Strong Female Characters | Becca’s Bookish Discussion

Yes, this is the second time I am posting this. Quite embarrassingly, half of my original post was deleted when published, and I didn’t even realize it. Check out the full version!

Of course I love strong female characters. Everyone loves strong female characters.

But there are some significant problems I have with them as well.

Everyone has a different definition. But there are characters we all acknowledge to be strong female characters. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass, Sharzhad from The Wrath and the Dawn, etc. Since, of course, we all know what makes them female, what makes them strong? Their determination? Their pride? Their physical strength? We usually describe these characters as “kickass” and such, so is that what makes them strong?

Because to me, someone is strong if they do what think is the right thing, no matter how hard or what the consequences might be. Of course it’s more complicated than that, but to me that’s most basic definition.

There a so, so many characters that could fit into this strong female category under this definition, at least in my opinion. Many aren’t. In fact, it seems that a strong character can’t be a strong character until they have physical strength to complete the package. This, to me, just doesn’t seem right. Emotional, mental, and moral strength are so much more important to me, and they’re also more difficult to obtain.

But let’s say it’s the kickass-ness and the stubborn drive that makes a strong female character. For example, Sharzhad was going to kill someone. Assassinate a king. She believed he had killed her friend and thousands of others for no reason. She had a drive, and I do admire that. But still, she wanted to kill. Revenge, not justice. Yes, I always appreciate an imperfect character. Yes, I understand she very much changes throughout the book. But if this drive to kill is what makes her a strong female character, should we really be praising this?

They’re in nearly every book I read! Not that I’m complaining, but I need some variety. For example, Cath from Fangirl. I don’t consider her strong, but I love her. First of all character variety. It’s important to read rough the eyes of many different types of people in books, that’s what reading is all about. And, as everyone knows, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. 

I saw that a lot of people weren’t a big fan of Cress from the Lunar Chronicles for this reason, which doesn’t make sense to me. So if they’re not strong enough, they’re not good enough? This is completely one-sided to me. We need to hear from other points of view, from all sorts of personalities and opinions. And if we aren’t to like them, we at least need to give them a chance. Strength is great, but there are so many other under appreciated charaeristics in literature.
 Yes, strength is great, it should be admired. But where has our value for morals gone? Doing what you believe is right, know is right, no matter the consequences, isn’t that such a harder trait to have than strength? Are we undermining morality?

Or maybe it’s just me.