Female Character Taxonomy



The blog Overthinking It created an enormous infographic classifying female characters in movies, anime, literature, comics, and television. The author writes:

Some of the listed tropes might be considered crazy-sexist, and others represent more positive stereotypes. The tropes are subjective, and they exist on a continuum of sexism. Consider Family Guy’s Lois Griffin (who falls under the category of “Perfect Wife”). Lois isn’t a particularly complex female character, and the idea of a fun-loving sexpot wife who stands by her man no matter what he does is kinda-sorta sexist, in that this character is a fantasy fetish figure tailor-made for adolescent male audiences. But as far as sitcom housewives go, I’d much prefer to watch a Lois-type character than a classic sitcom shrew like Debra from Everybody Loves Raymond. At least Lois represents a more positive (and sex-positive) stereotype.


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This chart is just stupid. There are obvious mistakes, and piles of misconceptions.

A woman is a shrew because she wants her husband to change? When you get married and, especially, you have kids, you have to change. Any time a living arrangement or relationship changes, you have to change.

And Guinan is the Wise Crone? Guinan may have been several hundred years old and wise, but she certainly wasn't a crone.

Hit Girl is a cutesy badass? How about psychologically manipulated and damaged psychopath?

Okay, this is becoming a rant, so I'm going to stop.
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I call bullshit on this list, especially because it list Uhura as "useless" with the implication that she was useless because she was a woman. BZZT!

Star Trek was made in the Sixties. There were VERY few Black characters on TV at the time... which is why Nichelle Nichols had a personal meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. where he persuaded h her to keep doing the show even when she wanted to quit, saying it was too important that a Black face be on TV.

Uhura was "useless" not because of her gender, but because of race--this chart ignores the political and social situation of when the show was made and the decisions made in regards to her character because she was Black: They couldn't ever put her in charge of the bridge because people in the south specifically would have flipped out at a black woman being in charge (this was why Ensign Chekov was given the bridge and she never was even though she outranked him). They wanted to pair her and Spock together but couldn't because she was Black and people would have flipped out. Writers actually wanted to do more with her but couldn't not because Uhura was a woman, but because she was Black.

But this chart just ignores how much race was a factor and assumes it was just because Uhura was a woman, she was written as "useless," when the truth is that she was made "useless" because of her race and the limitations that put on the writers.

And Yoko Ono and Michelle Rodriguez are listed on this thing as CHARACTER TYPES, as if they're not real? WTF?
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Or even better would be the Queen from The Lion, The Witch and Wardrobe, since the Queen in Snow White is still family just not by blood.
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