Why do women like ***** characters?

Story

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Well, I'm a women and I don't like bitchy characters. So, yeah...

I see your point though OP, but do they (as in women in general I guess) like those characters because that is mostly what they see that character in media marketed towards women?

With that said I have to wonder what exactly defines a women for being "bitchy" anyway? To some, any kind of assertive women are bitchy.

What I've noticed lately is that a lot of media who have women as protagonists also have women as antagonists. Like that old generalization that "women don't like each other."
That was probably off topic, but it was certainly something I noticed.
 

Lightknight

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Phasmal said:
Lightknight said:
Because women, just like in real life, confuse bitchiness with strength and power. They think bitchy = in control of the situation.
Is that what we think? Good to know.
Generically speaking. Yes.

Keep in mind that men do the same thing. That suave/cool/asshole type that films like to portray that men like? They confuse being cold and disconnected assholes with the same qualities.

Honestly, I'm beginning to suspect that this is a human quality now that I'm writing this. That humans tend to like the protagonist that's an ass because they perceive it in that manner.

Interesting, thanks for the question.
 

Phasmal

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Lightknight said:
Phasmal said:
Lightknight said:
Because women, just like in real life, confuse bitchiness with strength and power. They think bitchy = in control of the situation.
Is that what we think? Good to know.
Generically speaking. Yes.

Keep in mind that men do the same thing. That suave/cool/asshole type that films like to portray that men like? They confuse being cold and disconnected assholes with the same qualities.

Honestly, I'm beginning to suspect that this is a human quality now that I'm writing this. That humans tend to like the protagonist that's an ass because they perceive it in that manner.

Interesting, thanks for the question.
Leading back into the women are just people thing, yep.



As an aside, perhaps humans are drawn to asshole types because they're free from having to worry about what others think of them, which is a concern for most people.
It's the `Me if I didn't care what anyone thought` factor.
 

Treeinthewoods

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I am pretty sure that the meaning of ***** is evolving to be more in line with "badass" instead of "horrible, mean woman." I see it applied positively a lot more frequently lately.
 

happyninja42

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rob_simple said:
I get the feeling that you are generalising, massively, and that the ratio of women who only like '***** characters' is probably about the same as that of men who just like meathead punchsolvers. Or to put it another way: if women only liked ***** characters then there would only be ***** characters in shows designed to appeal to women.

Then again, I accept that I'm possibly the one on the fringe, in this respect, since I have a knack for picking the less popular, or otherwise under-represented characters in whatever I like (Zabuza, FTW).
Newp, not generalizing. Again, I stated quite clearly, that in my experience, from a self polling of various women over the years, when asked why they like a specific female character, the majority of them said "Because she's a *****." Pretty much word for word. I'm not paraphrasing when I say that, that was there actual response. And again, I clarified that this was in my experience, when asking a random cross section of women. And my question was why. Why would the one reason they like a character, be because of a type of behaviour, that is considered an insult if you directed it at them.

neokiva said:
as for the whole women ***** bezerk button thing it's simple ***** means female dog and it often meant as a derogatory insult to women so of course they would flip their shit.
I'm aware of the root of the word *****, and what it means. But that's my point. They are upholding the reason to idolize a character, and the reason they use, is something that is considered a negative representation of their sex. Which to me seems contrary to a cosmic level. They use the word to describe insulting, negative, derogatory aspects of their gender, as the reasons to like and estole (sp?) the virtues of this character. But if you said something like "yeah well you're a ***** too, just like *character*" They will likely be insulted. And that's the point where I tilt my head like the RCA dog looking into the speaker.
 

Lightknight

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Phasmal said:
Leading back into the women are just people thing, yep.



As an aside, perhaps humans are drawn to asshole types because they're free from having to worry about what others think of them, which is a concern for most people.
It's the `Me if I didn't care what anyone thought` factor.
I think that's only relevant as a means to be free from control by social or even official pressures. Stock and barrel control over oneself.
 

CarlsonAndPeeters

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Phasmal said:
What's up with the sudden influx of `F*cking women how do they work` threads.

