Cinema’s Missing Strong Female Characters

June 25, 2014

Think of a Hollywood production with a strong female character. Does she end up as an ornament, sexual or otherwise, to a leading male character? Does her ultimate plot contribution lie in being a hapless damsel to be rescued, or perhaps a self-sacrifice for the leading male’s benefit? She fades out as he rises to the top? Where have all our independent and strong female characters gone? Even more importantly, how can we write them in?

In this link, Tasha Robinson tackles the generally misogynistic approach that too many cinematic creations take when it comes to “strong” female characters. Take AvatarHow to Train Your Dragon 2, or The Matrix Trilogy as examplesEach of these first appears to have strong leading female characters. But as the films reach their conclusions, these women prove to be little more than elaborate supplements to the leading male. “Bringing in a Strong Female Character™ isn’t a feminist statement, or an inclusionary statement, or even a basic equality statement, if the character doesn’t have any reason to be in the story except to let filmmakers point at her on the poster and say, ‘See? This film totally respects strong women!’”

Let us not be suckered by Hollywood’s underhanded versions of “strong leading female characters,” but rather champion those with their own identity, agenda, and plot purpose regardless of leading male characters.

Read Tasha’s post here.

posted by Corbin Lambeth

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