Why I Don’t Like The Term “Strong Female.”

by sjbgilmour

Now before you reach for the burning oil and pitchforks, lemme explain.  I don’t dislike strong females.  Quite the contrary.  I married one, I’m the son of one, and I’m doing my darndest to help  my two daughters become strong themselves.  I write about strong females in my fiction.  In real life, I enjoy the company of many I know in my personal and professional life.

What I dislike is that the adjective “strong” sets the females described apart from those who, by the definition,  are not.  Joss Whedon’s famous speech sums up pretty much how I feel, though with a bit more angst thrown in.

I write.  Some of my writings are short stories.  Some are full-length novels.  And, many of my protagonists are female.  They wouldn’t be much in the way of protagonists if they weren’t strong, now would they?  I’m almost tempted to try writing a story where my protagonist is a weak, dim-witted and hapless-though-incredibly-lucky, Mary-Sue…  oh wait.  Stories like that already exist, with both males and females in the lead roles.  They’re called comedies.

I suppose I could try my hand at comedy.  I’ve done science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction, crime, paranormal, and adult fiction.  I have certainly had fun with some of the supporting cast in some of those writings which may count as comedy.  The problem is I’d probably write about a female funny character, and that could get me in all kinds of trouble.

Ahh, what the hell.  I might just give it a go.  I’ll let you know how I get on.