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Alex Borg poses for a photo with an accordion on Soldiers and Sailors Lawn.
Alex Borg: Her accordion anchors a ‘no-man Jimmy Buffett band’
By Patrick Swain, Culture Editor • April 12, 2024
Opinion | CPCs, get off our campus
By India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist • April 12, 2024

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Alex Borg poses for a photo with an accordion on Soldiers and Sailors Lawn.
Alex Borg: Her accordion anchors a ‘no-man Jimmy Buffett band’
By Patrick Swain, Culture Editor • April 12, 2024
Opinion | CPCs, get off our campus
By India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist • April 12, 2024

Opinion | Do I hate women?: Navigating female main characters

Opinion+%7C+Do+I+hate+women%3F%3A+Navigating+female+main+characters
Izzy Poth | Staff Illustrator

I love women. They are truly one of the greatest products of the universe. We women can be anything from nurturing and loving to powerful and confident. The duality of women is just what makes them so amazing. But do I also hate women? Well, the answer is yes. 

Recently, I have been much more active when it comes to reading. I try to give myself a good variety of what I read, but there is usually one thing that every book has in common. The female main characters are always insufferable. Whether it is fantasy or romance, I always just seem to hate the main character. This is true for many female main characters in television shows as well. 

Usually in the romance books that I read, the characters seem to have absolutely no personality, or their personality just sucks. Sometimes the most interesting thing about them is the fact that their boyfriend just broke up with them. I understand that it is a romance book and the whole point of it is so that the main character can find love, but is it wrong of me to want more depth to the character? I just think that sometimes authors don’t see the true potential of their characters. 

A book that I recently read is “The Fake Out” by Stephanie Archer. It was a cute little hockey romance, and I enjoyed myself while reading it, but the biggest problem that I had with this book is that, once again, the female main character had no personality. The love interest had a lot more depth than her, and it was something that bothered me when reading. 

One of her only characteristics was the fact that she was healing from a breakup. On the other hand, the love interest had a distant relationship with his father and deep traumas from his mother, which added to the complexity of his character and made him quite interesting. It is very obvious who is the better written character. To make your female main character’s personality just rely on the love interest is lazy and gives us no insight into who the character is. 

What irked me is that the main character had a great base to be an amazing character. Her mother had really bad self-esteem issues and projected these insecurities on her daughter. I would have loved to see this play out more in the book, because it would have given her a much more interesting backstory. Just because it’s a romance book doesn’t mean you can’t add more than just love and sex. 

When I read, I truly immerse myself in the book and imagine that I’m the main character instead. Usually, this is a fun way for me to enjoy myself while reading, but sometimes, this makes me hate the main character because they make decisions that I know I would never do. I would never be excessively sad about my past relationship or be over dramatic about things that don’t matter. It’s little things like this that will start to make me despise the main characters a lot of the time. 

Another character who I seem to hate is Violet from the “Fourth Wing” series by Rebecca Yarros. Violet is the main character in the first two books, and I will say that she is a very entertaining character. The author put a lot of effort into developing Violet’s character, and she portrayed her exceptionally well. But the thing that gets me is that she is so annoying that I could barely finish the book. 

In “Fourth Wing,” Violet is very self-centered, stubborn and has a head full of self-doubt. At first, I saw these qualities as a good thing because they added a lot to the character she was supposed to be. While I kept reading, these characteristics soon developed into something that I despised. These qualities became so overbearing that it was ruining the book for me, and I started to hate Violet. 

Obviously, this is more of a writing issue than anything, but I can’t help to think, would I hate Violet if she was a man or if she was the love interest? I would love to say yes, but more than likely I would love these characteristics in a morally gray, mysterious man who played the love interest in a romance book. I hate to think like that, but it’s true. There are just certain qualities that many seem to hate in women but love in men. 

There is a very fine line between hating a character because they are a woman and hating a character that just so happens to be a woman. Of course, it’s normal to hate characters, but it’s not normal to be misogynistic. 

Some characters that get a lot of hate simply because they’re women are Korra from “The Legend of Korra,” Captain Marvel from “Captain Marvel” and Sansa Stark from “Game of Thrones.” All of these female characters are amazing in their own right but get tons of hate for almost no reason. 

The characters that I name specifically are powerful, confident, courageous and just overall so amazing. These women hold a very special place in my heart and I love them, so I couldn’t fathom anyone hating them. I don’t see any flaws in these characters except for the fact that they are women. As a society, we still fear powerful women, and this is something we need to get over. It’s the 21st century, and misogyny has no place here. 

So, do I hate women? No, of course I don’t. I hate it when writers under develop their characters and fail to realize their full potential. I want my female main characters to have flaws but also have things that I admire about them. I don’t want anymore boring Mary Sues — I want well-written, amazing characters. 

Danae Poteat writes primarily about pop culture and current events. Write to her at [email protected].

About the Contributor
Danae Poteat, Staff Columnist
I’m Danae and I am currently majoring in nursing and in the process of getting a global health certificate. I am a pop culture addict and niche meme lover. Write to me at [email protected]