Why do some people tend to hate strong female characters?

I’ve noticed a trend. People tend to hate female characters with traits like sarcasm, strength, and independence. Even though they’re funny as hell they’re still considered bitches by lots of people.

Examples Robin from How I met Your Mother, Chelsea from Two and a Half Men and Skyler from Breaking Bad.

Personally I loved their attitude. Strong and intelligent. I don't know why LOTS of people hated them.

Have people not modernized their way of thinking?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Only a weak person would feel threatened by a strong female character. A human being should be defined by his actions not gender.

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    • Yessssssss

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    • @Autumnt : no, people may define others by their actions.

    • See, this is the difference between independence and autonomy.

      Or in the words of Churchill:

      "The world looks with some awe upon a man who appears unconcernedly indifferent to home, money, comfort, rank, or even power and fame. The world feels not without a certain apprehension, that here is some one outside its jurisdiction; someone before whom its allurements may be spread in vain; some one strangely enfranchised, untamed, untrammelled by convention, moving independent of the ordinary currents of human action."

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What Guys Said 34

  • Strong female characters are often very forced and (lets face it) cookie-cutter imitations of each other.

    In fact, I think a lot of these characters actually accomplish the exact opposite of what they're intended to.. because they teach women to hide their insecurity with being "fierce" as opposed to giving them good examples of genuine confidence.

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    • What if the woman is fierce and that IS her personality? Is that shocking? Lol

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    • She’s not always fierce just for its own sake.

      I don’t know why people are making assumptions and based on that, they try to rationalize this...

      Whatever

    • This was just getting good though.
      Come on then, continue with your point? ^_^

  • I like strong opinionated women, let's me know who they are from the beginning.

    only reason I think of is that it differs from the norm, as women are seen as girly and feminine.

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    • I agree, this is the reason why people hate women who act this way. I dislike how people can’t be open-minded and accept that females aren’t necessarily supposed to behave in a “girly” or “weak” way.

    • It all comes down to the type of personality we have as a human species, not whether we got a dick or a vagina in our pants

    • oh yes, her personality is key, while I like strong women, the kind that are sarcastic, intelligent, and independent. its PEOPLE who have bad attitudes and who are mean just to be mean are the kind I don't like. regardless of their gender.

  • 1) They're often not funny for me. Then again, neither are those shows.

    2) I dislike it if it feels the character was put in there to virtue signal (for less corporate shows) or to tick a box (for normal shows).

    3) I also dislike bad characters. Marry Sues are bad characters. So if those characters end up being Marry Sues or something akin to it then I'll dislike those characters.

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  • My guess is these some people are very religious and think women should be weak housewives

    On the other hand, I love strong female characters. They are badass

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    • Your guess is a very dumb one.

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    • Please don’t ever listen to Brian Merritt. I’ve seen his comments and answers. They’re utterly uneducated and pathetic. He always tries to rationalize hate.

  • Your trend-noticing skills are very poor. Nobody hates strong female characters who are likeable. People hate the ones that are hate-able.
    "Stong and intelligent" ok, people hated Skyler because they were rooting for Walter. She also cheated on Walt. Not complicated.
    You might find them amusing, but they just aren't badass.
    Now, if you want ACTUAL badass female characters, and not the Miss Nancies you've listed, try...
    Alice from Resident Evil
    Princess Leia, plus any female Jedi except for Rey
    Ellen Ripley
    Sarah Connor
    every female character from Kill Bill
    Wonder Woman
    any female character from Mad Max
    Michelle Yeoh in any movie
    Look, you are just wrong about all this.

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    • I think Valkarie from Thor Ragnarok fits well on this list as well

    • Yep, they were rooting for Walter, a man providing for his family through the means of drug trafficking.

      Yep, totally an admirable figure.

  • I haven't watched any of those shows. However, most of the me characters that are "strong" aren't.
    Anyone with half a brain can see the girls in these shows have too much plot armor. Which is why they can go into crazy dangerous situations and run off at the mouth and not get beat up like a man would.
    Its you unrealistic.

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  • A lot of "strong, independent" female characters are exaggerated to the point where it breaks most of our senses of disbelief. If you're strong and independent, then you don't need to say it every 5 minutes, and is a difference between being that and being a rude bitch, which is what a lot of those characters typically are.

    In the game industry for example, women like Aloy, Lara Croft and Samus Aran I could consider to be strong and independent. They're fleshed out and have their own goals. They carry themselves so well, they could be replaced by men and still work out fine as a character

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    • Exactly, if they were really strong and independent they wouldn't need to self proclaim it. Their actions would do the talking

    • I never heard robin or any of those female characters say “IM A STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN EVERYONE!”

      Where’s that self proclamation you speak of?

    • They might not directly say it but it's hidden in subversion that you can easily see if you pay attention to their mannerisms.

      I just got done watching Thor Ragnarok. Great movie, but it had this cringy back and forth between Thor and this valkyrie in which Thor basically kissed her ass saying how much he "loves women". Some examples aren't as overt as that one, but you can still see it

  • Outside of females characters on show. I personally don't like having a woman as a boss. I had a few that like to push their rank to the point of being disrespectful and unprofessional.

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    • And, men don’t do this?

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    • Men do this as well if you didn’t know this. I’ve had worse bosses who were male than my female bosses

    • Yup if you would had read my reply i stated that men pull rank as well.

  • Amused.
    "Have people not modernized their way of thinking?"

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  • Are you telling me there are no strong male characters you hate?

    What the fuck?

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    • Did you really use straw man fallacies to come to that dumb conclusion? LOL

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    • Even if I’m the one who asked the question first (and you didn’t even bother to answer it, but you still ask me to answer YOURS), the answer to your “question” is NO. Thus the straw man fallacy accusation. You have no idea what you’re saying.