Women are just people. People like different things.

Also maybe because pretty much every woman ever has been called a ***** at least once so it kind of doesn't mean anything any more.
Lightknight said:
Because women, just like in real life, confuse bitchiness with strength and power. They think bitchy = in control of the situation.
Is that what we think? Good to know.
This. ThisthisthisthisTHIS. If you think there's something wrong with the way women think/act/anything, there's something wrong with the way you think.
 

Lightknight

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Treeinthewoods said:
I am pretty sure that the meaning of ***** is evolving to be more in line with "badass" instead of "horrible, mean woman." I see it applied positively a lot more frequently lately.
But... being a relatively mean standoffish dick is part of the whole badass motif. That people have begun to consider that a positive quality is just as silly now as it's ever been. ***** is not merely badass. In no way synonymous with it either. Just a generally perceived quality of it.

When in real life we'd hate that person.
 

rob_simple

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Happyninja42 said:
rob_simple said:
I get the feeling that you are generalising, massively, and that the ratio of women who only like '***** characters' is probably about the same as that of men who just like meathead punchsolvers. Or to put it another way: if women only liked ***** characters then there would only be ***** characters in shows designed to appeal to women.

Then again, I accept that I'm possibly the one on the fringe, in this respect, since I have a knack for picking the less popular, or otherwise under-represented characters in whatever I like (Zabuza, FTW).
Newp, not generalizing. Again, I stated quite clearly, that in my experience, from a self polling of various women over the years, when asked why they like a specific female character, the majority of them said "Because she's a *****." Pretty much word for word. I'm not paraphrasing when I say that, that was there actual response. And again, I clarified that this was in my experience, when asking a random cross section of women. And my question was why. Why would the one reason they like a character, be because of a type of behaviour, that is considered an insult if you directed it at them.
Then your thread title is misleading. It should be why do some women, because right now it could imply a generalisation, regardless of your OP.

Given that you admit you're not saying all women, though, I dunno what you want me to tell you?

Why do people like Bane in TDKR? He's a psychopathic mass murderer.
Why do people like Darth Vader? He killed his wife and fucked up his kid's lives.
Why do people like Kratos? He's a god damn genocidal maniac.
Why do people like flawed people? They have flaws.

If your basis is just what some women you know like, then I don't really see what you want from us, who don't know these women; ask them, not us.

Conversely, none of the women I've talked to have ever liked '***** characters' to my knowledge, so should I go start a topic saying 'Why don't women like ***** characters'?

Not trying to be confrontational, I just don't know what you want us to tell you about the people you know.
 

happyninja42

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Story said:
Well, I'm a women and I don't like bitchy characters. So, yeah...
Good! Glad to hear that. To repeat again, since it seems to be overlooked by the posts in this thread, I never claimed ALL women like ***** characters. But to those who do, I wanted to know why.

Story said:
I see your point though OP, but do they (as in women in general I guess) like those characters because that is mostly what they see that character in media marketed towards women?
That's possibly part of it? It's certainly something I've thought of, and I'm pretty sure I've heard it mentioned in the media at some point. That there seems to be a very strong polarization of female characters. That they're either submissive love interests/damsels in distress, or the *****. But, considering the example I gave, about the Powerpuff Girls, we had the other 2 girls, who didn't come across as submissive, demure girls to me. They just were different, and not "the *****". Which made me curious why so many women I asked, identified with Buttercup.


Story said:
With that said I have to wonder what exactly defines a women for being "bitchy" anyway? To some, any kind of assertive women are bitchy.

What I've noticed lately is that a lot of media who have women as protagonists also have women as antagonists. Like that old generalization that "women don't like each other."
That was probably off topic, but it was certainly something I noticed.
Nah, it wasn't off topic to mention the female antagonist counterpart in movies. My personal opinion on this, especially in action films, is to have a cat fight. Since it's considered bad to show a guy, especially the hero, physically assaulting any woman in a movie, you can't have him fight the female badguy. So, give him a female protagonist/love interest/whatever, and they can pair those two off for a fight, and nobody flips their shit, and boycotts the movie for advocating violence against women. Or something like that. Like I said, that's my theory on it. Of course there are some movies that make an exception to the "guy's won't hit women" rule, but it's a pretty common trope.
 

