At the end of the day I have many answers for it. It has to do with my mom, who was an extraordinary woman, and a great feminist. It has to do with the people in my life. It has to do with a lot of different things, but -- I don't know! Because I'm not just writing from the female characters for other people. I have a desire to see them in our culture -- that was not met for most of my childhood. Except occasionally by James Cameron. [From the 2011 San Diego Comic Con, in response to being asked why he writes strong female characters.]
Like most guys, I had bought into the stereotype that all feminists were white, lesbian, unattractive male bashers who hated all men. But after reading the work of these black feminists, I realized that this was far from the truth. After digging into their work, I came to really respect the intelligence, courage and honesty of these women.Feminists did not hate men. In fact, they loved men. But just as my father had silenced my mother during their arguments to avoid hearing her gripes, men silenced feminists by belittling them in order to dodge hearing the truth about who we are.
I tend to like strong female characters. It just interests me dramatically. A strong male character isn't interesting because it has been done and it's so cliched. A weak male character is interesting: somebody else hasn't done it a hundred times. A strong female character is still interesting to me because it hasn't been done all that much, finding the balance of femininity and strength.[From a 1986 Fangoria interview]
[A] woman should have every honorable motive to exertion which is enjoyed by man, to the full extent of her capacities and endowments. The case is too plain for argument. Nature has given woman the same powers, and subjected her to the same earth, breathes the same air, subsists on the same food, physical, moral, mental and spiritual. She has, therefore, an equal right with man, in all efforts to obtain and maintain a perfect existence.