Tuesday, June 5

A Cynic’s Guide to Female Protagonists

10 Steps to Slapping Feminism in the Face

1. Your protagonist is flawed, which allows readers to relate to her...but she later has her flaws fixed/overcome.

2. She is initially presented as someone who isn't interested in fashion or material things, but preens when she is dolled up for a guy she likes.

3. Whatever principles she has at the beginning of the story are happily tossed aside once a man enters her life. This is excusable because her original principles were the wrong ones.

4. If her love interest leaves her – even temporarily – she will fall into a pit of depression and cease to understand the reason for living.

5. A nice, respectable man likes your protagonist. She is uninterested. He is either unexciting...or secretly evil.

6. It is fine for a man to treat your protagonist like a piece of meat as long, as he is exceptionally attractive. If the man is unattractive, then he is a skeevy, dangerous pervert.

7. If your story isn't hung up on a man, it should be focused on babies, marriage, body image, or emotional instability. If you want to make the story faux feminist, and have your protagonist pursue a job/dream, then a sexy, powerful man is a concrete to the story line.

8. Your protagonist should be rescued by her love interest at least once. This makes her exceptionally lustful for him, especially if he treats her like dirt afterwards.

9. The number of times your protagonist meets a specific sexy man is directly linked to the chance of him being her one true love. Even if these meetings are pre-planned by either party, it is destiny and not creepiness.

10. A protagonist who excuses herself on the grounds of being female, for any or all of her actions, is a role model for women everywhere.

Best of luck on writing those strong, female protagonists.


A Cynic


Chihuahua Zero said...

Oh, "strong female character". How true this is in some cases.

Really, I'm not into the whole "teenage true love" thing. I prefer that the melodrama builds up as slowly as possible, flares up, and then released at the end of the series in a break-up after the heat is gone.

Of course, that never happens.

Morange said...

Too bad no one ever sent this to Mayer, we could have had a completely different book. Although looking at her writing she probably would have thought it was serious.