Readers and reviewers have long hailed “strong” female characters – a term applied to women who are athletic, smart, opinionated, empowered, impulsive, adventurous and influential over other characters. The quest for “strong” women led to inevitable caricatures and unpleasant stereotypes while eliminating some of the world’s most intriguing women and cultures.
Actresses were quick to resist the label. “Two phrases I hate in reference to female characters are ‘strong’ and ‘feisty,” said Helen Mirren in 2010, in an interview with James Rampton. “They really annoy me. It’s the most condescending thing…. It infantilizes women.” And Meryl Streep, during an interview on 60 Minutes, pointed out: “No one has ever asked an actor, ‘You’re playing a strong-minded man…’ We assume that men are strong-minded, or have opinions.”~ read more ~