By Pritha Nag and Tanvi Mittal
The one constant question we keep on asking ourselves is, why do all female characters, both in books and movies, need a significant other? Being bibliophiles (bookworms), the two of us have noticed that every book we’ve read, the female character ends up with a significant other. Why is this? The phrase “strong female character” isn’t fully true because they almost always end up with a lover. There are many real-life strong females, but why don’t authors/directors think of them. We understand that it is part of life but I can name plenty of male characters that don’t need a significant other. Whereas can you name at least 3 female characters (from a movie or book) that don’t end up with a male partner. Women can be strong by themselves and they don’t need a male love interest.
Here are a few of our notable examples.
Hermione Granger: Hermione is one of the most powerful and strong characters and we see that throughout the 1st to the 5th book. She is so smart and even if she did not have Ron and Harry, she would have been super powerful. Yet, she needs Ron, especially in the sixth and seventh book. When Ron gets together with Lavender, Hermione isn’t her usual self and constantly finds herself trying to make Ron jealous. When Ron leaves, Harry and Hermione in the woods, Hermione spends most of the time crying and she doesn’t come of any help. She is not her normal quirky self and finds herself entirely wishing Ron was there.
We want authors to make characters that know themselves better than to fall for a boy and lose themselves.
Tris from the Divergent trilogy, a less popular character but is still a significant example. She is super strong at the beginning and she is confident and smart, but then she meets a guy, and she completely changes. She can’t stay away for him for even a minute and all she dreams of is being with him. What happened to the strong Tris? She finds herself heartbroken when she and Tobias fight and don’t get along. She becomes scared and constantly depends on him to save her.
A strong female character doesn’t necessarily mean she has giant muscles, it means they can stand up for themselves. We want authors to make characters that know themselves better than to fall for a boy and lose themselves. We want authors to create characters that know that they can stand up for themselves, they don’t need someone else to stand up for them. Because we know that its fine, people fall in love, but that doesn’t mean they lose all of their self-confidence. We know that there are men that also depend on their significant other and its okay. But calculate, you can’t say you have seen more males then females have this problem in books and movies. We understand that authors might have a good idea that involves their female character meeting their significant other. In real life though, there are many strong females, take for example, J.K Rowling. She had a troubling past and an abusing husband but when she started writing and finally got her book published, she became a star and now owns a $25 billion franchise.
Though many authors tend to make their female characters weak, there are some valid examples of extremely strong female characters.
One of the other few Disney princesses we could probably think of is Merida from Brave. Brave is an absolutely amazing movie and shows complete woman empowerment. Merida shows constantly that she is fine by herself. Her parents force her to get married but Merida doesn’t want a prince and fights against everyone to show that she is fine by herself. She is stubborn and feisty. One of our favourite scenes from the movie is when Merida proves all the princes wrong and manages to beat all of them. She is one of the few only princesses that don’t need a prince.
Even the director of this amazing film is amazing.
Another big example of a real-life strong female who made a big difference was Rega Jha. She is not an author but she is amazing. She founded BuzzFeed India and then was the editor. which now is kind of a big deal. She was declined from publishing Buzzfeed India a countless amount of times and finally, she got there.
Why can’t authors make characters in their books with people like her? In real life there are strong women but not strong fictional characters.
As the time comes, we can see more and more strong females in real life. Despite this, there are many women out there who are completely independent whilst still having significant others and we hope that authors can portray the type of strong females there are, and incorporate them into their stories. Hopefully, in the future, we see more characters like them. Authors and Directors don’t know that their strong female characters can really inspire people and change how they see the world. Because we don’t want to see many female characters who fall for people and lose themselves, we want to see characters who can stand for their thoughts, and do what they love.