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Submitted on
July 29, 2012
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Why is it that there seem to be only two types of female protagonists: The damsels in distress or the derranged psychopath that makes the villain look like a saint. Why can't we have a happy medium?

Why is it that next to psychotic and criminal behavior is only acceptable when you're a girl? In real life, girls who act like the psycho heroines in so-called "feminist literature" would end up getting arrested or be put in a mental asylum for those criminal and psycho things they do. They wouldn't live happily ever after and be accepted by society for their cruel, callous behavior. That's life. Life is not a Mary Sue story. There are no Mary Sues in real life.

Here are an example of decently portrayed heroines that aren't totally psychopaths or totally hepless damsels:

Kira (The Dark Crystal)
Riza (Treasure of the Rudras/Rudra no Hihou)
Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess)
Princess Leia (Star Wars)
Celes Chere (Final Fantasy VI)
Faris Schwartz (Final Fantasy V)
Jeanne (Bahamut Lagoon)
Lukia (Bahamut Lagoon)
Iria (Zeiram series)
Most Miyazaki heroines
She-Ra (She-Ra: The Princess of Power)

Those are the type of heroines at the top of my mind that aren't extreme psychos or extreme damsels. Can you think of some others?

NOTE: I don't mind if a female character goes psycho, but let's be realistic: She has to face reprecussions for her bad behavior, just like the male character who acts the same way. If it were a male hero being psycho and getting rewarded for it, people call them out on it, but not when it's a female character. Mary Sues are just as bad as Gary Stus IMHO.
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:iconmomiji-22:
For strong females, how about all the chicks of Samurai Warriors? They kick ass and are badass.

Same goes for the Rumble Roses gals.
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:iconguei-girl:
Agreed. Both games rock!
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:iconblackdiamond1998:
blackdiamond1998 Oct 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm going to be the one who points out Buffy, and most of the female characters in the show. ;) Buffy's entire premise was subverting the Damsel in Distress trope. Faith goes physco, but she faced consequences in both BtVS and Ats
Black Widow is over-sexed in Iron Man 2 and the Avengers advertising, but she could qualify for a decent heroine.
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:iconguei-girl:
True enough. Those sound like decent characters.
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:iconblackdiamond1998:
blackdiamond1998 Oct 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Once Upon a Time has good female characters, and Once in Wonderland has bad ass Alice. Both shows suffer from racial stereotypes, though.
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:iconblackdiamond1998:
blackdiamond1998 Oct 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm trying to think of other shows with heroines. It's actually pretty hard. There's Buffy (a few too many pshyco ladies, but almost everyone goes a little evil regardless of gender, Xena (I've only seen season 1), OUaT, Firefly, and then I run out of ideas. Buffy's spin-off Angel is kind of sexist, but Cordelia is a great female character (until they turn her into a womb and have her possessed by an evil demon-goddess for all of season 4).
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:iconguei-girl:
I like Xena and Firefly. I also like the heroines of Farscape. Most of the time, they are bad ass.
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:iconblackdiamond1998:
blackdiamond1998 Oct 24, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Forgive my ignorance, but what is Farscape?
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:iconguei-girl:
It's a science fiction series by the Jim Henson Productions. There are some awesome females and monsters in that show too.
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