These are FB posts of mine from various threads. They are, in effect, little mini essays in response to what the thread presented. Though they are also self-contained thoughts.
Dale, very thoughtful sentiments. But I think they leave a factor out of the equation (with which you may disagree.) It is this: men & women are different. We may share many traits common to both, but many are different. Nor would I stereotype & my comments are intended to generalize. Of course there outliers in any effort to talk about gender traits; nor would I argue nature vs. nurture. Given those caveats, my point nevertheless is that, 1) differences are real; & 2) they are internalized by we as individuals as well as by culture. Can a particular female character be a leader, strong, tough, etc? Of course, just as a male character be the opposite of those things. Yet, IMO, women tend to be strong & tough in different ways than men, & express leadership in different ways, & while such differences should be honored, it is a mistake to depict them in ways more characteristic of men. In that sense, many roles are not interchangeable, & to try to make them so will not sit right with the gender being aped or the gender aping. In other words, the reaction will be, “A woman wouldn’t do that…” Ditto males. Matters of style, temperament, risk-taking, goals, hierarchy, etc. tend to express differently as between men & women. So in our zeal to create equality, let’s not throw the baby out w/ the bathwater. Or am I wrong?