So, I finally saw The Force Awakens. I must admit, I am not a Star Wars fan. I don't hate the franchise or anything, it just doesn't resonate that much with me. TFA was ok, too similar to episode 4, but it was fine. But it highlighted something I have been thinking for a long time, and that I feel I need to get out of my chest (you know I never say stuff like this, but I feel I need to)
With all that's been said and done about female characters in the last few years, I have to wonder: Is this really what we want? I have seen an obvious grow in female protagonists, especially in fantasy and action themed media. That is good, but... I fear that in the pursue of making "justice" for women in media, we have narrowed our acceptance of what a female character can be.
Think about it. We wanted to get rid of the tropes that were there before, but just to exchange them for ONE trope, that is actually really dull. What's the difference, as characters, between Rey, Furiosa, and Katniss, for example? Almost none. They are pretty much the same character, tuning up or down their use of violence. What character traits do they have? They are all smart, super capable, super brave, always have the best intentions, things like that.
We cannot write female characters with flaws anymore. And why is that? I think it comes from a difference in how we perceive women in society. When you write a male character, we all understand, he speaks only for himself. His actions, and his positive and negative traits are his own. When we write female characters, we feel like what they are and what they do, speaks not just for them but for all women and girls. We feel they represent us, as females. They have to be "role models" And you don't want our role model to be incapable, or selfish, or hysterical, or coward!
Take Finn vs Rey for example. I can tell you that Finn is a little clumsy and insecure, and even sometimes a coward, but he has a good heart. When he is brave it means a lot more, because you feel he is struggling. Finn is, in my opinion, the best character in the movie. What can you say about Rey? Well... not much. She doubts about herself once, I guess... but I didn't even understand, why would she do that? She is SUPER capable at everything she has done since the beginning of the movie. And that's all.
Take even Max vs Furiosa. With so little they show in the movie about themselves. You can sense Max doesn't want to be there at all, at the beginning he doesn't even care what is happening, he is too traumatized and bitter, wich makes it more meaningful when he decides to care. Furiosa? Well, again, not much to say about her. She misses her family. She is not even the result of her own actions. She is with Immortan Joe because he kidnapped her. It was not her fault. She was not a Imperator that had a change of heart. And again, she is super capable at everything. (Although, Mad Max is a really good movie anyway, I liked it a lot, but I would have loved to feel more like Furiosa was a character with depth)
I think you can understand my point. I wish we could write our female characters, like we write the male ones. They don't have to be our role models. They just have to be interesting. Let them be incapable, insecure, with real anger issues, not the ones that you have and immediately regret (I am watching you, Katniss!), bitter, egotistical, cowardly, overtly sexy (I don't know why that became a bad thing, some people act extremely Victorian about this), etc. A character doesn't have to reflect me as a woman, he has, in some way, to reflect me as a human. And I, as a human, will sometimes have fear, insecurities, and sometimes I will be incapable.
I understand this all comes from good intentions. But really, is not doing us any favor. It's just overcompensating, from my point of view.
Anyway, I hope you understand where I'm coming from, even if you don't agree with me And sorry for my bad English, I hope it is good enough to be tolerable at least.