Let’s Talk about Strong Female Characters: My Top 10 Kickass Ladies

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There’s been a lot of talk lately (and rightly so) about feminism, fandom and the lack of “strong” (3-dimensional, interesting, complex, REAL) female characters in mainstream media. The above quote has been going around for a long, long time and I encourage you to find similar quotes from female writers. I just adore that quote, so I put it there.

There was a very interesting post about female protagonists here that I encourage you to read. The author talks about looking at the books she was reading to her child and her attempts to balance male and female protagonists, but they fall very short of a 50/50 split. (It ends up being more like 60/30)

When I saw that my spreadsheet project featured exactly zero actresses I realized I needed to do something. As an exercise I decided to put down my top 10 favourite female characters. Surely there were ten lady characters that kicked ass from TV shows and movies I love. Ten fictional ladies that I’d want to have a drink with, or at the very least were played by actresses I really enjoyed?

The first five were a breeze, and then suddenly I was struggling to come up with female characters that I liked, let alone strong female characters I admired or that I could take traits from to help me in my everyday life. I looked. Leading ladies didn’t suddenly come out from the woodwork, but there were strong, awesome characters that I was over-looking because I was too busy watching the leading men on the show. (Leading men talk a lot and the camera likes to spend lots of time pointed at them.)

A lot of these characters are supporting characters, in fact they all are except Rey* and an argument can be made for Clara and Sara Lance who are both part of an ensemble of sorts. Yet they are kick ass in their own way, furthering the plot and embodying traits that I want to emulate in my everyday life.

So here’s my list, I know I’m forgetting lots and I’d love to see your lists in the comments.

(In no particular order)…

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Feeling Fake Fangirl Feels.

I feel like an imposter or a fraud.

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Not quite. More like I feel like a fraud for calling myself a fangirl. A fake fangirl if you will.

Let me explain. When I wrote “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Being a Fangirl” it felt very important to me to reach out into the void and talk about this great label “fangirl” and how it applied to me, because I had gone so long without knowing and I didn’t want anyone else to feel that way if they didn’t have to. That hasn’t changed, that label is still an excellent one for me. In fact, if given the opportunity I will happily extol the virtues of it as an important part of your complete lifestyle. That article has received the most views and comments of any article on this blog and I love that people have responded so positively.

However, the truth is that sometimes I hate being a fangirl and I keep all my fangirly thoughts to myself out of fear of how others will treat me. Sometimes I wish I watched all shows once, had no immediate need to see them again and just moved on. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t need to watch the full filmography of an actor because I need to chase the acting trends that are apparent in their work. (ie: Norman Reedus so often having a cigarette in hand.) Occasionally I think, damn all these feels, why can’t I just watch a show for the CANON PLOT.

The truth is I can’t do any of those things, they aren’t part of my personality and I feel like a fraud to want these qualities and at the same time to receive happy, thankful comments on something I’ve written.

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