I want a female character who isn't inherently "likable," who isn't necessarily kind or polite. I want a female character with questionable intentions and morals, one who is written with shades of gray.
I mean, Sherlock, Jasper Dent, Dexter, Alex, Raskolnikov, Murtagh... why do the boys get to have all the fun?
Oh yeah, that's right. Because female characters are graded on likability.
Now I'm not saying all female characters are reviewed based on likability all the time, but it happens a lot. Male characters can be complex, obnoxious, sarcastic, maybe even a bit evil, and all that can be forgiven. Heck, it's even encouraged! I mean, how many times have you seen the below post on your Tumblr dashboard? (If you don't have Tumblr, I can assure you it would have shown up a lot if you did.)
Oh you know, just casually planning his BFFs murders. How adorable! But would it be considered so adorable if a woman said it?
And, I mean, that would be awesome. Can you imagine if the Merlin series was the Morgana series instead?! Besides the fact that she might have actually had the character development and continuity she deserved (a post for another day), we the viewers would have had a wholly different relationship with her. We would remember that her intentions were good, even if her actions were not. We would have felt more sympathy for her, and more antipathy towards Merlin. In some ways, Merlin would have been the villain.
Or what if there was a book series/BBC TV show about a female detective who revels in serial killer mysteries, who scorns human relationships, but who has one true best friend (not that I would want Moffat going anywhere near this, but again, that's a post for another day).
I would watch/read these stories in a heartbeat.
What about you: Would you read a story with a female antihero?
P.S. maybe genius did a phenomenal post about female characters and the double standard, which I highly advise you check out.