I’m sorry to say this, ladies, but we are our own worst enemies. How much do we proclaim our fury when a man looks at a strong woman and calls her a bitch? How much do we holler that being strong and being a bitch are not the same thing?
And yet…there is a pervasive trope in modern day romance fiction: Women who are bitches are labeled STRONG. Women who are quiet, no matter how successful they may be, are labeled weak, old-fashioned, a push over.
That’s bullshit. Quite honestly, I find many of these so-called ‘strong’ female characters to be a huge pain in the ass. Their strength is not internal. Their strength is not in knowing who they are. Their supposed strength is actually in ignoring who they are. How often does the modern ‘strong’ heroine ignore the hero, continue her mantra of “I don’t need anyone. I can do this myself” and continually butt her head up against a tree or a building or a job or… before she finally allows someone in. If she ever does.
That’s not strength. Guess what? Strength is in asking for help if you need it. Strength is in recognizing your own strengths and weaknesses and allowing others to help you.
Why do we continue the stereotypes that were set up decades ago that to be strong means one must be a lone pillar in the wilderness who needs nobody? It’s sad. It’s destructive. And it’s absolutely cold. And guess what? It’s not heroic.
We are not men. And yet, that is what these ‘strong’ heroines remind me of – this quintessential idea that a strong man needs nobody “ugh ugh”. Well, that’s not true either, but that’s a whole other argument. But the fact is, instead of writing a strong women, authors write a strong man and make the character have a vagina.
I think its sad that people label these women as ‘strong’ when in fact they aren’t. Not really. They are usually cold, self-involved, and someone that quite honestly I would probably not have much to do with in real life. And yes, I want heroines I could meet with at the coffee house, chat, have things in common, etc.
Am I strong? Yes. And it pisses me off that the kind of characters that are like me are labeled as weak or lowly or [insert your own negative stereotype here].
I think we need strong heroines – but I don’t think it should be at the loss of who that heroine is. She’s a woman first off. Don’t forget that – she’s not a man – or as medical science used to think of us, little men – she’s a woman with strength that is different from her male counterparts.
Beauty does not mean man-eater.
Humanity does not equal bitchy.
Feminine does not equate to weak.
Let’s cut out the bitch in our heroines and bring forth some powerful, strong women.