Today’s A-Z post coincides with my Insecure Writer’s Support Group post.
No one wants their female protagonist to be the girl who’s always tied to the rail road tracks, or Princess Peach—whose only role is to be kidnapped by Bowser and rescued by Mario. This leads to an unspoken rule that women in fiction need to be strong and super-empowered or else they’re anti-feminist.
I’m insecure when it comes to writing strong female protagonists because I enjoy a story about a hero saving the damsel in distress just as much as the girl saving herself.
Below is a list I've made of things that are often paired with a strong female protagonist, but which do not actually constitute a SFP:
*Attraction to Bad Boys—this just means they had poor male role models growing up and have no respect for themselves. A SFP should have self-esteem whether or not she's strapped to a Rube Goldberg death contraption.
*Combat Boots— unless paired with a uniform and rank, this is a fashion statement and does not indicate anything about one’s military success or prowess.
*Cussing—I’ve seen elementary kids with appalling language, so a female character who swears isn’t much of a shocker.
*Drinking/Smoking—last I checked most of these habits were detrimental to health and should lead to a weaker character, not a stronger one.
*Leather—Leather is a type of fabric. It tells me more about a person’s income than their personality.
*Motorcycles—My Honda 250 cc gets 80 mpg. When I ride it, it’s because I’m being more frugal, not stronger.
*Promiscuity—For both men and women, the number of people they sleep with doesn’t make them stronger in my opinion, it just means they’re more likely to get and STD.
*Tattoos—getting a tattoo or body piercing doesn’t make someone stronger, especially if the tattoo is of kittens or puppies.