I'm getting very contradictory messages regarding sexism in pop culture. On one hand I hear "Portray women as equals!" on the other I hear "Now you just made a female character who acts like a man! This solves nothing!". I don't get it. Isn't equality the whole goal of this movement? It seems hypocritical to first complain that women are being portrayed as inferior, then complain again when they they are portrayed just like the men.
What do people want women to be portrayed as? "Strong characters" is not an answer.
Speaking as a lady gamer here, the problem is you can't conflate "portray women as equals" with "female character that acts like a man", because that implies that women would behave the same way a man would. Which is patently untrue, and leads to a phenomenon The Wire David Simon called "men with tits" - men's voices coming from women's faces.
Some portrayals get it right - I'd cite Jack from Mass Effect 2 as a perfect example of a highly aggressive, rage-fueled personality, she never once comes off as anything but a woman, but that's rather because her performance and writing were such that she was given range, which many, many female characters in media are missing, and simultaneously serves as the basis for the ubiquitous "strong female character" goal. She could be pigeonholed as a bitch for the same reasons that her character can be considered strong, because the way society reacts to aggressive men is different than how it reacts to aggressive women, but it's fairly undeniable that Jack leaves an impression, good or bad. Strong female characters (a phrase which needs to die btw, and be replaced with "strong characters"), equality begins with writing a real character with fleshed out motivations instead of relying on on tired, lazy archetypes and exposed boobs and ass to sell the character.