Flowchart: Know Your Female Character Stereotypes

Illustration for article titled Flowchart: Know Your Female Character Stereotypes

This incredible flowchart from Overthinking It breaks down the many clichés female characters fall into. Note to writers: The "Mama Bear" and "Vanilla Action Girl" do not count as "strong female characters."


Overthinking It's Mlawski writes that the infographic is a companion to her essay on why we need interesting characters who are female, rather than more one-dimensional women who brandish a sword or mouth off to the male protagonist to prove they're no damsel in distress.

While there are obviously many male tropes in pop culture as well, Mlawski says, "Hollywood has a significantly harder time writing non-stereotypical female characters than male ones, so I made this chart to help out." It seems most writers still haven't wrapped their heads around the Bechdel Test, but hopefully they'll find this picture easier to understand.

Illustration for article titled Flowchart: Know Your Female Character Stereotypes

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The Female Character Flowchart [Overthinking It]
Why Strong Female Characters Are Bad For Women [Overthinking It]


Flame Princess, Garbage-Monger

I feel like a lot of these flowcharted characters are stereotyped in a way that doesn't really reflect the whole characters. They're merely attributes. Yeah, sure, Ripley was the "final girl" of Alien (sorry if I spoiled you there), but I felt like she also carried a storyline. (Although not mentioned by name, Ripley is one of the two characters discussed in the original strip that created the "Bechdel Test".)

And, depending on the continuity you credit, Sarah Connor was SO much more than just a Mama Bear. She was trying to avert the apocalypse.