On Writing – Tropes vs Women

I recently discovered a YouTube channel called FeministFrequency. Though focusing on female representation in pop culture (thus excluding most problems and tropes with male characters), these videos analyze pop culture in a very eye opening way. I’m not saying I agree a hundred percent with what is said but it definitely made me question and revisit some of my writing to double-check if I hadn’t unconciously allowed clichés to slip in.

So I decided to share one of the videos with you today and I hope you’ll check out the other ones as well.
There are some nice writing challenge in there too!


About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

5 responses to “On Writing – Tropes vs Women

  • Jenn

    Salut Aheila, that was a really thought provoking video. I’m going to have to check out others. Thanks for sharing!
    Did you find any of these tropes in your work? I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

    • Aheïla

      Nope I haven’t found any! I was scared about Killing Time OST because the cast is mostly male but Lorelei isn’t just a male character in a female body and I think she has at least one conversation with Naomi that isn’t about boys (which means the story passes the Bechdel test).
      Oil and Boiling Water is kind of lacking in female characters while they’re on a ship but the brothel tips the scales. It passes the Bechdel test too!
      So yay!

  • ralfast

    NOTE: Not saying that you agree, just adding my two cents.

    This trope (the one in the video) stems from probably every males experience of, in fact, being manipulated at one time or another by a woman.

    Does that mean all women do it?


    But once it happens, men, who I can tell you from personal experience (being one), all have fragile egos and therefore fear such manipulation.

    Notice that all these women are VILLAINS, that is such behavior is seen as negative. The real problem comes from the double standard build around the Rake, a male character that uses his sexuality to lure women and exploit them and tends to be celebrated while the same pattern of behavior in women gets vilified.

    Besides, tropes are not bad. 😉

    • Aheïla

      I agree with you that the double standard is the problem. In fact, I think she talks about it in another video.

      As for tropes, a careful use of it might work. Clichés are like that too. But as she has demonstrated, too often it seems like someone said “We need a female villain.” and went, by default, for the evil seductress/femme fatale trope.

      Actually, I’m trying to come up with an interesting female villain that doesn’t rely on sexuality and I’ll need to actually think about it because nothing comes up on the top of my head.
      I’m not doubting there are some.

  • The Bechdel Test | Neither Here nor There….

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