Ok...so I’ve read a lot of things here and on reddit about what a ‘strong’ Female character is and I’ve seen so many definitions of what that means. When I think about how my protagonist would react to certain situations, she may be a bit aggressive or get angry...I don’t know...am beginning to think sometimes is she too masculine? My protagonist is a young warrior (young meaning 28 years old). I don’t like to call her a ‘female warrior’ or treat her as a ‘female’...I treat her as a character first, I don’t want her gender to get in the way of how I write her. She’s trains, works out, has a very toned body. Physically very strong. I know a lot of people complain about a female warrior fighting a male opponent in a story and they say that in reality the female would probably get her butt kicked. 9 times out of 10 the male will overpower a female opponent because biologically he’s stronger. Even if you put a weak male who didn’t train versus a trained female warrior, male may still win. I think that’s a screwed up way to think. I think a female who works hard and trains her body can kick a trained male’s ass...and when I mean that by hand-to-hand combat (punches, kicks, etc.) and sword fighting. If I put my 5’6” protagonist who weighs 150 lbs approx. and put her against a male who is same height and weighs 135 lbs...while her body may be made up of more body fat overall...she still has a ton of muscle, more than the male opponent. I would think my protagonist would be able to take him to town. I just find it weird that you have these females who are shredded (muscles) and you pit them against a dude who isn’t shredded, and people still say the male will win. I want my audience to believe that my protagonist can take on a male (trained or not) of any height or weight and stand her own. She may not win every battle but she will damn well try until she’s exhausted every last bit of her energy. I know in many books/film that females are pitted against females...I find it boring because a female protagonist should have male adversaries/rivals/opponents too. Obviously I wouldn’t expect my heroine to necessarily defeat a 6’5” 200 lb. dude whose shredded but maybe her lighter weight and speed and skills will allow her to prevail. Another thing about the protagonist is that she doesn’t necessarily like to wear dresses or heels or anything I guess you would say a female would normally exclusively wear. She thinks heels ruin her feet...she often wears combat boots or shoes due to her occupation. She loves hanging out with the dudes...doesn’t necessarily need a ‘girls night’. She loves fixing things but she sucks at things like cooking or sewing...you know things typically associated that a female would like (stereotypes). She DOES NOT ever want to become a mother or start a family and I don’t think she’ll ever marry in her lifetime either. Her “Happily Ever After” I think would look like continuing to serve in this group of knights she becomes a part of and protect her kingdom. She was brought up as an only-child and a loner. Though she has a lot of great friends and family, she puts her career first. She is very protective of herself and her body for that matter. If someone would ever mistreat her because she’s a woman or because she’s doing things the wrong way ‘as a woman’, she would manhandle them. She is herself, I think that is all that should matter. Everyone is different. Nothing is set in stone. She will not allow her society to pressure her into doing things a certain way. Not that I will make much mention of this in writing her story, but she is not the fondest of children or kids. She finds them annoying but she won’t make much mention of them. She doesn’t have a motherly instinct. I don’t want that to make this a huge point of her story but maybe make it a point that she values her career over family. She loves being single and independent. I hope you get what I’m trying to say here. Is my protagonist too masculine from what I described? When I write her story, I don’t care to think about her as a ‘female’ first...I put her as a ‘character’. I don’t think it’s a good idea to put gender first when writing a character. May screw things up. If I know how my character would react to certain situations, do I write how I feel she would react to it or change it due to her gender? For example, if an opponent calls her a coward if she’s hiding behind her male comrades, would it be unfeminine for her to come out and battle that opponent because she gets mad and riled up a bit...is it feminine to hide behind the males for protection? My heart tells me she is one who does not seek protection from anyone. She is not this type of “I am a woman and hear me roar” character. She just wants to be part of this group of knights because it suits her interests...instead of growing up with playing with dolls, her father gave her soldiers/warriors/knights to play with...kinda reminds of how Galen Eros raised Jyn Ero in Star Wars Rogue One. Sorry for the long ramble about my protagonist but I want to make sure I collect thoughts and opinions on her. Does she not sound realistic as a character? Realistic as a ‘female’? Does is make her more or less readable the way I describe her? I don’t think a male or female have to act a certain way...a male can be just as nurturing and caring as a female and a female can be as violent or aggressive as a male. My protagonist is definitely not perfect, she is very human and has emotions...there will be moments where she cries and seeks comfort...she won’t win every argument or fight. Thoughts and opinions would be much appreciated here.