    • You love and identify with every single strong male character, huh?

      Yeah, I find that believable.

  • They hate strong female chsracters where their only "redeeming" quality is being female. Its like Hillary Clinton for president. There have been many good strong female leads like in tomb raider but many other poor female leads like in ghost busters.

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  • They feel women should be feminine and femininity usually isn't associated with strength. I'm assuming you mean strength as in the physical kind. There's many types of strength.

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  • They are forced, because of feminism there aren't girls that are cool. They are just cool because they are a girl. That's why I don't like them. I don't have a problem with female characters but Not when they are forced.

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  • It's more that they are bitches more than they are a good character. In real life women are bosses not leaders. So I have never found a good female leader yet. The bosses are like queens playing game of thrones. It sucks to work for and every one hates them and rallies against them. Cause they suck as a boss.

    Now there are some great strong female character that I love who were bitches and changed or they are just good leaders who grew into thier role.
    But the reason I hate a female character is cause she is a bitch to the wrong people at the wrong time.

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  • I love the idea of a woman with a strong personality. Really it's a bout a well balanced personality.
    The names you mentioned are not real. Real life is never what you see on TV

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  • We dont?

    Like seriously, we take into consideration how each character is believeable and how much it contributes to the narrative. We dont really give a shit that it is a woman. If the only purpose of her character is to go though the typical role but push an agenda, we hate it.
    We're watching say a sitcom, we want to be entertained. If the strong female character has a purpose and promotes the entertainment of a sitcom, great. If she's just only there to be a "lesson to society" or something, we will probably dislike it. If her character is just poorly executed, we will probably dislike it not because we hate that its a strong female character, that it is executed poorly. It goes both ways..

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  • I don't like it when it is poorly done or seems out of place and those two just come off as bitchie, while characters like say carol from the walking dead has all these quality's but maintains being likable

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    • Let me bake you a bunt cake... don’t forget to rsvp! Or I’ll gut you.

      I like Carol.

  • It's not 'modern', it's feminized. More hollyweird fakeness.
    No one in society is enamored with dominating bitches. Neither gender.

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  • I don't mind it, being sarcastic a lot of times can be rather tedious.

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  • Robin is just annoying and immature, she tries to act like a dude too much. Lilly is perfect though. Do you have other examples?

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What Girls Said 6

  • Having sarcasm doesn't make you strong, it's annoying. Personally my favorite female characters are Iris West in Flash and Kara Danvers in Supergirl (she's super funny). I think they're both strong character. After I don't watch many American shows, I mainly watch French, German and Chinese shows.

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    • Sarcasm wasn’t the only thing I mentioned.

    • And I never ever said sarcasm made you strong. Wtf 😂

    • People don't hate strong, intelligent or independent character but i know a lot of people who hate sarcasm cause it's annoying. It's not a good attitudes to have.

  • It’s the writing. There are great strong female characters who are not bitches. There are great bitchy characters who are weak when things get tough. These are layers of a character people can relate to. When a strong female is not blunt, but bitchy, it’s off putting. It reminds everyone of the overpowering boss they don’t like or the crazy/possessive ex somewhere. It’s like cooking. Some things are great, but horrible when combined.

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  • Because the writers focus too much on making her "sarcastic, strong and independent" instead of her actual personality and character

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  • They associate strength with bitchiness. It’s not even remotely true, since I've noticed that if the male reenacts the same scene, he won't be considered bitchy or aggressive. He will be considered “driven”

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  • because we've been trained to think women who are leaders are bossy and bitchy, while men who are leaders are respectable and dominant.

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    • No, we aren't trained to think that way. You are trained to THINK that we are trained to think that way, haha. No, we notice it because it's there no matter what we are trained to think about it. Kind of like how the sky is the same color, no matter what you want to call it.
      Nobody thinks that Chief Urbosa from Breath of the Wild is a bitch. She's not, she ACTUALLY is badass.
      Nobody thinks that Shaak Ti from Star Wars is a bitch.
      Nobody thinks that Belle from Beauty and the Beast is a bitch.
      However, female characters from melodramas are often LITERALLY WRITTEN IN AS THE BITCHY CHARACTER OPPOSING THE GUY WE ARE ROOTING FOR. When women try to be badass when they aren't cut out for it, they become a bitch.
      See, men and women do generally display different behaviors when it comes to interpersonal relationships, and this effects leadership styles as well. I'm sorry, it's just the way it is.
      And male leaders who are bad leaders are disliked too. Trust me, I've had them.

    • My platoon had two different female leaders. Our platoon leader, and our Second Squad leader. I operated directly under the 2nd squad leader as her right hand. When she gave an order, it was my responsibility to make sure it was seen through while she tended to other things.

      I'm explaining this to make the comparison between our PL who was a spiteful bitch, and 2ndSL who has my full respect. Both were strong and independent. Both were highly skilled in their own right. But the PL used her position to domineer and dictate people without doing much work herself. 2ndSL put in just as much work and used her influence to inspire us to work hard. THAT'S the difference between a likeable, strong, independent woman. And a bitch.

    • @MisterG122112 : you're a good troop.

  • It annoys me sometimes because I feel like it’s the feminazis trying to make a blatant point at furthering their agenda. I especially get annoyed though when someone is like “yOu can't Do ThAt Bc Ur A lAdY” and the girl is like “oH yEaH?” And then she does whatever the guy said she couldn’t do to perfection. It just feels so cheesy to me. I believe there are plenty of strong women in real life, but the way they are sometimes written to be in movies and other media ticks me off. Women in America (at least) act so suppressed when women in other countries have it so much worse. We are given the ability to carry on the strong woman role. Don’t make it cheesy guys! Make it the way it is in real life.

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