Something I’ve noticed in books and films recently – probably because there’s been a fair bit floating round the internet on feminism – is the appearance of a certain type of female heroine.
See if this sounds familiar: pretty, dainty female, young (past teens, under mid-thirties) is very unsure of herself but decides to take on this big task anyway. At first she struggles and doubts herself even more, and here she usually meets a male character (big, strong, struggling with something) who she helps. Then she finds reserves of strength and determination that make her try again. She wins!
I’ve read and seen it over and over. I’ve even written one. It is tempting, because there’s character progression, you’re giving the girls a chance, there are obvious obstacles and chances to learn and develop. . . I guess too, that if the character is good-looking it shows pretty doesn’t always have it easy and can be just as uncertain as anyone else, and if they’re petit (or at least not muscle-bound) they can have ‘strength on the inside’ and still manage to do these fearsome tasks.
But quite honestly I’m getting a bit fed up of the type, and I’m going to try and stay clear of it from now on. Or at least alter it so it’s not exactly the same! And before anyone starts, I’m not against feminism, and I’m all for equal opportunities between men and women in real life as well as fiction. I also know people often turn to books and film as a form of escapism and so don’t want everything realistic, but you can still have real equal opportunities and quit the new stereotypes as well as the old without losing that.
Mind you, maybe this isn’t entirely a new thing after all:
Plus, if you’re giving completely equal opportunities, then you still have to allow the pretty young ‘finding herself’ girl. . .Hmm. Okay, well, equal opportunities for everyone to go on adventures and nearly die then! Yeah!