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Brilliantly Written Female Characters

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Author Topic: Brilliantly Written Female Characters  (Read 95 times)
The Doc
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« on: September 05, 2010, 12:41:24 am »

One of Sleekituk's posts just gave me the idea for this thread. There is a lot of talk lately about what constitutes a good female character, in SciFi or otherwise, and a lot of talk about the annoyance of Mary Sue's, so here is a chance to list your favourites, tell us what makes them great and why they work etc.
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2010, 01:49:23 pm »

It would help if I knew what constitutes a 'Mary Sue ' ?  Roll Eyes Who in godsname comes up with these stupid names for things??
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2010, 02:41:43 pm »

This may help:
http://www.springhole.net/quizzes/marysue.htm

As for brilliant female chars in scifi, I'll name some:

Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Willow (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Susan Ivanova (Babylon 5)
Lyta Alexander (Babylon 5)
Fred (Angel)
Delenn (Babylon 5)
River Tam (Firefly)
Zoe (Firefly)
Jadzia Dax (Star Trek: DS9)
Kira Nerys (Star Trek: DS9)
Tosh (Torchwood)

When Joss Whedon was asked why he kept creating such strong female characters, his response was "Because you keep asking that question." I didn't name any from Dollhouse because there were too many, to be honest, but the one that stands out in my mind is Bennett, also played by Summer Glau, same gal who played River Tam.

Strong female characters are strong when you can remember them and think, "I never thought of them as being a good female character...I thought of them as being a good character, period."

Unfortunately they aren't common in scifi. I've been a panelist a few times on the issue of women and science fiction, and it was brought up that a single scifi manuscript written by a woman whose name was spelled out on there was rejected. Resubmitted under a gender neutral or male name...accepted. People who think there isn't sexism in scifi has their heads in the sand.
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2010, 03:06:30 pm »

Laura Roslin - BSG
Fred Burkle - Angel
Lauren - Misfits
Willow - Buffy

just a couple listed above, but all brilliantly written anddiverse characters that don't fit into the idealist view of how female characters should be. I agree with the comment above. So much sexism in scifi and it's just going around in circles because so few writers will break the chain
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010, 03:09:20 pm »

Laura Roslin - BSG
Fred Burkle - Angel
Lauren - Misfits
Willow - Buffy

just a couple listed above, but all brilliantly written anddiverse characters that don't fit into the idealist view of how female characters should be. I agree with the comment above. So much sexism in scifi and it's just going around in circles because so few writers will break the chain

It's why I speak highly of J Michael Straczynski, Joss Whedon, and RTD. I wish they could be put into a room along with JJ Abrams and Neil Gaiman and emerge with something so extraordinarily geekgasmic that the universe would attain instant enlightenment.
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010, 07:05:30 am »

This may help:
http://www.springhole.net/quizzes/marysue.htm

As for brilliant female chars in scifi, I'll name some:

Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Willow (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Susan Ivanova (Babylon 5)
Lyta Alexander (Babylon 5)
Fred (Angel)
Delenn (Babylon 5)
River Tam (Firefly)
Zoe (Firefly)
Jadzia Dax (Star Trek: DS9)
Kira Nerys (Star Trek: DS9)
Tosh (Torchwood)

Agree with these, except for Buffy, which I never watched so can't comment.

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Strong female characters are strong when you can remember them and think, "I never thought of them as being a good female character...I thought of them as being a good character, period."

River Song fits this definition.  Wink

In addition to River, I would add Donna Noble, and Aeryn Sun, Zaan, and Chiana from Farscape.
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010, 02:57:11 pm »

River Song fits this definition.  Wink

I honestly and truly don't.

For starters, she's had no development as a character. The nature of why she's reportedly "cool" is because of her so-called mysterious link to the Doctor. Being this mysterious link to the Doctor is the only thing that has given her any definition.

Why does a female character have to be bitchy to be considered "feisty" and connected to a man in order to have any importance? Or worse yet...have stupid wifey jokes made like that's the best a woman can achieve is to be wed to a man?

I'm sorry...but River is the epitome of why I loath Moffat's portrayal of women. She's not strong, she's not well developed, she just smirks and simpers about "spoilers".

As for the rest...I've said my piece on the "Dislike of River Song" thread.
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2010, 06:37:28 pm »

I'm sorry...but River is the epitome of why I loath Moffat's portrayal of women. She's not strong, she's not well developed, she just smirks and simpers about "spoilers".
 
She's not well developed - yet.  We know as much about her as the Doctor does at this point (although why he doesn't just google her in the 51st century and find out all he wants to know is beyond me).  We don't know that she is  his wife, but she is obviously someone the Doctor loves and values, so much so that he ensures her essence will survive in the Library when her physical body dies.  IMO, that says a lot about her character.  She's his intellectual equal, often being the only person who can understand what he's talking about.  From what little we've been told it seems she does have a life and career independent of the Doctor, but that he keeps coming back periodically for visits, which he doesn't do for any of his former companions.  As for "spoilers", she's probably doing it as payback to him for doing it to her, which he does to her because she did it to him, etc.  Timey-wimey antagonism.   Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2010, 03:39:04 pm »

She's not well developed - yet. 

Um...she's had MANY episodes to become well developed, and frankly we're at the what you see is what you get point. We've had one shot, single episode chars more developed than her. Harriet Jones was a more developed char.
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