I’ve always hated the phrase “strong female character,” but couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong with it. I knew I wanted more than just strength, but “three-dimensionality” is too much to ask for from Hollywood. Of course, this topic has been mined extensively by people who are much smarter and more thoughtful than me, but I missed out on the analysis until stumbling upon this delightful piece by Tasha Robinson at The Dissolve. It’s short, smart, and super-funny–and cuts to the heart of the problem by naming it “Trinity Syndrome.” In a nutshell, strong female characters with nothing to do but support or inspire or whatever are worse than weak female characters who take action to advance their own goals.
Speaking of The Dissolve, it’s well worth adding to your feeds or whatever it is you youngsters use to keep up with things these days. It was launched by my favorite Onion AV Club writers (including the coiner of the phrase “manic pixie dream girls”) a year or two ago to essentially zero fanfare, but it’s consistently insightful and frequently pants-pissingly hilarious.