Harpalyce

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Speaking as a woman, I'd have to say it's because "***** characters" are usually the ones who get things done. They have agency and control over their fate and most importantly they don't apologise for it. Similarly, they often channel that anger so that it's against bullshit gender standards, and a lot of their anger comes from how what they want to be doesn't match up with what the world wants them to be.

That's why they're bitches, after all. A good girl knows her place. A ***** doesn't.
 

happyninja42

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rob_simple said:
Then your thread title is misleading. It should be why do some women, because right now it could imply a generalisation, regardless of your OP.
I disagree but whatever. I think it's worded just fine.

rob_simple said:
Given that you admit you're not saying all women, though, I dunno what you want me to tell you?
Then don't answer? I'm asking those who do have an enjoyment of ***** Characters. If you are not one of those women, then don't reply to the thread?

rob_simple said:
If your basis is just what some women you know like, then I don't really see what you want from us, who don't know these women; ask them, not us.
1. Many of these women were random people I would talk to in say, a comic shop, or at a coffee shop. They are not all people that are close to me.
2. They've moved away and developed their own lives elsewhere.
3. I didn't ask you what they thought.
4. I'm curious to ask a larger selection of women to see how common this trend is, and why.

rob_simple said:
Conversely, none of the women I've talked to have ever liked '***** characters' to my knowledge, so should I go start a topic saying 'Why don't women like ***** characters'?
Sure, go ahead, knock yourself out.

rob_simple said:
Not trying to be confrontational, I just don't know what you want us to tell you about the people you know.
I didn't ask you about them. I provided an example of a trend I noticed when asking a random selection of women, and was curious about extending the question to a larger cross section of women. If the question doesn't apply to you, or your friends, fine, don't continue to follow this thread then if you want? Since it's not really directed at you and your friends.
 

Lightknight

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CarlsonAndPeeters said:
This. ThisthisthisthisTHIS. If you think there's something wrong with the way women think/act/anything, there's something wrong with the way you think.
Maybe, or in a sexually dimorphic species genders actually have different aggregate expressed thoughts/actions/anythings as is scientifically observable and provable.

The whole men and women are exactly equal in every way shtick is cute and all in pursuit of the very noble attempt to support social gender equality, but it's wrong and I'd say it even robs us of differences that should even be celebrated between the sexes. Men and women have different qualities just as is true in any sexually dimorphic species and humans even have the additional differences brought up by our social constructs and gender roles. Men are stronger in some areas and women can be stronger in others. We do have differences and if I think one of those differences is something I dislike then big fucking deal. Who am I to anyone and it's your prerogative to disagree? It's still a subjective preference that I have every right to have. I don't particularly like people who think that being a dick to others is preferable. If both sexes think that then it's a human quality I dislike. Had you read further you'd have seen me come to the conclusion that people in general like the 'tough guy' character which is the ***** character because jackass and ***** are synonymous except in referenced gender.

In any event, there are at least some socially distinct qualities that women have in aggregate that I dislike. The same can be said for several masculine qualities.

To pretend that they don't exist and can't be evaluated is just being silly. Saying we aren't the same isn't giving ground to the idiots pushing for social inequality.

FYI, you made the assumption that I was saying there's specifically something wrong with women thinking this way. It seems to me that nowadays a lot of women get what they want by being bitchy. Guys have been doing that for time untold. So maybe they're right about the way things are going even if society hasn't caught up to it yet? Or, that they confuse something could be a construct of their social environment rather than some biological deficiency. Who knows. I was only stating a condition. Men also confuse being a dick with being in charge. As I already stated.

Harpalyce said:
Speaking as a woman, I'd have to say it's because "***** characters" are usually the ones who get things done. They have agency and control over their fate and most importantly they don't apologise for it. Similarly, they often channel that anger so that it's against bullshit gender standards, and a lot of their anger comes from how what they want to be doesn't match up with what the world wants them to be.

