What is Strength in a Female Character?

Image: Morguefile

This is a post I’ve wanted to write for a while now. It’s difficult to find the words for this topic in a way that doesn’t necessarily push everyone’s buttons. But I do find it an interesting thing to consider.

What do you think makes a strong female character? And why do we have to define strength according to gender?

Please read my post over at The Sarcastic Muse and let me know what you think!

What is Strength in a Female Character?

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2 thoughts on “What is Strength in a Female Character?

  1. Regardless of gender, I liken strength as you do from what is inside. The differences you draw between the external world of personality and the internal world of character are spot on, for me at least.

    Whether I am portraying exemplary physical strength or the most tender and compassionate of emotions, both can be signs of weakness or strength. I guess, for me, it comes down to one word really. Integrity. If you are living in accordance with what you deem to be your guiding principles (and those principles align with the natural principles of the universe), you are a strong person in my mind.

    From a fictional background, I can think of several characters that I have encountered over the course of my last several books that I consider strong (both male and female): Tom & Izzy from The Light Between Oceans, Will & Louisa in Me Before You.

    Strength does not need to be flaunted in order for it to exist. In fact, I sometimes think that you are an even stronger person when you don’t feel the need to promote that same strength visibly to the external world. It is a personal and sometimes private battle with yourself, not others, that defines strength.

    Very thought provoking and insightful post/discussion Michelle. Thanks for sharing, I always appreciate your musings 😉

  2. Thank you for taking the time to comment! Integrity is an excellent word choice. Our integrity as individuals, our integrity within our society, etc etc — all of this plays an important role in strength. When I think of individual strength — the quieter kind of strength — I often think of compassion. Compassionate people often come across as “weak” simply because they are kind. But I think compassion is one of the more powerful internal strengths. When I meet a truly compassionate person, I am often astounded by their resolve and their ability to forgive.

    The private battle is another matter. It’s hard to beat our inner demons, so when we do, I’d definitely label that as strength.

    As always, I appreciate your thoughtful comments! They get the wheels turning in my brain, too. 😀

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