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 (film)|Kiki's Delivery Service]]''.]]
 
[[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''' is a character in fiction or a person in non-fiction who is important to the work in a beneficial 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]], [[damsel in distress|damsels in distress]], and sometimes they 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.
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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 beneficial 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 resource 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]], [[damsel in distress|damsels in distress]], and sometimes they 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."
  
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.
+
I grew up with very few male role models, viewing most of the older men in my life as bullies rather than mentors. Because of this, most of my formative role models have been women, which has caused me to have an affinity for strong women, and I love to see them in media whether real or fiction. The fact strong women appear so infrequently makes me cherish them even more.
  
 
==Examples==
 
==Examples==
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! Title !! Released !! Media !! Notes
 
! Title !! Released !! Media !! Notes
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl]]'' || 1947-??-?? || Biography || Anne shows resilience in the face of extreme adversity.
+
| ''[[Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl]]'' || 1947-??-?? || Biography || Anne keeps a stiff upper lip despite the fact that her entire family's lives are constantly in danger.
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ''[[Anne of Green Gables]]'' || 1908-??-?? || Fiction || Anne grows from child to young woman while never giving up her dreams.
 
| ''[[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.
+
| ''[[Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.]]'' || 1970-??-?? || Fiction || Margaret successfully 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.
 
| ''[[Chrono Trigger]]'' || 1995-03-11 || Video Game || Lucca is a genius inventor who overcomes her childhood issues, and Marle is inquisitive and incorrigible.
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| ''[[Final Fantasy VI]]'' || 1994-04-02 || Video Game || Terra and Celes, and, to a lesser extent, Relm, each overcome various problems.
 
| ''[[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.
+
| ''[[Funny Girl]]'' || 2014-11-06 || Fiction || Barbara leaves home and refuses to be stereotyped out of her dream to become a comedic actress.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[The Goats]]'' || 1990-07-01 || Fiction || Laura complements Howie and they make a great team of equals and achieve a shared goal.
+
| ''[[The Goats]]'' || 1990-07-01 || Fiction || Laura complements Howie and they make a great team of equals to achieve their 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.
 
| ''[[Gone Home]]'' || 2013-08-15 || Video Game || Sam slowly becomes a fleshed-out human being as you uncover and read through her old journals.
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| ''[[Good Omens]]'' || 1990-05-01 || Fiction || Anathema Device is a strong character, and, to a lesser extent, Agnes Nutter and War.
 
| ''[[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.
+
| ''[[The Handmaid's Tale]]'' || 1985-??-?? || Fiction || In spite of horrible adversity, Offred doesn't let the bastards grind her down.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Howl's Moving Castle (film)|Howl's Moving Castle]]'' || 2004-09-05 || Film || Sophie, though a child, shows the wisdom of her cursed aged self.
+
| ''[[Howl's Moving Castle (film)|Howl's Moving Castle]]'' || 2004-09-05 || Film || Sophie, though only a young woman, gains the wisdom of her cursed geriatric self.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[In the Unlikely Event]]'' || 2015-06-02 || Fiction || Most of the female characters are strong.
+
| ''[[In the Unlikely Event]]'' || 2015-06-02 || Fiction || There are several female characters, and they're all multi-dimensional and real.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Kiki's Delivery Service (film)|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.
+
| ''[[Kiki's Delivery Service (film)|Kiki's Delivery Service]]'' || 1989-07-29 || Film || Kiki grows from an immature child to an independent young woman. Osono and Ursula are pretty strong themselves.
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Little House (universe)|''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.
+
| [[Little House (universe)|''Little House'' series]] || 1932-??-?? || Fiction || Throughout the series Laura grows, matures, and becomes an independent woman. Mary, Ma, and Carrie 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.
+
| ''[[Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity]]'' || 2008-06-03 || Biography || Kerry Cohen describes how she fell into and eventually overcame sexual addiction.
 
|-
 
|-
| ''[[Princess Mononoke]]'' || 1997-07-12 || Film || San, Lady Eboshi, Moro, and Hii-sama are all strong characters.
+
| ''[[Princess Mononoke]]'' || 1997-07-12 || Film || Lady Eboshi is probably the deepest character, but San, Moro, and Hii-sama are all important in their own right.
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ''[[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.
 
| ''[[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 Trek: The Next Generation]]'' || 1987-09-28 || TV Series || Dr. Beverly Crusher and Commander Deanna Troi are all strong characters throughout the series. Dr. Katherine Pulaski is strong for a season. Guinan is more of a sidekick, but still impressive.
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Star Wars (universe)|''Star Wars'' series]] || 1977-05-25 || Film || Princess Leia Organa is a strong character in the original trilogy, despite being objectified.
+
| [[Star Wars (universe)|''Star Wars'' series]] || 1977-05-25 || Film || Princess Leia Organa is a strong character throughout 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.
 
| ''[[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.

Revision as of 09:10, 12 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 beneficial 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 resource 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 they 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, viewing most of the older men in my life as bullies rather than mentors. Because of this, most of my formative role models have been women, which has caused me to have an affinity for strong women, and I love to see them in media whether real or fiction. The fact strong women appear so infrequently 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 keeps a stiff upper lip despite the fact that her entire family's lives are constantly in danger.
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 successfully 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 leaves home and refuses to be stereotyped out of her dream to become a comedic actress.
The Goats 1990-07-01 Fiction Laura complements Howie and they make a great team of equals to achieve their 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 In spite of horrible adversity, Offred doesn't let the bastards grind her down.
Howl's Moving Castle 2004-09-05 Film Sophie, though only a young woman, gains the wisdom of her cursed geriatric self.
In the Unlikely Event 2015-06-02 Fiction There are several female characters, and they're all multi-dimensional and real.
Kiki's Delivery Service 1989-07-29 Film Kiki grows from an immature child to an independent young woman. Osono and Ursula are pretty strong themselves.
Little House series 1932-??-?? Fiction Throughout the series Laura grows, matures, and becomes an independent woman. Mary, Ma, and Carrie 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 eventually overcame sexual addiction.
Princess Mononoke 1997-07-12 Film Lady Eboshi is probably the deepest character, but San, Moro, and Hii-sama are all important in their own right.
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 and Commander Deanna Troi are all strong characters throughout the series. Dr. Katherine Pulaski is strong for a season. Guinan is more of a sidekick, but still impressive.
Star Wars series 1977-05-25 Film Princess Leia Organa is a strong character throughout 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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