1. JealousSea

    JealousSea New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2018
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    14

    Is my heroine too masculine?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by JealousSea, Aug 20, 2018.

    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.
     
    CoyoteKing and John-Wayne like this.
  2. Nariac

    Nariac Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2018
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    777
    Location:
    England
    Write a heroine whose adventures you'd enjoy reading, and it'll fall into place. Sounds to me like you're overthinking this, and I should know because I overthink EVERYTHING!

    She doesn't sound unusual to me, just sounds like a tomboy, which is awesome. Tomboy girls rock. And it sounds like your justification for her being able to fight against men is just fine. There's women in the U.S. marine corps now. Sure it's harder for them to get in because biology is against them, but training and being born fairly robust can counteract that quite handily.
     
  3. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    2,464
    Likes Received:
    3,858
    Location:
    SC, USA
    She's fine. Some people may complain that she's too masculine, but to be clear, their complaints won't be about realism, but rather about the fact that they don't like non-traditionally-feminine women -- not the fictional ones, not the very real ones.
     
    Stormburn, Mckk, BayView and 4 others like this.
  4. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    1,205
    Location:
    London
    I think what would make this character seem realistic or not, to me as a reader, is not so much how she acts but how everyone else acts around her.

    For instance, is the character you've described normal for her world? Is it socially expected that a woman would want to become a mother or marry? Is it common for women who want to be warriors to join groups of knights? Because if it's not normal, it would feel weird to me if it's treated like it's normal. Maybe the knights she rides with just accept her, but does everyone else? Does the innkeeper who's hired them to kill the local bandits think she'll be able to do it, or does he assume she's a servant they've brought along?

    You can have your character be anything you want, and you can give her multiple levels. You can play the tomboy warrior entirely straight, or you can have her think she would rock the shit out of that blue damask ballgown but doesn't buy it because she thinks she needs to keep projecting her one-of-the-guys image and dresses are stoopid. Either can work, either can be interesting, either can be realistic. Personalities are many and varied. But if you present her as unusual and then the world doesn't treat her as unusual, that would seem odd to me.
     
  5. ElConesaToLoco

    ElConesaToLoco Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    Alicante
    From what you've exposed here, she does indeed sound like a dude with boobs. She has zero classically feminine traits, and basically all of the classical male traits.

    From a biological perspective, there's a definite tendency for both males and females to follow a characteristic psicological development (Tendency, mind you, not certainty). It isn't just a matter of social influence on the kids. In fact, if you take social pressures out of the equation, biology grows in importance, making the psicological differences between genders even more obvious. On that sense, even though it's perfectly possible for any individual to develop psicollogically into any type of personality, it's really strange for a woman to have no maternal instincts at all. So, even if it's possible, it is quite a rare thing to see.

    In regards to fighting capacity, I think you're wrong in your analysis. There's a strong difference in the physical development of male and female bodies. It comes down to several aspects, including muscle density, height, weight, body proportions, bone density, etc. Think of it as a difference in both the starting point, as well as the limit to the indivisual's capacities. Say (In RPG terms, just for the sake of argument), a female starts at strenght 3, and can reach strenght 7 with a whole lot of training that will make her look like a man if she goes really hard into it (Check female bodybuilding pictures for reference). On the other hand, a male starts at strenght 5, and can reach strenght 10, ending up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his top years. So, yeah, a highly trained woman would probably beat an untrained man, but an equally trained man would definetely have an edge on that same fight. For the same amount of training, the man will reach higher "stats" (Again, RPG terminollogy just for the sake of argument). That's physical stats, obviously. There's nothing stopping her from having natural talents for fighting, such as quick reflexes, or a fast analytical mind. Experience also plays a big role in combat. Years of fighting help you develop a skill set that helps you do it better, such as an acute sense of positioning, combat strategies "on the go", a good knowledge of where to strike (Such as the liver, which has a paralysing effect, as well as causing extreme pain).

