, Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon
Trinity of "The Matrix" is known mostly for one thing: A gravity-defying kick.
As a lead character in the 1999 blockbuster, Trinity gave audiences something they were hungry for: A strong female character.
In the intervening 15 years, Trinity became synonymous with a stereotype among female characters on the big and small screen: Strong, yes — but ultimately useless.
Tasha Robinson's June 16 Dissolve article coined the term "Trinity Syndrome" — a condition Robinson says female characters are stuck in.
"The idea of the Strong Female Character—someone with her own identity, agenda, and story purpose — has thoroughly pervaded the conversation about what’s wrong with the way women are often perceived and portrayed today, in comics, video games, and film especially," Robinson wrote. "It’s such a simplistic, low bar to vault, and it’s more a marketing term than a meaningful goal."
Time also dissected the problem Tuesday when it wrote about I Am Elemental, a new line of female superhero action figures being released on the heels of DC Comics saying it had "more work to do" bringing female heroes into the spotlight.
I Am Elemental aims to take female superheroes seriously by making them fully clothed, proportional and more kid-friendly.
"The few female action figures that are on the market are really designed for the adult male collector. The form is hyper-sexualized: The breasts are oversized; the waist is tiny," co-founder Dawn Nadeau said.
While a leading female superhero may be a step in the right direction (Black Widow, anyone?) The Globe and Mail's Lara Zarum argued that Netflix's popular "Orange is the New Black" is an example of what more female characters need.
"If the show is breaking new ground, it’s not because it features female characters who are the most powerful, or the sexiest, or who have the coolest wardrobes," Zarum wrote. "TV doesn’t need more wonder women; it needs more believable ones."
Another answer lies in changing mediums to fit more female characters — like video games.
"The answer is not in every game giving you the option to play as male or female, but creating more narratives for games that feature a strong, female lead," GameZone's Lance Liebl wrote. "You need to have a character that fits the story you're telling. Could The Catcher in the Rye have had a female main character? Sure. But that's not how the author wrote it."
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