I always thought it was a female whose characterization is strong, however I was reading this article, where author Sophia McDougall seems to take issue with females who are strong. In fact, she insists that the former interpretation is being conflated with the latter and females are now being written as fighters in place of actual characterization.
I have to admit, the examples Ms. McDougall cites are accurate. But those examples are also from movies rather than books, and face it, Hollywood isn’t exactly on the ball with progressive female characters in leading roles (certainly not without a male counterpart). Hollywood writes formen because they say women can identify with male characters obviously it’s impossible for men to try to identify with females.
But are books the same? There are some that are. THE HUNGER GAMES series features a female lead who is not physically strong, but still an exceptional fighter with her archery skills. She also has some other characteristics, but Katniss is very much a “strong female character”. But let’s look at another book, the post-zombie-apocalyptic FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH. Main character Mary is not a fighter by any means, is involved in a love quadrangle, and spends more time than she should worried about her relationships with the male characters. She is also strong willed, stubborn, resourceful, and emotional. She is a real person. Well, you get what I mean.
What say you about strong female characters? Do you know of any strong characters who aren’t necessarily strong women?