The idea that I automatically have to like a woman because she is a woman is absurd and the idea that I have to automatically like a female character is equally absurd (especially since that would mean I had to like every single writer's views of women and consider every writer talented).
Oh, for the love of God.
Okay! First things first: I'm not attacking whoever said this. I think it was probably just a slip of the
No, of course as a woman or as a person, you are not obligated to like every female character. But here's the thing: that's not because you're not obligated to like every woman. It's because you're not obligated to like every person.
Liking a female character =/= endorsing the author's views on women. After all, nobody would ever say something as absurd as:
...the idea that I have to automatically like a male character is equally absurd (especially since that would mean I had to like every single writer's views of men and consider every writer talented).
Because except in really egregious cases of gender stereotyping, nobody thinks of male characters as men first and people second. With female characters in fiction and women in reality, though? All the goddamn time.
Look, people. Sometimes it's a good idea to step back and think about what female characters say about an author's view of women. And if it means you find yourself unable to like those female characters, so be it. But as much as possible, can't we try to think of female characters as characters instead of Representations of Women?
See, some people believe that the vast pool of hate for female characters in fandom stems entirely from mainstream creators' inability to write women. Some people believe that it stems entirely from fandom's misogyny and double standards. Me? I think it's a nasty intersection of the two.
Yeah. Writers are going to let sexism influence their portrayal of women. That sucks. What can we do about it? We can point it out when it happens and give the writers themselves grief about it (instead of railing about how horrible and weak and bad the female characters themselves are--counterproductive and victim-blaming much? Even when the victim's not a real person it's a bad habit to fall into). We can write realistic, believable, fully-rounded female characters of our own. That's about it.
But what can we do to make fandom a more feminist, woman-positive, and welcoming environment? We can look at female characters as people first--regardless of whether they were written that way. It doesn't mean you're a tool of the patriarchy, I promise. You might even be surprised by how much you like.
(I can go into this in more detail later. For now? This is it, I think. Despite it being dreadfully incoherent and not really saying half of what I want to say.)