When you think about strong female characters, who do you think of? I always think about Hermione Granger, Wonder Woman, or Katniss Everdeen, and I’m sure at least one of those names goes through your head too. That’s totally fine – they are great fictional role models! – but there are so many other underrated female characters out there who deserve more recognition. Unfortunately, so many fictional roles for women are written with sexism as a undertone. They might only be put on screen to talk about dating struggles, they might constantly get made fun of, or they might only play stereotypical roles (the bored housewife, the bitchy pretty girl, etc.). So, strong female characters are incredibly important because they show women as what they are: actual human beings with complex minds and emotions. When a TV show or movie has a badass lady taking charge, it’s important we take notice.
The other day I was on AskReddit (where I spend most of my time) when I came across a thread asking for strong female characters. I expected to see a ton of typical answers, like CatWoman or any one of the ladies in Game of Thrones (again, great examples, but don’t you sometimes get bored of hearing the same thing over and over again?). But I was surprised – the thread contained a lot of underrated and often overlooked characters that even I had forgotten about in some cases. So, I gathered the best answers to show you some of these underrated female characters that you need to get familiar with. Check them out.
XenaYou might not remember the '90s cult classic Xena: Warrior Princess, but it was the ultimate girl power show. Xena was a badass warrior princess who went around Ancient Greece helping innocent people. As thewanderingdreamer said, "Xena she wasn't afraid of doing her own dirty work." And she wore a bunch of cool metal bras. Image Source: Xena: Warrior Princess
Ellen RipleyIf you're into sci-fi with strong female leads, you should check out the Alien movies. They are pretty creepy, but they always have a strong female lead, which is pretty cool. Gaglebot says, "Look, Ripley is both beautifully feminine, while not sexualised, and A TOTAL AND COMPLETE BADASS, without losing her femininity. While other strong female characters were masculinized to prove a point, Ripley kept her genuine femininity. That's a hard and rare balancing act for a movie to pull off, and none has done it as well as Ripley!" True! she is strong but she is definitely not ashamed that she is a woman, which is important. Image Source: Alien
MulanWe really need to give Mulan more credit. She's rarely seen in the typical Disney princess lineup, even though she literally saved China. As scottishdrunkard said, "Everyone should love her. Chinese, so there is some racial variation over other Disney characters. She joined the military, illegally. And killed a load of Mongolians." Image Source: Mulan
Liz LemonShe might not be super glamorous, but Liz Lemon is pretty realistic. Grangerfromthetardis said, "Liz Lemon! She is ambitious, smart, caring and a complete dork." I know when people think of fictional female dorks they might think of Leslie Knope or even Hermione Granger, but Liz Lemon is really important too. Image Source: 30 Rock
Mrs. FrizzleI honestly forgot about her, but she WAS super cool. UnusualMann said, "Mrs Frizzle takes the cake. She educates students by taking them into the most badass places imaginable- space, the arctic, a volcano, Arnold's digestive system, and even through power lines. And it works. She somehow keeps them alive during the whole process and keeps up a cheery demeanor during the whole trip." She was the ULTIMATE teacher, IMO. Also, that dress? Iconic. Image Source: The Magic School Bus
Peggy CarterPeggy Carter was definitely an overlooked as a character, since her TV show only lasted 18 episodes. She was an SSR agent who kicked butt and cleaned up after men and their mistakes. Thewanderingdreamer said, "She held strong against bunch of guys in a sexist era where women were referred to as 'doll', 'baby' and expected to be secretaries." Image Source: Agent Carter
Donna MeagleSensitiveinfomax said, " My favorite female character of all time is Donna Meagle. She knows what she wants and goes after it. And does it while being herself." Okay, this is really important. If you watch Parks and Recreation, you know that Donna is a part of the main cast, but never gets that much screen time. BUT, she is the most iconic character on the show. She lives unapologetically and it's awesome. I mean, do you ever treat yo'self? You can thank Donna for that. Image Source: Parks and Recreation
What characters did we miss? Tell us in the comments!