    It's a sad truth of life, as I mentioned before with the bodybuilding example, that highly muscular women, for the most part, are just simply unnatractive. If your protagonist is so strong that she can go toe to toe with trained male fighters, chances are she will not look very feminine. I think that's the reason many fantasy writers just plainly ignore biology, and have women in their stories be just as strong as males, while somehow also retaining their very "totally not a gym maniac" body with their physical attractiveness intact. In movies this looks really silly. You'll usually see women in actions movies who looks like models, fighting guys without breaking a sweat, maybe even beating several guys in the same fight. Meanwhile, in the real world, if women who look like that tried to fight those same henchmen, they would get absolutelly trashed.
     
  6. John-Wayne

    John-Wayne Madman Extradinor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
    Messages:
    3,189
    Likes Received:
    4,978
    Location:
    Badlands
    Just as a reference of a tough Female-Warrior is:


    Now having shared that, I too have a female MC, she isn't as tomboyish as yours and does show more womanly traits as well, she does where gowns "Stola with Palla" since she is in a Romanesque like civilization. She did want a son, but complains about being pregnant with him during a war, she does get furious later on when she gets pregnant again and even more so when she gives birth to a daughter, which she absolutely did not want.

    Like you, I also let my MC, Kristol, be herself without consideration to her gender but who she is as a character. However, and This is kind of tough to say without sounding Sexists to some, but allow her to be vulnerable, or feminine since she is a woman, Kristol has a lot of moments of being a woman, despite being a warrior and being tough. And no one doubts her, even in those moments, however she does have a mercenary who ruthlessly mocks her.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  7. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,126
    Likes Received:
    2,231
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    There's a lot of opinion stated as fact here.

    First off, let's dismiss the notion that body builders are the apex of physical strength.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3247376/Bodybuilders-muscles-NO-stronger-people-never-lift-weights-don-t-exercise-all.html

    Compare body builders to actual physical fighters and the differences are striking.

    Second, you're really overstating the importance of pure physical strength to premodern combat. No doubt it's important, but it's not the end all be all. Armor, weapon, and skill at arms are going to be the deciding factors.

    At Bouvines, Philip Augustus was unhorsed and surrounded by enemy foot soldiers; he survived. Was that because his strength was somehow greater than that of all his opponents put together? No, Philip survived because his armor held off their blows long for his bodyguards to come to his aid.

    Let's not forget that diet is a major factor in potential size and strength. Nobles were bigger than peasants. Germans were bigger than Romans because they ate so much meat and dairy; this size difference was one of several reasons the Romans were so terrified of Germanic tribesmen. You can see this sort of thing today at the Korean DMZ. Both sides put out their most physically imposing soldiers, and the North Koreans are smaller than their southern counterparts.

    So, to summarize point two, a noblewoman with significant combat training (like real world Dahomey Amazons, Scythian noblewomen, or Japanese onna-bugeisha) completely trouncing peasant conscripts thanks to advantages in most all areas, beating an experienced lower class soldier because her armor is better, or defeating a physically stronger nobleman because she's more skilled with her weapon of choice are all perfectly realistic scenarios.

    And the first sentence of that last paragraph is just...I don't even have the words. A statement like that is all opinion, not a "sad truth of life".

    Turning to the OP, I think you're fine. People are unique, and their personality types may fall outside the norm of their society. As long as you aren't acting like the only way for any female character to be "strong" is to adopt masculine traits, I don't see a problem.
     
    making tracks, Zakle, wrabel and 5 others like this.
  8. CoyoteKing

    CoyoteKing Good Boi Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    1,421
    Location:
    Kennel
    JealousSea, I think you’re over-analyzing this.

    It’s fine. Seriously, it’s fine.

    First of all, I think people exaggerate the differences between men and women.

    Secondly, even if she is more assertive or masculine than the average lady— it’s fine. She can just happen to be a particularly assertive person, male or female. Writers write stories about exceptional people.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    13,058
    Likes Received:
    7,576
    Location:
    California, US
    It's not a problem. She doesn't have to have any classically-feminine traits. Just be consistent in how the world as a whole views women and react to her (it may be no big deal, or may be a very big deal, depending on how you've structured your world).
     
