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[personal profile] icassop
I've come to hate the term "badass female character" because kicking everybody's ass is all good and well, but what else is there to her? I hate the notion that a woman in movies, especially in the action/adventure/superhero genre, can only be her own person, strong and independent, when she is perfect at everything.

Which is why I don't want to see a Black Widow solo movie. I have seen no flaw and no weakeness to her character that could be explored in a solo film. Her only "issue" so far was shown in a flashback in AoU and was later a little bit more explored in her scene with Banner. But there has to be more to her than what is - or actually, is not in this case - literally between her legs! Why not delve deeper into the impact of her decisions on her friendship with the other Avengers? For god's sake, she switches sides in Civil War!! How is backstabbing others not a character flaw that's explored more? As a former solo assassin, the avengers (except for Hawkeye) are probably her first real experience of friendship and close camaraderie. So why not show how her "highest-bidder" decision-making from her assassin days impacts her relationship with the others? She's more than a love interest and a pretty body to look at.

So now I'm really worried about Rey in Star Wars VIII. I like her in TFA but so far she's just nice and... pleasant, and most of all, she's perfect at everything. EVERYTHING. She resists force torture, she can apparently fly any big spaceship without actual practice, and she knows how to use the force not only to defend but also fight and mind control with it. WTF does she need Luke Skywalker to train her??? What I need from her in VIII now is for her to make a big mistake that has nothing to do with outside circumstances, she has to make a wrong decision with severe consequences. Just like Luke in Empire. And it's even more urgent with her than with Luke because when she's already so perfect, what character development would be left to explore?

What's most important about this whole "badass female character" issue is that being perfect isn't what's interesting about a character. It's their flaws and weaknesses that contrasts their strengths and skills. We as an audience don't relate to perfect characters. We respond to their struggles with their own flaws. Take Saitama from the anime One Punch Man. He's a parody of the whole shounen genre by defeating every opponent with one single punch. He IS the strongest person in the manga. But he isn't boring, far from it. He wants to be a famous, recognized hero but you could say that his powers are so unbelievable that people would rather explain away how he defeats such strong villains than actually acknowledge that he is that powerful. He's also incredibly unremarkable and leads a very simple and boring life, which is a nice contrast to his otherwise unmatched strength.

The other thing that annoys me about this, too, is that asking for help or getting help is seen as weak for a "badass" character. No, it's not. She doesn't suddenly become a damsel in distress because she needs help. Knowing and accepting help is not a sign of weakness. Realizing when one is out of their depth and in need of help is a way for the character to grow as a person. Sometimes asking for help is the bravest thing you can do.

What else can i say... The badass female character is as much of a trope as the damsel in distress. It's unrealistic, unrelatable and boring as fuck. No wonder I hate female characters in media so much.
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