Once you notice this sort of writing, you can't stop seeing it everywhere. It's as if every male-written novel takes place on a planet inhabited by red-blooded men and dick-hungry fembots. It's not just terrible amateurs, by the way. As one Twitter user noted, this type of writing appears in everything from Philip Roth ...
... to Hemingway ...
... to Jonathan Franzen.
Jonathan FranzenThe first furry erotica author to win a National Book Award.
Hell, the first time George R.R. Martin introduces 13-year-old Daenerys Targaryen in A Game Of Thrones, he feels the need to point out that "her small breasts moved freely" under her vest. Though, to be fair, the TV show did attempt to balance that out by including roughly 500 swinging dicks.
"She's A Strong Female Character!" (Without Any Strength Or Character)
In the early days of the film business, as well as the medium days, and much of the later days, women could play any role they wanted on the big screen, as long as it was "kidnapped," "dead," or "kidnapped then dead." After collectively realizing how much this sucked for at least 50 percent of humanity, screenwriters started creating better-rounded female characters, like Ripley, Princess Leia, or Buffy Summers, to name a few. They could still wind up kidnapped, sure, but they were also badass, intelligent, fearsome, flawed, and integral to the plot -- you know, like the dong-havers were all along.
In recent years, however, the term "strong female character" has become a half-assed shorthand for "girl with guns," and it's pretty sad. The archetype example is Trinity from The Matrix, for the fact that she doesn't really have a role in the movie beyond blowing stuff up and shooting that one guy in the head. In terms of character, she's as deep as a puddle, and just as warm.
Warner Bros. PicturesHer most defining character trait is that she can jump like this.
And there's a lot of characters like her. There's Valka from How To Train Your Dragon 2, Mako Mori from Pacific Rim, Wyldstyle from The Lego Movie, Tauriel from the Hobbit movies, and Pepper Potts and Lois Lane from the MCU and DCEU -- again, to name a few. They're all introduced as being competent, well-rounded badasses in their own right ... and then they drop out in order to let the main dude have his moment. Contrast that with Leia, who makes decisions that move the plot forward and has no need to tell us she's hardcore; she just proves it, one dead slug at a time.
Lucasfilm"RIP Jabba the Hutt -- Drowned in moonlight, strangled by his own bra."
In short: Fewer Trinitys and more Leias, please, Hollywood. (Minus the incest. You can skip that.)
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For more, check out 6 Bizarre Assumptions Movies Make About Strong Women and 6 Obnoxious Assumptions Hollywood Makes About Women.
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