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    13,058
    Likes Received:
    7,576
    Location:
    California, US
    Also, you might look at Sheepfarmer's Daughter, by Elizabeth Moon.

    Also also, if you're writing fantasy and you come across people who are OK with wizards wielding fire and raising undead minions, and OK with warriors battling dragons or wading into the goblin hordes, but draw the line at female characters who don't act like traditional stereotypes of women--well, that's just stupid. Ignore them.
     
  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,068
    I feel that there are two issues mixed here: What will make a female character popular with readers, and what is realistic.

    In your post, I don't see a realism issue with regard to masculine/feminine traits. (I generally regard stories with a lot of fighting as fairly unrealistic, but if that were enough to kill a book, we'd lose a lot of books.)

    And a reader who is indignant that a female fighter....fights, rather than hiding behind her companions, or indignant that a female fighter refuses to wear high heels into battle, is not your reader. Sure, there's a point where too much "those are not your readers" leaves you with zero readers, but IMO you are nowhere near that.

    It worries me that you say, tentatively, that your warrior "may" be "a bit" aggressive. She's a warrior! Of course she's going to be aggressive. And anger is a human trait; women aren't somehow immune to it.

    I don't know enough biology to know if a trained woman is likely to defeat a man who's precisely the same size, weight, training, intelligence, etc., etc. But I don't really care. Male soldiers vary in size, intelligence, and training; if they were all a matched set, armies would be very small. I'm not going to have to strain to believe that there's a very large population of men that she could defeat, and that she is dangerous to any man.

    I assume that by "exclusively wear" you mean that heels are worn exclusively by women, not that a lot of women exclusively wear heels, right? I don't know even one woman who only wears heels.

    I would be startled if this woman wore heels. Wearing combat boots while engaged in normal civilian activities would feel a little culturally tone deaf for either a man or a woman, but there are countless comfortable flat shoes for women, some of them feminine, some of them masculine, some of them with very little to say either way. And many women don't wear skirts or dresses.

    I've been watching Babylon 5, and enjoying Susan Ivanova. Here's someone's favorite moments for that character:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7_ypEX9Ma0

    The scene that starts at 7:50 is a big spoiler if you ever plan to watch the series--in that case, skip to 10:00.

    Here, you can get a good look at her in civilian garb--and 'nineties hair:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1q77pF6Eok

    The writers chose give Ivanova a fair bit of femininity in appearance when she's off duty. (Note the "What am I, chopped flarn?" moment.) You absolutely don't have to go that way. But cooking and sewing and baby-cooing are not her thing.

    Well, marriage isn't an inherently feminine activity. Men do it, too.

    To quibble, I assume that she would fight back against mistreatment whether it's motivated by misogyny or not.

    Not all women like children. I'm not sure if it makes sense to say that she "values career over family", because it sounds like she doesn't even want family in the sense of kids, so why would there be a decision to make? I'm a woman, and I never sat down to think about what kids would require from me and whether to have them anyway; my view about having or raising kids can be approximately expressed as "Eew."

    However, marriage doesn't always mean kids. She can reject either or both, but they're not the same thing.

    The part of this that sounds unrealistic to me is the hiding behind her male comrades in the first place. Why would she do that?

    And, again, "riled up a bit"? You seem tremendously hesitant about the idea of a woman showing any aggression. "riled up a bit" gives me an image of "Awww, how cute..." as Shirley Temple clenches her tiny fists.

    She's a warrior! Stop Shirley Templeing her!

