when women write effortlessly perfect women, the character is a Mary-Sue hero complex. there is no woman, we are reminded, who would be a hero without flaws. the critique of bella swan is not her abusive relationship, it’s that she comes two-dimensional, saves the day by existing, loved by all, pure of heart. no real problems but her love life. no real depth but beautiful above all nature. we laugh at the authors of goddess-heroines, we call them lazy and immature, self-inserts, horrifically over-talented and unrealistic. women who write these women are selfish and talentless.
but when men write this same woman, they are just following the pattern of things. how many bella swans have been on the arms of action heroes - but no, since it isn’t her story, her character flaws go without mention. when men write strangely sexualized powerful ladies, they are always the same wet dream - but men who write these death queens are called heroes of feminism for their smirking portrayals of the same classically attractive sword-wielding back-talking girl-with-three-brothers. her father always wanted a boy and that’s her biggest problem. the woman he loves is a cheesy dress-wearing pixie girl, but the movie is still cute. how many perfect women are sitting pretty in their pale faces beside the leading man. it doesn’t matter at least she has a speaking role. at least once or twice she’s funny. little girls learn that a man’s picture of what is perfect is more true than a woman’s idea of the same thing. the same three pictures, painted over and over again, by people who are revolutionaries or geniuses but all men. calm down. it’s just artistic licence.
calm down. calm down. stop making a big deal out of everything.