Screw writing “strong” women. Write interesting women. Write well-rounded women. Write complicated women. Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner. Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband. Write a woman who doesn’t need a man. Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks. [..] Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people. So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong. Write characters who are people. (x)
I love this quote. I know, I know, it’s quite overused by now (so many gifsets, guys, so many; this one is my fav, I think) but I never get tired of re-reading it, paired up with different stories and different women.
The thing is, this quote is right. Spot-on, in fact.
I’m a reader and I’m a woman, and I’m sick and tired of reading about stereotipazed female characters. Expecially one people tries to deny the existence of a trope (and a good dose of sexism) by stating that “we’re making the female characters kicking asses like men do, why aren’t you happy?”.
The thing about this awesome quote is that it highlights something truly relevant: women are interesting in themselves; you don’t need women to emulate men to make them interesting.
The bad girl, kick-ass girl, fighter girl, yadda yadda – it’s a trope. It may have started right, a huge revolution, but now it has soccumbed to the Ever-Growing Tribe of Tiring Tropes.
I’ve read countless stories about kick-ass women going on wild adventures and dangerous wars and hunting monsters and avenging their dead relatives/lovers/puppies – which is … great? Alright, it is not great, violence is never great – but we are talking about the fictional reals here, so let’s say it is great indeed.
The thing is, we all know our cheers to the first warrior girls were due mostly because avenging and getting bloodied was something literature and movies and co. have always strictly associated with men. War and action have been mainly stuff for the longest time. Getting bloodied was men’s work. Saving the day was men’s work. That’s why it seemed strange (and awesome) when women started taking care of violent business too.
So, where’s the problem, you say. The problem is that that violent bloodied business is still seen as men’s work – and the epitome of strenght and power.
And a woman must attend to bloodied business to be seen as strong.
And that’s wrong.
It’s wrong. No, really, it’s just plain wrong. Because violence is no measure for strenght. It should never be. We can’t keep living by the rule that being strong equate to being violent. We’re going to torn humanity in pieces if we persist in thinking this (we already are, to be honest).
Violence does not equate to strenght. And strenght is not a fixed thing. It depends on situations and abilities and enemies.
There’s more strenght in questioning oneself than pointing a gun to someone’s head. It’s far more difficult to admit your fears and failures and work to improve yourself than hunting down a furry monster. Kindness is sometimes so difficult to dispense, and yet impossible to deny. Accepting your desires is a work-in-progress that all of humanity is familiar with.
Male and female characters (well, men and women in the real world too, let’s be honest) should never be afraid to express these kind of emotions. Violence and “badassery” are not the only interesting thing about a character (and a human being). Characters should be brave as well as scared, angry and sad and happy and complicated and conflicted. An emotional roller-coaster is way more interesting that always-fearless-armed girls.
And that’s why I love this quote so much. Here, go check out the complete, original one. Then make your own version. We will never spread this quote too much.