Whoever says it isn't there is blind. I hate how female characters have to be portrayed in a certain way in order to be liked, while you have male characters who posses every negative trait imaginable and are still loved. It drives me crazy. How is it fair or equal to write off a female character as a 'Mary Sue' because she's too feminine, because she's not badass enough, because she's too badass? Women can't be sexual because they're a whore. They can't be 'pure' because it's sexist. They can't be 'weak' because it's anti-feminine. They're expected to meet some ideal of the 'modern woman' (equal to a man in every way possible?), but that ideal teeters on a glass cliff--go too far in the wrong direction and you'll fall unless what's holding you up breaks first.
Why is it wrong to have variety in female characters? Not every woman is strong-willed and independent, and neither is every man, yet if you take all the males characters who are loved and create female counterparts, I wonder how loved they would be?
Then again, maybe it's all about shipping wars. Women often get in the way of that special ship, don't they? [/sarcasm]
Gah. I'm in a bad mood this morning.