Let’s get something out of the way: I love books. And it does not matter whether the protagonist is male or female.
However, there are some things I do not like about both female and male characters. And, as a woman, I tend to get quite frustrated when I stumble across these female character pet peeves:
1.The female protagonist’s story cannot be completed until she ends in some sort of romantic relationship.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure you don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy, successful and feel like you accomplished something. But hey, this is just me wanting for young girls to realize that life isn’t all about marriage and children.
2. (character name) was different. For no reason!
She likes to read. She is shy. She has brown eyes and her hair is a mess. And thus, she is a special snowflake. Let’s write a 200 000 words book on how her pale skin sets her apart from the rest of the girls. #nootherexplanationneeded
3. Her boyfriend is the most important thing in the world. Her wishes do not matter.
4. She can wield a gun, but she cannot say NO to a guy.
It looks like when male writers hear the phrase strong female character, they only think of a young girl with big breasts who shots things; but she is quickly proven weak and less worthy when a male character stands next to he. And this absolutely shouldn’t be like this. Being able to beat someone up doesn’t make you strong (kudos to her for being able to do so). What makes someone strong is his/her ability to use his/her own mind, make decisions which aren’t influenced by someone else. For example, a girl may not be physically strong enough to fight back against her abusive boyfriend, but she can say stop and leave him. Her leaving him, makes her strong. Her tolerating this, makes her weak.
5. She is the most gorgeous girl in her neighborhood, school, city…heck maybe even in the whole country. But…but, she doesn’t know it.
Don’t act like you never read about a girl like this. Girls hate her. Boys want to be with her. Yet, she thinks she’s an ugly outcast. And it usually takes her around 2oo pages to realize she’s a beauty. And she realizes this only because her love interest, the handsome football player, told her so.
P.S. It may take another 100 pages of self-doubt for the female protagonist to believe her love interest (most probably boyfriend and love of her life by now).
6. She is sexy, but not.
She wears the shortest dress possible. But she is not slutty, she’s classy. Why? Because the dress is black.
7. Decisions? Pff, I’ll just do whatever you want to do. #sheisadoormat
8. She is a naive virgin.
Really? In the 21st century?
9. She is a bad ass, but she never shows it.
The same goes for: she is strong, but never acts like it.
More than once I stumbled across stories when the author narrated how his character is strong and a total bad ass, but she never did anything of the sort. Most of the time, she was a plaything for her male counterpart.
10. She complains all the time.
That’s literary everything she does. Whether it be her body shape, clothes, hair, tone of voice…anything really. And she has a few things to say about her husband and young ladies.
P.S. I seriously finished a book (wasn’t worth remembering it’s name) where the woman blamed all her misery on her man, but it was her fault! She also complained about him. A lot.