An Open Tumblr Debate: Strong Female Characters and Korra

Ok, I want to hold a tumblr debate. Basically tumblr is great for the exchange of ideas, but the fact we’re pretty inarticulate about it bothers me. What I’m saying is everyone exchanges thoughts and ideas as keyboard smashing or rambly posts. I hope maybe we can improve our articulateness and be able to present a convincing argument.


Strong Female Characters: What are they?

What is a strong female character? What does it mean to be “strong” anyway?

The general consensus of a “strong character” is being badass.

But “badassery” is generally masculine things such as beating up thugs and the like.

And here is my main question: Is Korra a good female character?


Korra: A man with a female afterthought

I would like to argue that Korra is a terrible example of a “strong female character”

And here’s why: She’s basically a man. She acts tough and macho. She does absolutely everything a “strong male character” does except be female.

This is BAD. Very bad.

Because at this point, the writers realized that “Oh crap that’s right she’s supposed to be a girl!” And as a result, they started to add in “love, crushes, emotions” and other “feminine” things that are usually considered “weak.”

They literally just tacked on the “female” side of “strong female characters” on as almost an afterthought.


What’s so bad about it? It’s basically saying that being a woman is bad, and that in order to be strong, you have to be manly.

No no no do not give me “SHE’S A TOMBOY” argument because she is not a tomboy. She is a man. My definition of a tomboy is to be more physical with things, rather than “I’m a girl and I’m doing boy stuff I’m a special snowflake look at me.” That just continues to propagate the message “women are weak, to be able to do anything in life you must be a man or act like one.”

So is strength and the fairer sex incompatible with one another?

Is it possible to have a strong female character that isn’t just a man with a female afterthought? 


Do strong female characters exist?

I would argue yes, it is possible, but Korra is a terrible example of one.

If you would like examples of “strong female characters,” please look no further than Ryohgo Narita’s series “Baccano!" and "Durarara!!

Nice Holystone and Celty are absolutely fantastic strong female characters. They’re girls, they’re “badass” and their femininity is treated not as a weakness, but as something completely natural. 

And Nice is a tomboy. She loves explosives and setting things on fire. But she doesn’t sacrifice the fact she’s a woman, and doesn’t let that be the reason why she can’t be “badass.” 

And Celty represents the opposite spectrum. She’s a girl, through and through, is scared of aliens and her mannerisms are decidedly female. Doesn’t stop her from totally kicking some major thug ass.

MEANWHILE Korra acting like a girl is something to be ashamed of. THIS IS NOT HOW YOU WRITE A GOOD STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER.


And thus, is the end of my argument. Give me your two cents, tumblr. I’m waiting.