Female Character Flowchart

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Participants: Female Character Flowchart; Flowchart: Know Your Female Character Stereotypes
Date(s): October 2010
URL: Female Character Flowchart at Overthinking It; Followup post
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Shana Mlawski of Overthinking It created a Female Character Flowchart purporting to show "the one- and two-dimensional female characters we see over and over again in modern fiction" (all 75 of them[1]), which was then linked at Jezebel[2]. It was widely criticised in fandom for reducing virtually every female character ever to a stereotype (for example, Zoe Washburne as the "Lady of War", Tsukino Usagi as "The Adorable Klutz" and Sarah Connor as the "Mama Bear"), and for using real women Yoko Ono and Michelle Rodriguez as examples of 'female characters'.


  • "Isn't it interesting how there's only one way to be a strong female character? Isn't it fascinating how every other possible way culminates in SLUT BITCH ANNOYING SHY SLUT SLUT "YOKO ONO"* PRUDE SLUT? I find this interesting." ~ mekosuchinae[3].
  • "This chart really does strike me as a cross between "You shouldn't write women, ever, because you suck" and "All your favourite characters are bad, and you're a bad person for loving them." According to that chart, being female and making it to the end of the horror movie means you're a 2D character. So... if you die early, you're 2D, if you live, you're 2D. You're literally not allowed to be female in a horror movie..." ~ jackandahat [4].
  • "OVERTHINKINGIT: If your female character fits any trope at all, she's not a "strong female character." FANDOM: Let's take her out the back and beat the shit out of her!" ~tielan[5]
  • "The chart takes female protagonists and redefines them based upon their relationships with/to their male secondary characters. I HAVE A FUCKING PROBLEM WITH THIS CHART, MEM." ~boosette[7]
  • Dagas_isa explained How to Be a Nuanced Male Character* "In a sea of white male characters, there needs to be something about each particular one that makes them complex and unique individuals worthy of an entire narrative. After all, if there's one thing we've learned from studying female characters, it's that the merest whiff of a stereotype or archetype on them can condemn a character to the pile of uninteresting paper dolls."

Nyota Uhura being used as an example of "The Useless Girl" in particular made many fans angry.

  • " ... this chart just ignores how much race was a factor and assumes it was just because Uhura was a woman, she was written as "useless," when the truth is that she was made "useless" because of her race and the limitations that put on the writers."~ homasse. [9]
  • "I am going to be unable to look at that chart if it involves a white woman calling Uhura useless." ~willow[10]

See also


  1. ^ Dagas-isa counted them
  2. ^ Flowchart: Know Your Female Character Stereotypes (11 October 2010)
  3. ^ mekosuchinae in an Untitled post (11 October 2010).
  4. ^ jackandahat in the comments of There's this flowchart. It ticks me off. by dagas-isa (12 October 2010).
  5. ^ How can we write when our tropes are burning? by tielan (13 October 2010).
  6. ^ brecho in the comments of an untitled post by mekosuchinae (12 October 2010).
  7. ^ boosette in the comments of an untitled post by mekosuchinae (12 October 2010).
  8. ^ "I'm looking at all the options here, and the closest one I can come to is "Cat Lady." I'm not a ditz, a klutz, an attention whore, a spoiled rich girl, a slut, a sassmouth, and so on. For all my diversity, for the talents that I do have and all the roles I could play depending on what the story is, I get relegated to being a cat lady." The chart of doom by Sarasvati (12 October 2010).
  9. ^ And feminism once again misses the point by homasse, at deadbrowalking (12 October 2010).
  10. ^ willow in the comments of What is this, I don't even ... by inkstone (12 October 2010).