Reading the title gives you the immediate impression that this is some kind of radical feminist article, correct?
But in truth, this is nothing more than my observation and personal sentiment on this topic. A very generalized ramble that I’m sharing with the internet.
Female characters in cartoons, movies, books, aimed for both adults and young people–have been for me incredibly unsatisfying. Because of this I’ve become a person that started off as an avid reader to a person that rarely picks up a book.
I’ve gotten so tired of seeing women/girls being portrayed as a row of predicable tropes that I can pluck out like crayons from a box of sixteen. They are afraid of portraying an “ugly” girl. And if she is, she’s actually a beautiful woman in that needs a make over to shine her true colors.
There is lack of sentimentality; stories that truly show the innerworkings of a woman’s mind. So much shallowness that gives me the impression that’s all these things are written, directed, planned out by men.
I force myself to swallow and accept the characters that are given to me. I often take them and expand on their personalities in the form of fanfiction, and personal headcanons.
I am constantly unsatisfied. Thirsty for that “perfect” story. So desperate in fact that this the one driving force of why I have pursued writing to this day. (another reason is for shitty plots)
I’ve related to male characters ever since I’ve started to become invested in fandoms about 13 years ago. In create your character games, I often choose the male option, because I see myself with a male protagonist personality.
I find that often a male’s personality and characteristic are something that I as a woman can relate to. Their brashness, or bravery, their desire for great change, for their straight fowardness, their determination.
But when a woman is there, there is always a need of a focus on her beauty, femininity, high heels and lipstick. Cutsy poses and moe eyes.
While that works for some girls, it has come to encompass every woman as a whole. While with men, there is a wide range of portrayals. The slim hero, the lankly awkward person, chubby nerd, intelligent angry protag. the angsty protag. They have purpose that can be superficial, moral, vain, honest, vengeful. And it is done effortlessly. While with females, there is a few, the tomgirl, the femme fatale, plain ordinary girl, and the mystical mysterious girl, (the rest all run along that line with only slight variation)
While there are gems out there, which I have found and dove into them (because all I do is search for such things) I am tired of swimming through thousands of things that I’m sick and tired of seeing.
It’s the same things over and over.
And the fact is that it is ingrained in our brains, these tropes these portrayals. It feels like I’m brainwashed to believe this is the real image of a woman. Because even women themselves contribute to this content.
One top of the fact that women are taught to compete and judge one another, a female character is easily hated or criticized while a male character that does had plenty of flaws and had done mistakes is overly sympathized and even adored for their faults.
For years and even now still, I adore male characters from my favorite media for their personalities their attributes for their flaws and strong suits. I’ve felt proud to see such well rounded development done for them. but I can’t say the same for females. very very small handful I can say.
I think it won’t ever change.
We have moved on to open up more interesting stories and more memorable female characters in the past decade, because all of these movements going around social media.
However, this is a cycle that doesn’t break, and I see that this situation of faulty female portrayal will go on and on. Perhaps after my death there will open up great changes in the world of media and literature. Who knows? I have that kind of dumb luck.
On a unrelated note. I’ve grown so tried of sexualization of women, that I am desensitized to ass and titties. And when I want to look for some men fan service, I find guy on guy stuff, which I don’t like. I am doomed to be unsatisfied and miserable.