    This, I'm uncertain about. Don't men, in a fighting situation, protect each other?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  12. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    510
    I think the only way for it to go wrong is if you make too big a deal out of it, like if we're constantly reminded that omfg, Helspeth isn't like the other girls.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
    Azuresun, John-Wayne, jannert and 2 others like this.
  13. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,068
    Do you have a statistical study documenting this? I'll agree that both men and women tend to want to have kids, and that society pushes really hard for people to have kids. That's why there are support groups with the word "childfree" in the names. But not wanting kids is certainly not vanishingly rare, for men or women.

    Edited to add: On a quick Google, from usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/wellness/dating/story/2011/02/men-women-flip-the-script-in-gender-expectation/43219110/1

    “In a nationally-representative survey of single, childless people in 2011, more men than women said they wanted kids… Another poll from 2013 echoed those findings, with more than 80 percent of men saying they’d always wanted to be a father or at least thought they would be someday. Just 70 percent of women felt the same.”

    Irrespective of his size? ANY man can beat ANY woman with the same amount of training? (Corrected to remove stray "higher level of training". Apparently I restructured the sentence.) The original post referred to a 150 pound woman and a 135 pound man. You're really confident that the smaller man can beat the larger woman, if he has the same amount of training?

    I regard male bodybuilders as thoroughly unattractive. But we're not talking about bodybuilding.

    It seems to me that female boxers and/or kickboxers would come closer to the situation in question. (And the link presented above suggests that female sprinters might have the strongest muscles.) If you regard them as "simply unattractive", well, you are entitled to your own personal views about female appearance, but I think that a conclusion that female boxers, kickboxers, sprinters, and other athletes are unattractive would be far from universal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  14. ElConesaToLoco

    ElConesaToLoco Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    Alicante
    I'm talking in the context of 2 people with the same training and no other variables apart from gender. If you put some skinny guy with no muscles against the bulkiest woman ever, the result will be pretty obvious.

    Tamikka Brents, after fighting Fallon Fox (Transgender woman) said: "I've fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can't answer whether it's because she was born a man or not because I'm not a doctor. I can only say, I've never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right". That's the advantage Fox got out of having grown as a man before getting the sex change.

    Motherly instincts aren't just the will to have kids. It's also the will to take care of people in need. It's watching someone being abused and stepping in to help, among other tendencies.

    The point of that whole paragraph was to point out how most fantasy fiction portrays female warriors as super models with unexplainable fighting capacities, completely ignoring that in order for a woman to fight men on equal grounds, she'd need to build quite a lot of muscle, making her look very unlike a super model. Not neccesarily unnatractive, mind you. I was going to the extreme of buffness and bulkiness by using body builders as the example.
     
  15. Marthix2016

    Marthix2016 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2016
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    73
    I LOVE tomboys! One real life one is Jacqueline Carrizosa (known as Brojaq as her nickname). The chick is way beyond a badass and she has more guts than anyone I know. She competes in dirt bike racing which is a very male dominated sport and she has won against an entire field of men a good handful of times. Add that she was a 4-year Navy veteran. And the girl's body is totally shredded. She actually got hit my a vehicle once and broke her back in 2 spots and lost a kidney. She said in an interview if it wasn't for her strong body, she would've been dead. She is a very inspiring young warrior. She is truly a role model for males and females. If you were to put me inside a boxing ring with Jackie (and I'm a dude!), I would be very worried. I work out a ton and Jackie is more shredded than I am. Her appearance in the ring would be intimidating. So yes...your character sounds very regular/normal, nothing out of the ordinary. Don't overthink things. Girls can be badasses too without rubbing it in people's faces that they are a girl. "Fight like a girl"...I hate that phrase with a passion. There are strong girls out there who can kick a strong dude's ass; she may have to work harder for it because she's at a biological disadvantage but she can get there if she believes in herself and works hard enough. I hear ya on the female vs. female fight thing. C'mon...lets be real...in real life females do fight males. Not everything is all smiles and rainbows between everyone. If your protagonist wants to pick a fight with someone, by all means she can. Character before gender...WAY before gender. Don't skew or change your character due to what she has on her chest and between her legs. Write her for how you know he to be.
     
