Two weeks ago, we ran a post exploring our favorite feminist TV characters, and when we asked who we left out, our readers, members, and Facebook and Twitter friends delivered. Once more with feeling – we now present to you another roundup of female characters who broke the TV mold:
1. Daria Morgendorffer: Like Lisa Simpson, Daria Morgendorffer was a lone voice of reason in a world of (actual) cartoons, rising phoenixlike from the numbskull party that was Beavis and Butthead to take on suburban ennui, sexism, and Machiavelli’s The Prince in her own prime-time TV slot. Daria tempered everything she said with her legendary deadpan sarcasm, but there was always a grain of truth – and sometimes a feminist truth – in her ongoing commentary.
2. Roseanne Connor: Some of us are a little too young to have watched Roseanne when it was on TV, but the show’s pop cultural significance is not lost on us. Not only did Roseanne depict a female-headed household, it featured a working family, empowered and funny women, and characters who didn’t physically fit the TV “ideal” mold, without apology.
3. Veronica Mars: We kind of can’t believe we initially forgot Veronica Mars on our first list. Strong, smart, clever girl detective who is still in high school? We’re not worthy! But there was more to Veronica Mars than that. Anita Sarkeesian at Feminist Frequency points out that her tech savvy itself is notable in a sad TV landscape that rarely showcases women with technical skills. “One of the things that drew me in immediately to the show was how technologically savvy Veronica Mars is,” writes Sarkeesian. “It’s a pretty rare representation to have young women shown as super knowledgeable about all different technologies, so you see her often using computers and having a really good understanding of how they work.”
4. Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg: Buffy and Willow saved the world (a lot), and the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was basically a metaphor for feminism – the solution to the apocalypse was female empowerment! Buffy and Willow’s friendship was also hugely refreshing and realistic compared to other shows – which were less likely to depict women as friends, or framed female friends as shallow frenemies. Buffy and Willow weren’t perfect, and didn’t even have much in common superficially, but they respected and cared about each other, and brought out the best in one another when it really mattered – re: demons (literal and otherwise) and all the Big Bads.
It’s great to have so many feminist TV characters to choose from that we can’t contain them all in one post. Who did we miss this time? Let us know in the comments.