That's why they're bitches, after all. A good girl knows her place. A ***** doesn't.
There you have it. ***** = control.
 

DementedSheep

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Plenty of guys like jerk characters because it is the "I don't give a shit what anyone thinks" thing. This character also tends to appeal to overly cynical teens who think everyone is ass hole and altruism is fake.
As for why women will use the word ***** specifically? because if you call people a word meant to be nasty for shit you don't think is bad often enough people claim it and use it as a badge of pride instead especially if its something like "*****" when chances are you are going to get called that unless you're completely submissive. It's not like buttercup is particularly bitchy.
 

Winterschlaf

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Happyninja42 said:
When that show was a huge pop culture thing, I would see tons of girls and women who were fans of it. And as a personal curiosity, I started polling them on why they liked the specific character.

And almost without fail, the answer was to the word. "Because she's a *****"

Not "Because she's a strong independent woman" not "Because she's clever and creative, and solves her own problems"

Just "Because she's a *****"

I don't understand this.

I don't really see a parallel of this in male characters, where people like them "Because he's an asshole" or "Because he's a dick" If they happen to like a character that is abrasive, it's usually because of his other traits.
They do.

"Because she's a (mean) *****!"
"Because he's a badass ************!"

I don't see much difference in the response there. The term ***** is, seemingly, starting to also incorporate the image of "strong independent woman" or "clever and creative, and solves her own problems" as well.

Just as how the term badass ************ doesn't mean you have a dysfunctional colon and have intercourse with a maternal figure on a regular basis.
 

rob_simple

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Happyninja42 said:
I notice you omitted the one part of my post that kind of pointed out why your question is redundant, because it essentially boils down to this:

Why do people like flawed characters?

This isn't some weird, undocumented thing. Ever heard of anti-heroes? They're pretty freaking popular. I don't see what the mystery is for you here.

Women and men like female characters who they'd refer to as a ***** in the same way they like a male characters who can rightly be called an asshole.

Since it's all fictitious, all that matters is whether or not the character is interesting, and if being a ***** is the most defining feature of that character, then that's what you'd highlight.

I love Bane because he's a psycho.
I love Patrick Bateman because he's a psycho.
Norman Bates.
The Joker.
Deadpool.
Kratos.
Handsome Jack.
Venom.
Hannibal Lecter.

All psychos. All awesome.

Seriously, what is the mystery here?
 

Blow_Pop

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First off, as a few have already said, YOU may not mean to be generalising into "all" women but the way the topic is worded and how it comes off is that you are generalising it. Intention or not that is the way it sounds. If you had put why do SOME women like ***** characters then it wouldn't seem so generalising.

Now that that's out of the way.

I feel it's at least partly a society problem. Society teaches us that any woman who is assertive and not a submissive doorstep basically is a *****. So, Hollywood (using that in the general terms of movie/tv since a lot comes out of Hollywood) tends to play into that. So, since it's what we see that's what we tend to like. Society teaches us that a woman who is abrasive is a *****, yet a man who does it is ok with no negative connotations generally speaking. A woman who is assertive is a *****, a man who is assertive is assertive and generally it's a positive trait for a man to have. A woman who speaks and stands up for herself is a *****, a man who does that doesn't have negative connotations generally. Conversely, we see submissive women and think ALL women should be like that since generally speaking they are shown as more desirable in media. Yet at the same time we detest them because half are written as doormats and at one point or another MOST women have felt like a doormat and it's a really shitty feeling.

Maybe the women you spoke to couldn't discern the difference between being a "*****" and being assertive. Because to me, Buttercup isn't a *****. She's assertive and kind of confrontational. Which there's nothing wrong with that. However, the way society colours women like that is that they're "bitches". It is an easy mistake to make. And women tend to more identify with that even though society is constantly telling them that they need to be more submissive to the "more powerful and worthwhile men" otherwise they're just worthless and will "never find a man". It's kind of like institutionalised sexism. This is what we're taught and that we should ascribe to it despite the fact it goes against a lot of us and how we are.