    Shenanigator likes this.
  16. Marthix2016

    Marthix2016 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2016
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    73
    Yeah, what I see here is that JealousSea is getting at isn't that her protagonist isn't a beefed up bodybuilder. She's just a very well toned warrior...I don't know what the best term for it is...lean and muscular but not bodybuilding type stuff. I just wrote a post above about a real-life badass and her name is Jacqueline Carrizosa (aka Brojaq). Look at her body. She's definitely shredded but I think she looks absolutely beautiful and fine. As a dude, I find her extremely attractive and inspiring. If you read what happened to her and how she survived that, she has inspired many men and women across the country. Girl is a fighter, that's for sure. If she were this 150 pound chick and you put her up against a trained 135 point man....I mean...the gender isn't the deciding factor. Jackie would be a very intimidating opponent...both may be equally strong and then it comes down to fighting technique. I don't think anyone should judge who should win in a fight based on gender. There are women out there that can kick a man's butt. As I said before I'm a guy, but since I'm biologically "supposed to be" stronger than a woman, doesn't necessarily mean I am. Women have to work harder to get stronger...it takes them a lot more work and time to get there but it's totally possible. And they don't need to get the look of a bodybuilder to get there.
     
  17. QueenOfPlants

    QueenOfPlants Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    117
    Location:
    Germany
    IMHO the problem might turn out not to be her being "too masculine", but her being one-dimensional and an asshole.

    Unfortunately "strong" female characters are often depicted as having toxic masculinity traits. And although it is absolutely possible for a woman to have these traits, they don't make her a likeable character.
    Nor does it make her realistic. Many women who have a lot of "masculine" traits also have softer sides, just as many "masculine" men often have softer sides.

    Now, I myself have a lot of "masculine" traits, for example I am good with crafts and tech and am not afraid to do hard work, carry heavy stuff or make myself dirty. I don't care so much about whether or not my legs are shaved and I wear work clothes a lot.
    I tend to dominate in conversations and tell people how to do things because I am often more competent then they.
    And if I had the physical means to do so, I would happily punch everybody in the face who tried to belittle me as a woman.
    BUT I also like to wear pretty clothes sometimes, I read romance novels, I am compassionate and want to help, I would like to have a partner and maybe children...
    And I also know other women who are tomboyish but still have other sides.

    So, if I read a book with your character I would not think "she is no woman", but I might think "I don't like her a lot and she sounds like a cliche". Depending of course on execution. It MIGHT work, but you might want to be careful about it.
     
    BayView, John-Wayne and CoyoteKing like this.
  18. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    16,514
    Likes Received:
    18,256
    Location:
    Scotland
    If you've never watched the remake of Battlestar Galactica, you should. I think that show does the best job ever of really leveling out male/female roles. The women in that show who are soldiers are not the least bit stereotyped, and nor does the fact that they are women seem to make any difference to anybody. They are just soldiers who happen to be women. I have other issues with the show that make me want to scream, but I cannot fault the characters. They are definitely not stereotyped.
     
  19. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,068
    By that definition, it's very rare for a man to have no motherly instinct, so the fact that we're talking about a female character is largely irrelevant.

    But I'm not at all sure that's what the original poster meant by motherly instinct.
     
    Shenanigator and Simpson17866 like this.
  20. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    1,626
    I loved the first season but into the second, the constant down notes just ground on me until I stopped watching.

    Starbuck was the best.
     
    jannert likes this.
  21. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,332
    Likes Received:
    4,285
    Are you worrying about your character being realistic, or your character not being regarded as traditionally feminine? Because there's a major difference.

    First of all, why exactly does she have to be feminine just because she's a woman?

    She is already terribly unfeminine, traditionally-speaking, by being a warrior and by not wanting kids. If you're worried about her fitting into traditional female stereotypes, well she doesn't fit. You're free to scrap your character and create a new one who does fit. But what would be the point?

    Is she realistic? Why don't you think she is?

