Mad Max: Fury Road was a great film, and it also made me realize how the term “strong female character” is inadequate in describing well-developed and complex female characters.
The adjective “strong” is ultimately weak when used to describe multi-dimensional female characters like Furiosa.
I used to support the strong female character term because the genres I love, like neo-noir and crime, usually feature a male main protagonist and is told through the male perspective. So I supported the term because I thought it represented a subversion of the token female stereotype(s) in these books/films/TV shows.
But then I read the reviews of Mad Max: Fury Road and began to think that the term in itself is also a stereotype.
In the video, I break down the definition of the strong female character according to the film, and also explain how another term, “a great character” is more fitting.
Obviously, by stripping the gender from the term, I remove all the connotations as well. I don’t aim to ignore these gender-specific experiences, but instead to elevate well-developed female characters like Furiosa out of the narrow category of simply being “strong”.
Millie’s Note: What’s your take on the strong female character term? Should it change at all?