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    "We had a strong independent female"

    "We had a strong independent woman" is an excuse made to dismiss criticism towards Mary Sue characters.

    Background

    It is well known that most female characters are shown as weak back in the 1960s and earlier before the gender equality movement became more common, even though strong female characters rarely ever showed up during those times here and there, mainly during the pre-Code era (and to a lesser extent, during World War II). It was not until the late-20th century that this problem is now fixed.

    However, as extreme feminists, or SJWs if you will, came into the picture starting from the mid-2010s, and have been oversaturating the media since the late-2010s, they started to make a female character that is a Mary Sue or a propaganda-type character. Just because you made a strong and powerful female character does not mean you must make them bland, overpowered, and a tool.

    Often when a strong female character ends up being criticized for either poor writing, being sexist to the male audience, being a Mary Sue, being there to promote an ideology and nothing else, or just being a mean, selfish and unlikeable bitch that comes off as more villainous than heroic as intended, some people might use the "We had a strong independent female" as an excuse for doing so. Saying that statement shouldn't be a good enough excuse for making low-quality and effortless strong female characters in general. This excuse also treats females like they are unintelligent beings or idiots with no real taste, which isn't true. In fact, critically acclaimed trilogies like Star Wars and Terminator have had worse off sequels because they try hard to be "politically correct".

    Even if a strong female character is mostly aimed at female audiences, male audiences may also be interested in this character as well. There are many examples of this, but the most well known ones are Ochaco Uraraka, Amethyst, Lyn, Raven, Hinata Hyuga and Spinel, just to name few. The aforementioned characters are for female audiences, yet they have enough substance and real effort put in to be relatable and entertaining for the male audience and don't pander to feminists.

    There is no excuse for making a strong female character poorly written just because you want to pander to SJWs. Sometimes, poorly-written strong female characters are not always brought in as the result of trying too hard to pander to SJWs. Between the late-20th century and the 2000s decade, some poorly-written strong female characters were created as the result of bad writing brought in as the result of the writers trying to (unsuccessfully) compete against more popular well-written strong female characters from other popular media, such as Kayley from Quest For Camelot.

    In addition, some strong female characters created before the SJW era at first which were well-written in the past can turn out into becoming poorly-written ones instead due to bad flanderization over the course of the later sequel/reboot/revival media in one way or another (even when not because of trying too hard to pander to SJWs), such as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones, who was initially a well-written strong female character in seasons 1-7 of the show, only to end up being a poorly-written strong female character in the series' final season (season 8) due to being a devastating victim of flanderization during that season. Although in some cases, there is actually hope to restore these affected female characters back to their old well-written selves by proper re-writing of these characters in later sequel/reboot/revival media.

    Why This Excuse Is Not Strong

    1. This is just a way for critics and SJWs to dismiss criticism towards people who criticize poorly written strong female characters.
    2. Many men harbor a love for strong female characters as well. By pointing out the flaws in poorly written strong female characters, it can leave improvement and ensure that more strong female characters can be made to be liked by men as well.
    3. There is a massive difference between an actual strong independent female character and a female character that is just being a mean-spirited and unlikeable bitch.
    4. In real life, nobody is extremely overpowered and invincible like as portrayed in most media nowadays, and therefore audiences won't be able to relate, connect and identify with these "overpowered" fictional female characters.
    5. Strong female characters don't necessarily mean that they have to be physically strong all the time; as inner strength also counts too, with characters such as Snow White (from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)) and Cinderella (from Disney's Cinderella (1950)) being good examples of such female characters that are known for their inner strength and resilience. In fact, strength comes in many different forms, both physical and mental.
    6. The whole excuse makes women look like idiots with little to no real taste for quality characters, and they will put sexism, SJW pandering, and no effort into the female characters, showing that the creators don't really care for women' curiosity.
    7. Double standards: Many of these poorly-written strong female characters created nowadays often do a lot of bad, unforgivable, and irredeemable deeds in order to either prove a point on feminism or get whatever they want, with most of the bad deeds they do being the exact same ones the misogynistic males are often guilty of, and often get away with it without any repercussions whatsoever and in most cases, even get outright rewarded for their misdeeds in the end and are hailed as "heroes", while male characters who commit the exact same misdeeds, on the other hand, get punished for it and are outright labeled as "villains", all for the sake of shoehorned "female empowerment", hence making these strong female characters huge Karma Houdinis. Some good examples of this double-standard portrayal on is through the characters Vanellope von Schweetz from Ralph Breaks the Internet and Kate Kane/Batwoman from Arrowverse.
    8. Hypocrisy: Despite that this whole excuse is used for the sake of "female empowerment", it instead backfires big-time by portraying these fictional strong female characters in a rather negative light with all the exact same negative traits SJWs themselves often (falsely) accuse men of nowadays. Hence it often discourages viewers, both male and female, from liking these fictional strong female characters due to how unlikable they often turn out to be.
    9. Many of these poorly-written strong female characters often give bad lessons to audiences, especially to female audiences which these strong female characters in question serve as role models for them to look up to, that either "women are always strong and overpowered with no forms of weaknesses whatsoever" (e.g. the 2020 version of Hua Mulan or Marvel Cinematic Universe's Captain Marvel), or "women can do anything they want, regardless whether their deeds are good or bad or is at the expense of others, and always get rewarded for it in the end" (e.g. Vanellope von Schweetz from Ralph Breaks the Internet), or both, all which none are even true in the slightest.

    How to write a well-written strong female character

    1. Write a female character that is actually strong and relatable rather than being overpowered.
    2. Give the character some forms of strength, whether it could be physical or inner strength or both, plus some flaws and weaknesses to which the audience could relate to. Also, when giving your character some forms of strength and skills, make sure that they're actually shown to be good at it, at least with some valid explanation, and not for the sake of SJW pandering.
    3. Give the character some good and sympathetic character traits which the audience would love and admire. However, do not give them way too many glaring bad flaws or even give them flaws that are just downright vile and irredeemable to the point that they're completely unsympathetic.
    4. Flesh out their characteristics so that audiences can see, relate and identify various parts of the character as a whole. Depending on your target audience, their personality shouldn't be too complicated or too simplistic either.
    5. Avoid aiming your character at a specific race or gender and instead aim your character at every part of the audience without insulting or pandering at them, especially insulting their intelligence talking down on them.
    6. Have your characters make a compelling story instead of promoting the propaganda of various religious, political, cultural, or gender-based themes.
    7. Avoid treating other nations, cultures, religions, or any person (including men) you don't like as dumb and/or evil, while the main characters' identity is unrealistically strong and flawless.
    8. Try to make them have a soft and feminine side, it's OK to make them overly attractive. Don't make them masculine.

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