There seems to be a trope here, but the description and examples (both on and off the page) seem to come off as very negative. Also, despite being a fairly new trope, it is already collecting natter on the examples (or having the wicks wiped off other pages for being too negative or whiny).
I'm not positive how to fix it, though, other than cleaning and hoping it doesn't happen again. Do you guys see something I don't, perchance?
It is a valid trope, even these women (no matter the setting or how successful in their own right) are still portrayed as really wanting kids, a hubby and a home. However, I agree it needs a chainsaw taken to it to pare it down.
It really should simply be an index of the tropes that are about what is and isn't expected of women. (Although I think Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits might be a better name.) Minus the screed about how horrible it is that those tropes exist in the first place.
So, it would include
There does seem to be a trope that isn't covered by those, the idea that "feminine" careers and goals (those that involve cooking, sewing, nurturing, cleaning, children, etc) are more acceptable for a female character than non-feminine careers. It needs to be less condemning about it, though, and a lot of the examples feel shoehorned (Inara and Cutty? Really?).
Otherwise, I like Mads' suggestion. Perhaps it needs to be example-less index/trope hybrid.
I'm not sure they're more acceptable — Wrench Wenches, Action Girls, I was going to dispute that somewhat, but I never really looked at the Always Female list with an eye toward how many of them are generally presented as "positive" descriptions before. You're right, ccoa, there aren't very many of them that don't also incorporate traditional domestic roles... That's somewhat depressing.
edited 19th Feb '11 9:33:39 AM by Madrugada
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
"Writers are often hesitant to present a female character with real career ambition, which is usually associated with ball-busting, suit-wearing (often Straw Feminist) executive women." - The article
... I got the impression that it was the other way around.
If we do end up keeping the trope, it does need a note about how this can be a sign of a three-dimensional character and not (just?) gender stereotyping. Real women, even Action Girls and Wrench Wenchs can have interests outside kicking ass or fixing machines, and it's not unbelievable for those interests to be things like baking or sewing. Similar to Real Women Never Wear Dresses, a strong female character isn't any less strong if her ambition is to be a cook or pediatrician.
The problem is author intent - did they give her the trait because it feminizes her, because it's socially acceptable, or because they thought it added to the character? We just don't know.
No, it's definitely about the role.
Real Women Never Wear Dresses is the complaint that having a woman doing anything at all that is traditionally feminine is anti-feminist. Like, for example, wearing dresses.
But I agree that Acceptable Feminine Goals does seem to be a trope; the name is definitely better for an index though.
How about we rename the trope and use Acceptable Feminine Goals for the index?
EDIT: And yeah, I agree this is one of those tropes that's only a problem in aggregate.
It's no problem if one writer wants to give one female character a feminine job. The problem is when all writers give all female characters feminine jobs.
edited 19th Feb '11 11:37:55 AM by BlackHumor
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
People who want to believe there are unfortunate implications will find them anywhere. I'm sure any job could be made out to be an 'acceptable feminine goal' — the Prime Minister looks after people as part of his/her job, estate agents have to know about houses, and businesspeople have to run a bunch of people below them. All ridiculous explanations for why these jobs are too traditionally feminine for an 'independent' female character, but you get the point.
The only way to avoid that is to make it no-examples or an index. That way it isn't necessary to decide what does and does not make an example.
"Real Women Never Wear Dresses isn't about the role —it's about the costume. It's a statement that putting a strong, active, independent female character in a dress tends to automatically weaken her." - Madrugada
If that's the case, it's severely misused.
Maybe we should make a separate Trope Repair thread for Real Women Never Wear Dresses. Last I checked, it wasn't a trope at all, but a screed about feminism precluding traditional gender roles or some such.
If Real Women Never Wear Dresses is meant to be specifically about dresses and not about more "feminine"/passive roles for female characters, then its description is badly written. It seems to talk about gender roles in general, and only touches on dresses in the last couple of (short) paragraphs.
Also, the potholes to it throughout the wiki are almost always along the lines of "the fandom hates Alice for not being an Action Girl". In fact, I'm not sure I've ever seen it used about clothing in particular.
edited 11th Mar '11 4:24:54 PM by DoktorvonEurotrash
It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
Alternative Titles: Acceptable Feminine Goals
11th Mar '12 12:39:07 PM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
This page will become an index for tropes about what is and isn't expected of women.