    It feels to me that intellectually, you firmly believe a woman and a man can be anything they want to be and that gender roles and traits are largely products of nurture. However, if seems like you feel rather differently, that to be a true woman, somehow you gotta act a certain way. It doesn't matter much which way you believe to be true, but you may wanna examine why you're questioning your character in the first place?
     
  22. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,068
    You said:

    Now you're saying:

    These don't say the same thing. If you're arguing that women on TV and movies don't look like ordinary people, well, yeah--neither do the men.
     
    BayView and Simpson17866 like this.
  23. ElConesaToLoco

    ElConesaToLoco Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    Alicante
    I don't see the contradiction anywhere. In summary, this is what I've said:

    -Extremely muscular women aren't attractive (For most men, at least). As stated before, with "extremely muscular" I mean the obssesive gym-ethusiast body builder types, which is not neccesarily what's best for a warrior.
    -Female warriors in movies and TV usually don't look at all like women who would actually be capable of doing the things they do (Meaning, the actresses don't look nearly as strong as their characters are supposed to be). And this is the case, I think, because producers know the more muscular the actress is, the least men will generally like her. For example, Ronda Rousey, former UFC champion, has starred in some action movies, and she definetely looks like someone who could beat regular guys (She herself said she wouldn't fight against male fighters, though). I'm pretty sure most men think she looks fine, but not as fine as, say, Scarlett Johansson. Johansson doesn't look like someone who could beat a regular guy, but somehow when she plays Black Widow in the MCU, she can kick some mayor ass just because the script requires her to. This is the discrepancy I'm pointing out. If the character is supposed to be a warrior type who can go toe to toe with male warriors in a physical fight, she better be packing some muscle, and even then she will probably struggle in combat, unless she's fighting rookies. If she's fighting properly experienced warriors such as herself, she's going to struggle a lot to keep up and stay alive. All in all, she won't look very feminine with scars everywhere (From previous battles), short hair (Because long hair is inherently a bad idea for a fight, as it gives enemies something to grab), as well as a cold I'm-gonna-rip-your-guts attitude.

    Where's the contradiction?
     
  24. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    15,345
    Likes Received:
    13,068
    Well, the main contradiction seems to be that you're assuring the OP that her character can't be attractive, when she really didn't ask whether she was attractive. She asked whether she was realistic.

    Then there was the contradiction in message, when your declaration that female body builders can't be attractive sounded like a declaration that muscular women can't be attractive.

    If the original poster did ask whether her character could be attractive, then we could move on to the IMO false idea that muscular women can't be attractive, but that doesn't seem to be relevant to the question.
     
  25. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    2,126
    Likes Received:
    2,231
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Like ChickenFreak said, by this standard lots of men have motherly instincts. I'd call taking care of people in need basic human decency, though.

    Black Widow is a pretty poor example for your point, considering she's got abilities beyond those of a normal human and most of the rest of her skills are peak human.

    "Her agility is greater than that of an Olympic gold medalist. She can coordinate her body with balance, flexibility, and dexterity easily.[69]

    Romanova has a gifted intellect.[70] She displays an uncanny affinity for psychological manipulation and can mask her real emotions perfectly. Like Steve Rogers, she possesses the ability to quickly process multiple information streams (such as threat assessment) and rapidly respond to changing tactical situations.[70]

    The Black Widow is a world class athlete, gymnast, acrobat, aerialist capable of numerous complex maneuvers and feats, expert martial artist (including Jiu jitsu, Aikido,[71] Boxing,[71]Judo,[71] Karate,[71] Savate,[71] Ninjutsu,[72] various styles of Kung Fu and Kenpo), marksmanand weapons specialist as well as having extensive espionage training.[73] She is also an accomplished ballerina.

    Romanova is an expert tactician. She is a very effective strategist, tactician, and field commander."

    Johansson's body type fits the role well enough.

    Beyond that, your point is...well, beside the point. The OP doesn't focus on what you're talking about here.
     
    Zerotonin and Simpson17866 like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice