Strong female characters in movies

Color

Jedi Council Member
But it’s actually so much more.

At its core, The Matrix is also the story of a person who realizes they’re trapped in a place where they can’t be themselves, escapes, and is reborn in a new world as their true self. And considering the film was written and directed by two trans women, it’s no surprise that Lilly Wachowski says telling a trans allegory was the intent of the film all along.

I had no doubt whatsoever something like this will happen. Waiting for more revelations soon, how cars are trans, trees and clouds. What is NOT trans will be the only question to ask soon, but no worries I'm sure media will then explain no such thing exists.
 

Nathan

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
At its core, The Matrix is also the story of a person who realizes they’re trapped in a place where they can’t be themselves, escapes, and is reborn in a new world as their true self. And considering the film was written and directed by two trans women, it’s no surprise that Lilly Wachowski says telling a trans allegory was the intent of the film all along.

“I’m glad that it’s gotten out that that was the original intention,” she says in a video interview to promote the new documentary Disclosure. “The world wasn’t quite ready, at a corporate level...the corporate world wasn’t ready for it [at the time].”

It's hard to know exactly what was going on in their heads in the 90s, but if I had to guess I'd say they were coming to terms with the fact they were homosexual men in heterosexual marriages. The trans allegory is probably a later decision to revise / retcon their work and give a big "screw you" to those who adopted the "red pill" as part of the men's right movement.

The strong female character trope is typically:
  • Exceptionally skilled in combat
  • Smarter, faster, stronger than every other character
  • Has no imagination or personality
  • Has no flaws (except worthless flaws like clumsiness or awkwardness)
  • Is unconditionally loved and adored by everyone (except the bad guys)
  • Always correct (even if they’re not)
  • Incapable of feeling shame or regret
  • “Clever” and “witty”
  • The best at anything they do
  • Surrounded by incompetent or submissive male characters
  • Rather than the character bending to the laws of the universe, the universe bends to justify the character’s actions.
One example that comes to mind for me is the video game, The Last of Us Part II, a sequel to a game with brilliant storytelling. However, the sequel fell victim to the same ideology. And it's not the ideology itself that the general audience disliked, it was how that ideology compromised the integrity of the game and resulted in story and characters that no one enjoyed.

Interestingly, this game became the breaking point where Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes instituted a new rule: they could delete large swaths of ratings they believed to be insincere. At the time, the game was subject to review bombings of both the 1/10 and 10/10 variety. Naturally, they only removed the 1/10 ratings, retaining the 10/10 review bombs. This artificially inflated the user score to something a little less embarrassing.

Not only does this game adopt the strong female character trope discussed in this thread, it also features something that I'm seeing quite often in ideologically compromised stories: nihilism. The message here is that your heroes mean nothing. These are not the people you should like and it's all meaningless. Which is fine psychotherapy and perhaps fine art, but it's terrible storytelling and terrible entertainment. And it really speaks to their mindset and how they see the world. In their reality, nothing matters. This is a place that I suspect a lot of us on the forum have found ourselves at least once, but when ideologues reach this place, I think they get stuck there because there really is no greater meaning to anything for them. And I think they resent that.

These ideologically compromised creators don't seem to be interested in creating an entertainment product in order to satisfy a consumer demand for a particular sort of experience. They’re more interested in saying this is the sort of experience you ought to have, which conforms to their ideology. Unfortunately, it's impossible for ideologically compromised creators to produce anything functional or satisfying, because their ideology, filled with so many contradictions, runs counter to functional storytelling.

What's interesting here is that instead of being descriptive, they're being proscriptive (denouncing or restricting something). Instead of asking “what if?” they tell us what to think. Which is not storytelling. They sacrifice “what if” on the alter of the god of “this is what you should think.” The emerging pattern seems to be that they take an existing franchise or world and they deconstruct and sterilize it, then remake it in their twisted vision. This becomes inevitably unpalatable to the majority of their target audience. You might say it's the ponerization of entertainment.

When it comes to entertainment like The Last of Us Part II or The Last Jedi, the negative reactions are no surprise. When engaging with stories, we like being cleverly deceived, but not tricked. It’s a very different thing. For those who have acquired reputations as skilled storytellers (often pre-ideology), there is the implied promise that they are giving us a wonderful experience, but instead they seem to demonstrate contempt for their audience. In some cases, hatred.
 
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