Here I pour bilious hate unto the unfortunate figure of the Strong Female Character as she appears in popular fiction. From the piece
I remember watching Shrek with my mother.
“The Princess knew kung-fu! That was nice,” I said. And yet I had a vague sense of unease, a sense that I was saying it because it was what I was supposed to say.
She rolled her eyes. “All the princesses know kung-fu now.”
No one ever asks if a Male Character is Strong. Nor if he’s “feisty,” or “kick-ass” come to that.
The obvious thing to say here is that this is because he’s assumed to be “Strong” by default. Part of the patronising promise of the Strong Female Character is that she’s anomalous. “Don’t worry!” that puff piece or interview is saying when it boasts the hero’s love interest is an SFC. “Of course, normal women are weak and boring and can’t do anything worthwhile. But this one is different. She is strong! See, she roundhouses people in the face.”
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But you should also read my teenage poetry, or I may weep bitter, poetic, teeny tears.