This post went live on July 18th, 2013. It created a fun conversation. Hope to have another, but let’s be civil. Also I’m not sure what the original pictures were. They seem to have disappeared from the original.
One of the big things about Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower is the introduction of Nyx and Trinity. They are the female spellcasters for both sides of the conflict and I think they’re badasses. Very powerful and very tough while still retaining their femininity. I’m proud of how they turned out because they are the types of female characters that I love to read. I will mention that I read mostly fantasy and action, so this is going to be a light combat-skewed.
I picked the Mr. & Mrs. Smith clip because it is one of my favorite fight scenes. Not because of the banter and the flow of it. Those are good, but I love how there is not a single point where Angelina Jolie’s character felt weak or overpowered. This was done without making Brad Pitt’s character come off as weak. They are even in terms of skill, physicality, and determination. She gives as good as she gets and the movie wasn’t afraid to she her taking a shot. I think female heroes shouldn’t be treated with kid gloves and should be shown taking a hit. More importantly, taking a hit and fighting back. I’m not talking about taking a hit, crying, and then doing a cheap shot. That makes a female character cunning, but rather weak.
The third factor of a female character that makes me enjoy her is the retention of her female mentality while still being a badass. I’m not talking beating people up while breast-feeding, which is a scene written by someone in college that I shall never cleanse from my mind. I mean the character can be emotional in a tender, gentle way when the situation calls for it. She doesn’t get confused when a guy hugs her after she’s killed a band of orcs. She hugs him back and makes a joke about getting blood on him. I say this should go for male characters too if you’re aiming for the sensitive hero. Sensitivity does not equal weak, which is an assumption that has to stop.Focusing on the giving part of the equation, I love it when a female character can take out a male character without converting to a masculine version of herself. Speed, agility, skill, and grace over power and brawn. Even better if both characters are cunning because that makes either of their victory a lot sweeter. It’s strange how people still do the weak female character or turn them into a tough, heartless bitch that will inevitably be thawed by the male lead. I think I threw up a bit on that one. Give me my Xena’s, Fiona from Burn Notice, and Buffy. Still moments of sensitivity, but they will happily beat the crap out of someone that crosses them.
Finally, I love my female villains to be smart, but still able to fail and not whores. I’ve noticed a trend with many female villains that they are one of two types. They are either the seductive ho villain or they are so smart and perfect that you can’t believe they’re going to be defeated. It’s like the writers are either misogynistic (that right?) or are terrified to make a female villain that is as bungling as some of the male villains. I’m looking at you Gargamel and Skeletor. I want my female villains to be as realistic as my male villains with the same amount of smarts, evil, confidence, and touch of ineptitude. That might sound strange, but it makes me enjoy the character even more.
Heck, I like it when my female heroes have the same level of ineptitude of a male hero.
That’s why Nyx is about as flawed as Luke Callindor in terms of personality. She might not have his ego and recklessness, but she has that nasty temper.
So, I like my female characters to be smart, flawed, able to take a hit, and able to go toe-to-toe with the male characters. What do you look for in female characters?