And I honestly think the reason "women don't like each other" is because of how often it's shown and perpetuated in media. Women are shown that they "aren't suppose to like each other" so they tend to emulate that. And honestly that's something that seriously needs to die out.

**Please note, I'm using "we" in a more royal sense of the world and not identifying myself as female. Regardless of what I was assigned at birth I don't identify myself as female but due to my gender assignment I had a lot of this shit shoved down my throat growing up and still get it from people who either don't know my identity or refuse to acknowledge it. I identify myself as more fluid in gender terms and have even before I knew that's what I was. In other words don't lump me in as a female or woman**
 

Maze1125

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Happyninja42 said:
Story said:
Well, I'm a women and I don't like bitchy characters. So, yeah...
Good! Glad to hear that. To repeat again, since it seems to be overlooked by the posts in this thread, I never claimed ALL women like ***** characters. But to those who do, I wanted to know why.
Right, here's the question you asked:
Why do women like ***** characters?

That is a generalisation. Why? Because you're asking us.
To explain: Lets assume you weren't generalising and you're literally just asking about the women you know, in which case although you used the words "Why do women like ***** characters?" the implicit meaning is "Why do the women I know like ***** characters?"
Which is not a generalisation at all. It's a perfectly fair thing to be intrigued about. The problem comes with the fact that the only possible answer we can give is "I don't know, ask them." because we don't live in their minds. Each and every one of them might have an entirely different reason to liking "*****" characters, and an entirely different reason for referring to them as "*****" characters. The only person who can give you a fair answer to that question is them.

Yet, nevertheless, you came and asked us instead. Which suggests that you think there is some general way that every woman thinks that other people know the answer to. Even if you split it into "women who like ***** characters" and "women who don't like ***** characters" that is still a huge generalisation.

Now, I appreciate you weren't intending to generalise, and it doesn't say anything about you as a person that you did. It's human nature to generalise like that. The key is that if you can recognise why others can see a generalisation in what you said, and why they might be upset by it, then you can choose to avoid these problems in the future.
 

Lightknight

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Blow_Pop said:
First off, as a few have already said, YOU may not mean to be generalising into "all" women but the way the topic is worded and how it comes off is that you are generalising it. Intention or not that is the way it sounds. If you had put why do SOME women like ***** characters then it wouldn't seem so generalising.
Is it improper to talk in generalities when discussing large numbers of people? Do we really still need to preface all of our generalizations with "Ok, I know not all, but in general..." before asking a question? I think now that society has successfully demonized things like racism and sexism that our general assumption is the person is talking in generalizations.

Now, if the context seems to indicate that all (as in every single member) likes X then sure, the question should be raised. But I'm pretty tired of people having to explain how stereotypes and generalizations work before getting to their point. I get it, women have longer hair than men on average but some women as individuals can have short or even no hair despite the generally expressed long hair. Got it, move along, you know?

rob_simple said:
Happyninja42 said:
I notice you omitted the one part of my post that kind of pointed out why your question is redundant, because it essentially boils down to this:

Why do people like flawed characters?

This isn't some weird, undocumented thing. Ever heard of anti-heroes? They're pretty freaking popular. I don't see what the mystery is for you here.

Women and men like female characters who they'd refer to as a ***** in the same way they like a male characters who can rightly be called an asshole.

Since it's all fictitious, all that matters is whether or not the character is interesting, and if being a ***** is the most defining feature of that character, then that's what you'd highlight.

I love Bane because he's a psycho.
I love Patrick Bateman because he's a psycho.
Norman Bates.
The Joker.
Deadpool.
Kratos.
Handsome Jack.
Venom.
Hannibal Lecter.

All psychos. All awesome.

Seriously, what is the mystery here?
It really depends on the flaw. For example, a lot of female literature features the whining drama queen heavily as a protagonist. Thankfully, this protagonist also drives a lot of females nuts too. But a flaw that's bad enough can easily throw the value of a character off.

As I said in the previous page, the *****/jackass is the stereotypical tough guy/gal character. Humans eat that shit up.