There’s no question that some male literary gatekeepers place a lower value on women’s stories. And the dominance of male creators in film and television means that fictional women in those realms can end up punished or mocked for their girliness, as is the case with vast numbers of pop-culture brides, or viewed askance when they behave like decisive, action-oriented, amoral men, like uber-lawyer Patty Hewes on Damages. But the problem isn’t just the judgements and preferences of a few powerful men. In visual mediums like film and television, it can be harder to tell stories about interior struggles than external actions. And we’re conditioned to prefer heroes and anti-heroes of any gender who take the initiative, even when they step wrong, over those who focus inward, vacillate, and embrace—or at least embody—passivity.