A hero who never cries is always sure of his intentions; who don't really rely on anyone, including those he has gathered around himself as followers and has his machismo entirely wrapped up in his sense of self-worth in achievement ... is a masculine hero. No matter how many times you try to apply that foil to a female character.

Wonder Woman, Alice (Resident Evil), Laura Croft, Ripley, Xena, Buffy, Jamie Summers, Charlie's Angels, Sarah Connor, Clarice Starling, Selene (Underworld), Black Mamba (Beatrix "The Bride" Kiddo), Katniss Everdeen, every character ever played by Michelle Rodriguez—these are all masculine heroes with tits. They are heroes specifically designed to appeal to men and the "ideal of manhood." Tough, loner, detached, an expert in the killing, and gets the panties wet. Or this case, the dicks hard because they also represent that unattainable woman that men all obsess over. You know, the "ideal of a perfect male conquest"?

That's why these characters rarely have a sexual identity of their own beyond the usual vulgarities. Unless, at some weak point in their development, they go all soft for some male character's hard penis. Even when he's a complete douche. Feeds into the male fantasy that no matter how strong a woman is, they all pause for the penis. Not exactly a feminist principle.

Women have been telling us what true femininity is for literally centuries. Men just don't listen. A woman starts talking, and all a typical male hears is "blah blah blah." They don't pay attention. Especially in the internet era, they are demonstrating this quite clearly.

Let's look at some of the characters who typically end up on lists of heroes by women:

Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice), Hermione Granger, Katherine Johnson (Hidden Figures), Leia Organa (though I would personally disagree with that one, I can see the appeal given she's the leader of a rebellion), Mulan (the real one, not the Disney butcher job—in fact, we can say this for every female Disney historical character), Merida from Brave (the Disney movie all the male critics didn't like), Elle Woods (Legally Blonde), Erin Brockovich (an actual person, but played as a hero), Sister Aloysius (Doubt), Foxy Brown, Jess Bhamra (Bend It Like Beckham), Jo March (Little Women), Jane Craig (Broadcast News), Marge Gunderson (Fargo), Thelma and Louise, Celie (The Color Purple), Elastigirl and Violet (The Incredibles), Marina (A Fantastic Woman), Zoe Washburne (Serenity), Dottie Hinson (A League of Their Own), Nyota Uhura and Kathryn Janeway (Stat Trek).

Now, some of the action heroes do sometimes make the feminist list. Though all of these characters have something in common that is very rare in the male-hero characters. The male hero overcomes adversity by finding his inner strength and conquering his enemies. He gets a weapon, sometimes his own body, and hits stuff with it until he wins. The female hero model, however, seems to be she who overcomes her own weaknesses and flaws, and despite still having them, is able to combat adversity. This is the differentiating factor that I base on seeing the feminine heroine in films. She never actually loses her vulnerability. She uses it as a strength. Whereas the male hero must be purified of these weaknesses in order to succeed. Luke Skywalker. James Bond. Dutch in Predator. Rambo. Captain America. Wolverine. Thor. John McClane. Neo. Mad Max. Dirty Harry. Hercules. I think Rambo still seems to have a feminine side in few cases.

Characters like Beatrix Kiddo may make the feminist list because she had to personally overcome so much trauma. And Clarice in Silence of the Lambs because she's really smart and determined. And also men like Mr. Spock struggles with his human / emotional side. Or Batman, ironically, who is in a constant battle with his inner demons, but refuses to compromise his ethics and doesn't kill or use guns.

So, as you can see, we do have some idea of the difference between male and female ideals for heroes. Male heroes crash through walls usually all by themselves. Female heroes climb over walls, usually while trying to give someone else a hand up. And this isn't an assumption. This is what women have been expressing for quite some time. It is not about being gentle or emotionally sensitive, but because these things are not considered manly, then men tend to think it isn't—if a woman even hints at such a suggestion.

What is also totally ironic about this is that the first thing you learn in military boot camp (the epitome of manhood) is to deal with your own internal weaknesses and to have your comrade's back. But male heroes conquer armies, not really participate in them. Even when they are military heroes on screen. John Wayne in the Green Berets. Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Demi Moore in G.I. Jane. There is nothing wrong with accepting your weaknesses without insisting that you don't want to appear flawed.

Something else ironic about that: In nearly every action movie written with a strong male protagonist, they have what in Hollywood writer lingo is referred to as the "pet the dog" scene. It usually involves the hero petting a dog, snuggling a cat, holding a baby, kissing his wife or mother, helping out an old person, saving a homeless person, being nice to a Muslim villager in a war movie. The reason why they include this scene is to indicate that even though the hero is going to be later mercilessly killing a lot of people, they are not entirely without compassion and empathy. It's only a momentary show of compassion, but it seems to be enough to convince most male audiences—because even a little bit of that is enough. It's as if men think that if we pet a dog every now and then, it doesn't mean we are violent, egotistical assholes. Self-delusion.

Outside the context of Bechdel Test. In terms of decency codes, for example, the Japanese have a completely different view of what is acceptable for children than we do, and feminism doesn't exist in Japan. The objectification of women in that nation is rampant and epidemic. Especially among younger men and teenagers. You can show rape in an anime, but in regular adult porn there, it's forbidden to show genitalia because pubic hair is a taboo. Feminism is something that can be moral related to culture and geography. So go figure.