The Perfect Female Character?!?!

Hello everyone!!

Firstly, Happy International Women’s Day to everyone!! 

Angry Feminist. | A Legacy of Sugar and Tentacles

Secondly, I thought today would be the perfect time to discuss the perfect female character. And by that, I mean to break the illusion that there is ONE perfect female character. 

Today I’m NOT talking about how to create a female character or what qualities make them likable. Nope. Today I’m talking about how we always go on about female role models and how that got me thinking about what we want from a heroine. Naturally I fall to qualities like strong, brave, beautiful, resilient and smart. 

But then I realised… 

Heroines aren’t a list of qualities they must have to be worthy of admiration. People limit what a female role model can be which is the total opposite of what empowering women is about. It isn’t about one woman. It is about every woman 

Hermione was smart and powerful. 

Katniss was a fighter and powerful. 

Nina was confident and powerful.

Cress was scared and powerful. 

Evelyn was ambitious and powerful. 

Laia was optimistic and powerful. 

Yennefer was haunted and powerful.

Emika was determined and powerful. 

Rin was brutal and powerful.

Izzy was sexual and powerful. 

Frances was introverted and powerful. 

These female characters can be admired for many different qualities. One isn’t better for what the others lack. They have different strengths; it isn’t a competition. It’s just a selection of winners. Feminism doesn’t mean saying women need to be this, it is saying I need you to be yourself.

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MY 3 MAIN PROBLEMS WITH HOW WOMEN ARE TREATED: *

*some of these issues aren’t limited to females but I am focusing on that for today’s post and this obviously isn’t in every book. This is focus on the industry as a whole, not just the authors.

Women don’t need to be everything, to be everything.

There is this term ‘triple shift burden’ showing how nowadays women have to be financial independent as well as being the main caretaker and emotional support. It shows how societal changes have just led to women having to do more instead of the equality of the sexes. Now this is a term focusing on family roles in heterosexual relationships, but I can apply the logic to my point here. The fact that now women have to be everything to be worthy of being looked up to and admired. When in fact, no we don’t. Lots of women have different strengths and can be admired for those strengths, instead of hating them because they aren’t enough. It is too much pressure for them to be held up to perfect which no one can live up to no matter their gender. I’m not even going to get into the double standards where they have to be sexy but innocent. 


Imperfect Characteristics and Complex Females

Women should have less than perfect qualities because women aren’t perfect (as perfect is a myth). I like women who are angry, annoying, ambitious, dangerous, lazy, selfish, rude, cowardly, arrogant, dishonest, mean, proud and rebellious. Often female characters aren’t given the complexity of male characters, they sadly aren’t as well received as males. Sometimes audiences can be straight up like ‘I only like morally grey characters when they are white males’. Or ‘arrogance is only attractive in white males’. But they should be written because they are well-rounded, well written females who reflect reality. Females characters shouldn’t just be written for the male character to show his strength and his heart or because you like the way they look. 


Stereotypical feminine qualities shouldn’t make a female character seem boring or become less valued because of it.

Yes, we are trying to show that women can be anything so naturally we might pull away from the stereotypical feminine qualities to highlight women are more than these old stereotypes. BUT it is important to remember that pink isn’t weak, liking iced lattes isn’t basic and wearing make-up isn’t wrong. The only thing that is wrong is this mind set. My grandma once said to me ‘I was so disappointed when you liked barbies’, I didn’t need it then and I don’t need it now.  Feminism values choice and these women who are called ‘basic’ are not as simple as you want them to be. End of conversation. 


RELATED: This video is amazing and is similar to what I am talking about but focusing on the film industry. Please do watch it, it’s clever but in truth really heart-breaking. 

OKAY, SOME REAL ISSUES WITH FEMINISM IN BOOK:

She’s strong but only because I’m being told that aka failure to execute

You keep telling me she is all these qualities but fail to execute it. Woman can be whoever they want to be but if you want a female character to be, say, a strong warrior, you can’t have her always in the need of being rescued and especially always by men. You can’t have all the power in the words, and none in the actions. You have to back up your characteristics so she can be a real figure to look up to, otherwise it doesn’t really count. 

You can’t pick and mix characteristics/appearances 

Let women be apologetically themselves. I’ve seen in a few times where people are unwilling to give the women proper qualities to match how they are presented. For example, female warriors described as thin when, in reality, they would have a lot of muscle. Or them being an outspoken person but they act refined all of the time. You want them to have all the different traits and strengths but still box them in what a ‘woman’ should look and act like.

White Feminism

Sexism is a big thing, I’ve written a whole post about feminism and how females are portrayed but the world is complex and unfortunately there are many inequalities from racism, homophobia, ableism, islamophobia and more. You must recognise other inequalities and not just focus on sexism, letting it overshadow other issues because it has privileged supporters. There is such thing as white feminism, just don’t let it be your thing. And speaking as a white, middle class, straight female I may experience sexism, but I am in the best position for females and still have a lot of privilege. There are a lot of difference within women as well for example lesbian, bisexual, race, religion, poverty and trans women. They will all face different, individual experiences which should 100% be seen and not ignored. You need to listen to these important voices. 

So, I want the damsel in distress (because I don’t need to be told that I can’t be saved, it can leave me very alone, just have them saved by other female characters), I want the female warrior (who has the appropriate muscles), I want the arrogant women, the quiet women, the women with different shapes and appearances. There are so many wonderful women who can be role models to so many people and I don’t want this to be restricted to one woman. I want it to be every woman. I need it to be every woman.There is no guideline to a perfect female character, I hope you know that. All I ask in that you make sure every girl growing up and every person reading a story knows they can be anything they want and that is all they need to be. 


