I started reading a master's thesis written by the owner of Feminist Frequency, a website that focuses on feminism and pop culture, and something confused me a bit.
If the women are embodying "masculine" traits, doesn't there's less of a division of gender roles? I don't want to sound critical of this particular thesis, because this is something I've seen in a lot of places, and this just happened to phrase it most clearly."Heroic women in science fiction and fantasy television shows have done much to represent strong, successful women in leadership positions. However, these female roles that are viewed as strong and empowered embody many masculine identified traits, maintaining a patriarchal division of gender roles."
If we don't want strong, successful women in leadership positions having "masculine" traits...what exactly do we want? Isn't the whole point to make those traits less "masculine" and more "characteristic of strong and successful people"?
The thesis actually looks really interesting (and it focuses on women in sci-fi/fantasy shows, so it may as well have been written just for me), and it's entirely possible she means that opening paragraph differently than how I'm interpreting it.
She seems to be writing about how traditionally "female" things need to be portrayed as equally important as "masculine" things in media, which is all well and good, but nowhere does it talk about how it's kind of detrimental to everyone to label things in that way in the first place.
If I want to be assertive and confident and physically strong...I just want to be an assertive and confident and physically strong woman (and I don't want debate judges getting mad at my opponents when they're too aggressive towards me--which some guys on our team say is sometimes a legitimate issue). Not a woman who has decided to act like a man. Done.