warning signs a Strong Female character is only strong for the sake of the male gaze:
- (does something badass) ahahaa yeah i have like eight brothers
- aggressively into the mediocre self-insert white guy lead
- “MAN UP”
- “what are you, a girl?!” to her male co-workers
- super competent but still not the main lead
- the only woman in the group of all men
- has a random changing scene/half nude scene/sex scene even though none of the male characters show that much skin
- wears a form-fitting, impractical suit+high heels while the male characters get practical clothing
- fights the ~sexy~ female villain sidekick while the male lead fights the actual big bad
- has a scene where she is forced to act like a honeypot and walks down the stairs in a gorgeous/tight dress and the male lead is like “ahhhhh”
Take a look at each of your characters and ask yourself what purpose they have for being in your story.
We still have a long way to go for gender equality, so try to make things as equal as you can. The more we show people that women are competent and capable, the more people will realize that equal rights are necessary and deserved.