Sunday, November 4, 2012

Are we more critical of female protagonists?

Something has been nagging at me lately, a question on the edge of my mind that I finally realized and admitted doing myself recently:

Are we more critical of female protagonists?

I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity person, and I more than anyone love a great kick ass woman. But I've been seeing a rather disturbing trend lately. Mostly in reviews. And especially in reviews written by women. I fully admit to doing the same thing myself, being overly judgmental of female characters of a book. By why is that? Why don't we seem to hold the same standards to our male characters as we do to our female?

If a woman is created too strong, then she is considered unrealistic, too feminine, then she is weak. I'm tired of seeing people bash female characters and then laud male characters even though they share the same qualities. A man kills, he is strong. A woman kills, she is a bitch.

Even more troubling, in my opinion, is the startling trend that if the main female character likes anything even remotely feminine then she is considered weak. If she cries, she is weak. If she has to be rescued by a man, even if she has no fighting skills and her opponent is twice her size, she is weak. And this is coming from other women. When did we start becoming so harsh on ourselves?