Strong Women Fictional Characters

While browsing blogs, JacInTheBox found an interesting article on Strong Women. I’ll let you read her post and find the original post that started this blog chain on Strong Women. Both are well worth reading.

They object how women are not just beautiful but overly sensual. Doesn’t matter how large the man or how many men there there are, she will beat everyone of them. Or they can spin a man’s head around with her untold intelligence. They are strong on the outside, but there’s not much character on the inside.

After reading both posts, I spent sometime wondering, “What is a strong woman?”

As of late, I’ve been reading Harry Dresden, not a good example of a strong woman.

All his women are gorgeous. They have perfect skin, luscious hair, full lips, dreamy eyes. (My words not his.) If they have the slightest bit of fairy blood, they are above drop dead gorgeous. Only one teen was ugly; she was half troll.

Somehow, Harry’s women don’t bother me. They’re part of his charm, but they are stereo typed. I would not consider any of them to be strong characters. No one will write a spin off about them.

I think a strong fictional character is someone who knows what she wants, has the courage of her convictions, isn’t easily intimidated, but she does have her vulnerable moments.

I thought of a few of TV shows I’m watching and the women who dominate.

In Revenge, Emily Thorn and Victoria Grayson, are very similar. They’re controlling and manipulative.

Emily is on a mission to destroy the Grayson family for destroying her family.

Victory is like a mother grizzly bear set on protecting her children.

Both women are so focused on their goals they are possessed by them. They’re personalities are held together by that passion. It’s what gives when strength.

They don’t care who’s life they destroy. An innocent person is collateral damage. On occasion, they feel the pain of guilt for what they have done, but their obsession overrides and they press on.

I’m not sure what would happen to them if they lost their obsession. I think they would unravel or maybe they fear they’ll unravel. They’re so tightly wound, they walk and sit with a stiff back. Every expression is carefully thought out. Every word of love or anger is calculated.

Their obsession is both their strength and their weakness. They can’t take a breath and just relax. If they did, they might slip up and say something that would reveal who they truly are. Their entire personality is wrapped up in their goal, without it, they are nothing.

In Once Upon A Time, the mayor has the a smile of an angle, her words are so sweet, sugar has trouble dissolving on her tongue, but she has the heart of a demon. She is so evil, she killed the one person she loved most so she could accomplish her goal – make everyone’s life miserable.

She says someone she once loved betrayed her. But this kind of evil isn’t created. She was born with it.

The story is set in Storybrooke, Main, where the evil queen is Mayor Regina Mills.

She’s not obsessed or possessed by her goals. Being evil is in Regina’s nature. It’s who she is. It’s not something she picked up like Emily and Victoria. It’s something Regina was born with. Just like a scorpion stings; a mountain lion loves to chase it’s pray and pounce with intent to kill; a tornado destroys; Regina is evil.

The only chink in Regina’s armor is Emma.

Emma is the new sheriff in town and compare to the women just mentioned, she has a layered personality. She’d loved, been disappointed, knows her self worth and is haunted by loneliness. She’s not intimidated, knows who she is and what she is capable of doing.

She takes a man down by outsmarting him, without ever hitting him. At the start of the series, Emma was a bounty hunter. She meets her target on a supposed computer date. When he realizes who she is, he runs. She casually follows in an evening dress and high heels. No need to rush; she placed a tire lock on his car.

But when she tries the same smarts on the mayor, the mayor is one step a head of her.

Emma has considered quitting only to pick up her resolve and keep fighting.

Her flaw is in not believing eight-year-old Henry.

Henry believes the residents of Storybrooke, Main, are really fantasy characters. Emma thinks he’s a child with a vivid imagination. If she took him seriously, and listened to what he said, she’d have the answer on how to defeat the mayor.

I don’t know if these are the best examples of strong women, but they are good examples of different types. As I wrote this post, I thought of some of my female characters. That’s for another post.


Click on People of Akiane Trilogy to learn about Phyllis’ Moore’s science fiction novels.