Just after International Women’s Day I began to ponder are there enough strong female characters on our screens, in books and radio dramas. Skyfall however, the newest instalment of the Bond franchise puts in a very strong female character with M. An older lady (practically unheard of in the cinema) who is at the top of her profession governs Bond’s actions and not only has she been at the top of her field for years she defends her position there. Why can’t we have more like her and why are there such a drought in strong female characters at the moment? It can’t be that the public don’t want them, can it? So I decided to ask members of the public their views? This is what they said.

“The fictional women all turn out to be the same. They all have similar problems and are all purposely flawed characters.”  Hope

“There are enough, these characters have developed masculine qualities like fighting skills” Robert

“No, there are some but there can always be more. Men are always depicted as strong characters instead of the women” Mia

“There is obviously some because otherwise there would be uproar. They have to but the characters they have however are really flawed and there flaws overtake their characters unlike their male counterparts” Amy

“Yes, definitely like Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, she’s a great strong female character” Finley

“No but I think there should be more, so there could be a good female role model” Bethany

Those who believe there are too many flawed female characters may be right. So many characters have lost their family members (Emma Swan in Once Upon A Time)  or are  fighting to get back ex-boyfriends (Knives from  Scott Pilgrim)  or both(Amy Pond from Doctor Who) it’s become a rarity to have a female character with a full family (Merida from Brave).

Although there are very good female characters that have these traits and the characters listed aren’t necessarily bad it is annoying that female characters seem to have to be categorized. Often female characters are used just for character development of the main lead (Dr Molly in Scrubs). Their plots are thrown out the window to enable the male characters to develop. 

But that’s not to say all female characters of the past were bad; Irene Adler was the only person to win against Sherlock Holmes or Claudia from Interview with The Vampire who successfully managed to be a better vampire than the two older men around her or perhaps even Alice from Alice in Wonderland who manages to win a complicated chess game and become Queen.

It should be noted that the two boys I asked said that there were enough strong female characters.  This probably has to do with their own views and how quite a sizeable group of men think feminism isn’t a real cause.

So there we go. My view is there will probably never be enough well rounded female characters to get near to being even with all the badly written female characters who are stereotypes and mockeries.  It is however getting better with characters such as Donna Noble from Doctor Who, Black Widow from The Avengers and Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter series and radio-wise we have Carolyn Knapp-Shappey from Cabin Pressure who wins a divorce settlement and runs a small airline and is respected and feared by all the men who work for her.   Hopefully one day we will have more female characters like M instead of more generic male heroes such as the Jack Reacher adaptations and less damsels in distress gracing our screens.