I would love to know, what are some of your favourite female characters and why do you love them? Do you agree with what I said? Do you have anything to add?


50 thoughts on “The Perfect Female Character?!?!

  1. Love love love this post!! Im personally tired of “the strong badass female characters” being the ones who were only trained to kill/dont feel anything/ are not compassionate whatsoever. I personally like when my characters have multiple personality traits that maybe dont make sense?? Like why cant a character be badass and a fighter but also break down and cry once in awhile?? Or be smart and strong and feminine and wear a pink sparkly ball gown while taking down the bad guys??

    Idk i personally think female characters in YA still need to work on their complexity, and I agree with everything you said about how ppl r more likely to only favor the make morally grey characters over the men?? and how women who are mean or aggressive r painted as annoying and immature while guy characters with that trait r attractive and complex??

    While I will admit I do love morally grey characters and smart asses I like these quantities in any genre character and wish I would see it more in female characters as well!! AWESOME POST 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh.. thank you so much!! All your kind words mean a lot!!
      Yes, it is like to be strong we have to act like a ‘male’ and never having any emotions. Like as soon as we cry it is like ‘we are a bad role model’ which is so frustrating. I remember in sociology talking about women in positions of power and how they achieve but they have to wear suits like a man, often have short hair and a lot of qualities that are against the typical ‘feminine’ qualities to succeed and I can kind of see it and this attitude also gets reflect in books as well. (this is why Elle Woods from Legally Blonde was an icon)
      Yes I definitely want the badass who cries and strong and feminine leads (in fact my WIP has one). I would love to see that so much *signs petition*

      I definitely would love to see more complex female characters and yes I do see male complex characters to be more likely to be sympathized with whilst the women are dragged down. Yes that point exactly, it is attractive in male but annoying women?!?!? Who even decided that?!?!

      I love morally grey characters as well in every genre and I definitely want to see more female characters like this in the future!!
      THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING AND THIS AWESOME COMMENT!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another fantastic post!!! You write such incredible blog posts and its just amazing to read them all.

    You’re 100% right there is no one size fits all for the perfect female character and to be honest even if there was wouldn’t it then get boring? Everyone’s unique and you need a mixture of qualities in your characters. And yes, yes, yes if you’re female character is strong then don’t make them fall apart constantly when trouble comes calling!! I’m not saying they’ll never need saving (as everybody needs help sometimes) but there should be some strong examples of them standing on their own too. I’ve also got to say that I think you need more female villains too. I know they are out there but there should be more. Women can be powerful and dark enough to be the bad guy too.

    Also I’m glad to see the description that you included if feminist because I have noticed that some people seem to take it to simply mean ‘anti men’. Some in the sense that they run men down constantly and some as an insult, insinuating that you must hate men to be feminist. I’ve got to admit that both of those attitudes annoy me. I even saw someone say that there’s ‘no such thing as reverse sexism’ which wtf? Of course there isn’t but not in the way they meant. There’s no such thing as reverse sexism because it means discriminating against someone on the bases of their sex – it doesn’t mean picking on someone because they’re a woman. It works either way 🤔 yeah it seems more obvious with women but men do get sexism too. Like on TV talent shows when it’s okay for people to fawn over a males body openly but it would be wrong in reverse. And men having to be strong and stuff. I feel like when people turn feminism into a simple hatred of men it’s just undermining everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 😭💕😭💕 you’re too kind, thank you thank you !!! 💛💛

      Definitely, there is not just one female character we should look up to as they can all have amazing strengths in their way. And yeah if there were it would get boring. Like you said, everyone is unique and we should see that reflected 😍
      I agree, I’m see it a couple of times in things where we have these women called strong but you never really get to see it. Yeah getting help isn’t bad at all and we all need it but when it is all the time and they are supposed to be the strongest is feels like you are saying it just because.
      I agree there should be more female villains, they can be just as powerful. I’d love to see more as well !!! Especially as I love a villain 😂

      I agree some people can think it is anti man which isn’t the case as it is about equality and always will be to me. I remember one of Emma Watson’s speech covering this really well. It can give feminist a bad rep which isn’t what it is about at all. Yes those attitudes are annoying and I think you covered that really well. It can work either way. Gender norms can constrict both men and females but it can be handled differently due to society’s structure. There are definitely some things that can be handled better and the male gaze and female gaze are both around for sure. There is definitely a pressure for men to be strong and never cry, I agree.
      Yeah it really shouldn’t be turned into plain hatred!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Its all true ❤️❤️❤️💕💕

        Yes definitely. We want a variety of characters who are individual just like people are.
        Yes I know exactly what you’re mean. You have to show your characters traits in their actions not just as a description that is then proven to be false by their deeds.
        Yes me too. Villains are fantastic to learn about.

        I’m really glad you agree as I was kind of worried when I sent the comment that it sounded bad. I’ll have to look for that speech of hers sometime. And it definitely shouldn’t be turned into hatred. The idea of equality should never lead to hate and it’s so terrible that it does sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you so much again !! ❤ ❤
          Exactly, everyone deserves to see themselves in stories.
          yess you worded it perfectly!!
          I know I've definitely found myself reaching for villains lately !!
          aw… not at all. Yeah to be fair I've only seen pictures and quotes but I found it really good.
          I agree !!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s good to know.
            If I come across any particularly interesting ones I’ll definitely let you know then.
            Oh right. It’s good that you agreed with the quotes though.

            Liked by 1 person

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