
The Goats 1990-07-01 Fiction Laura complements Howie and they make a great team of equals and achieve a shared goal.
Gone Home 2013-08-15 Video Game Sam slowly becomes a fleshed-out human being as you uncover and read through her old journals.
Good Omens 1990-05-01 Fiction Anathema Device is a strong character, and, to a lesser extent, Agnes Nutter and War.
The Handmaid's Tale 1985-??-?? Fiction Offred doesn't let the bastards grind her down.
Howl's Moving Castle 2004-09-05 Film Sophie, though a child, shows the wisdom of her cursed aged self.
In the Unlikely Event 2015-06-02 Fiction Most of the female characters are strong.
Kiki's Delivery Service 1989-07-29 Film Kiki grows from an immature child to an independent young woman. Osono and Ursula are also pretty strong.
Little House series 1932-??-?? Fiction Throughout the series Laura grows, matures, and becomes independent. Mary and Ma are also strong characters to a lesser extent.
Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity 2008-06-03 Biography Kerry Cohen describes how she fell into and overcame sexual addiction.
Princess Mononoke 1997-07-12 Film San, Lady Eboshi, Moro, and Hii-sama are all strong characters.
Spirited Away 2001-07-20 Film Chihiro grows from being a selfish brat to a strong caring young woman. Despite being the villain, Yubaba is pretty strong too.
Star Trek: The Next Generation 1987-09-28 TV Series Dr. Beverly Crusher, Commander Deanna Troi, Guinan, and Dr. Katherine Pulaski are all strong characters.
Star Wars series 1977-05-25 Film Princess Leia Organa is a strong character in the original trilogy, despite being objectified.
A Wrinkle In Time 1962-??-?? Fiction Meg Murray grows as a character with help from her family and the three old ladies which are also pretty strong.

Links

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