In fiction and in the real world, there is always a character that we deem unlikable. These characters tend to be arrogant, selfish, greedy, and downright uncontrollable. Oftentimes, these characters and figures tend to be men whom we have no problem displaying these types of behaviors. However, we tend to take issue with these traits when they are attributed to women. Perhaps it is because society has conditioned us to think of women in one mold and that is as the emotional, well-behaved, and obedient supporter of the man. Nonetheless, there is a case for unlikable women and their value in society.
1.They know what they want.
A woman who is ambitious is often labeled as unlikable because she breaks away from the docile stereotype that is often imposed on her. A woman who knows what she wants is a value because she will never have to be lead. She will lead. Like countless fictional characters, these women become inspirations for others because they are fearless and are willing to go the extra mile to get what they want. Examples of these women include Fiona Goode from American Horror Story:Coven who despite battling ageism she was willing to kill to remain the Supreme of her coven. While we don’t condone murder, she is a great example of how ambition can be viewed as unlikable instead of powerful as it would be seen on a man.
2.They are intelligent.
Women are often labeled “unlikable” when they are able to outsmart a man. This again has to do with the idea that a woman is not to voice an opinion and is merely a support system for the brilliance of man. When a woman turns out to be more capable than a man our societal conditioning is challenged and we begin to view this woman as troublesome. Some brilliant women who have proven themselves more clever than man and in our feminists hearts have become our heroes include Hermione Granger and Amy Dunne. These two brilliant women have proven that a woman can and is just as intelligent and educated as any man out there and can stand on an equal intellectual playing field.
3.They are confident.
Women who feel comfortable in their own skin without the validation of man are often deemed “unlikable” because they again break a “societal code”. Society breeds us to think of women’s confidence often dependent on the opinion of man and our appearance. However, women who are confident in their ability combat these stereotypes which sometimes result in them being labeled as “unlikable” or “uncontrollable”. These women remind us that we should believe in ourselves for we are capable of anything we set our minds to accomplishing. Examples of these confident women include Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez as well as Hillary Clinton.
4.They take care of themselves.
Most of us grew up with the fairy tale trope of the damsel in distress. This woman was often stuck in a tower or in another peril situation where the only escape was to be rescued by the brave prince. Women have broken away from this tired trope and have taken control of their own destinies, often rescuing themselves. These fierce ladies are more independent and capable of caring for themselves. We see examples of these women in characters like Lisbeth Salander and Sethe from Beloved.
5.They are human.
Oftentimes when we try to champion women, we tend to forget that they are still mortal. We celebrate them for all their positive traits like strength and intelligence, but we forget that they can also be vulnerable and scared. Women are human. They are complex and capable of experiencing a myriad of different emotions. While they can be strong and brave, they can also be cowardly and weak. One of the best things about being a woman is the complexity of our character. We cannot be boxed in to be one sort of way. We are many things and we should learn to embrace those things.