1. Making her insanely masculine to be ‘powerful’.
We’ve all seen this. Her voice is lower, she glares around powerfully, she hasn’t got time for ‘silly’ feminine things like Ps&Qs, emotion or hugs. She walks like a man, talks like a man, acts like a man. She’s basically a man. Because femininity isn’t strong or powerful, duh.
2. Making her enemy a feminine woman
SPW (strong powerful woman) has an arch enemy who is every bad aspect of femininity. She wears dresses, likes fashion, gossips and is scared of mud or spiders. Because the worst thing in the world is a feminine woman, right?
3. Making her a complete bitch
She’s ‘strong’ but just incredibly nasty. She is sullen, cold, unfriendly and standoffish. She disapproves of the women around her who smile, get upset or show emotion. Again, worst thing a woman can be is feminine. Feminine= weak, I guess.
4. She’s a complete misandrist/homophobe, too, somehow
She answers misogyny with quips about men being stupid or inferior. Or, even worse, she makes remarks about men who exhibit fear or feminine tropes that reek of homophobia and sexism. Like, SPW, why
5. She’s incredibly attractive but is somehow the poster girl for ‘ugly girls can do it too’
She’s probably played by a supermodel but because she carries a book at school or wears jumpers and not crop tops, everyone weirdly thinks she’s hideous. SPW shrugs it off, powerfully, but you know it would work better and be more inspirational if fucking Emma Stone wasn’t telling us it was okay to look like her.
6. She hates other women
SPW competes against other women for literally the whole film. She makes fun of how they act. She is sooooo much better than them. Ew, they like PINK. Ugh, Jessica is so lame for cheerleading. Yuck, how can Jade’s boyfriend not see that SHE is so much better. Just typical cat fighting that you’d find in any standard 1960s film. But for some reason that makes her cool and edgy.
7. She’s really, really violent.
Okay, I get fighting movies kind of require this but the amount of ‘feminist’ films where the SPW ends up punching the guy/girl she didn’t like at the end is just weird. And applauded for it. The fuck.
8. She gets the guy, even if his character is completely pointless and underdeveloped
Sure, she’s conquered a fucking country, won 3 battles, rid the world of all evil or won the judo championship, but at the end, what she REALLY needs is a good man. Who is, amazingly, just as good as she is at judo/fighting/being a jerk. Despite the fact she’s spent the WHOLE film improving. And she’s always straight. Noticed that?
9. She has absolutely no personality at all beside being powerful.
Underdeveloped syndrome sucks so much. Why does she want X? Because her parents died/she’s unpopular/she’s….fuck it, who cares. What appeals to her in Dave The Crush? Meh….just hire a hot actor. What does she like doing?...whatever makes her powerful. Who gives a fuck. FEMINIST character, somehow.
10. Random token sidekick who is ALSO completely underdeveloped.
Despite having no definable personality, and being a standoffish nasty judgemental arrogant person, SPW had one black friend (character traits: black) and one disabled friend (character traits: disabled) and one gay friend (character traits: gay). They have like two lines of dialogue and disappear for half the film, but HEY, quotas people. Look how PROGRESSIVE we are. And racism/ableism/homophobia is never discussed because, PROGRESSIVE. I guess?