Feminism and Television

What is feminism? Often times people shy away from calling themselves Feminist or from using the term feminism, because they view the word with having negative connotations. When it comes to feminism in media like Television and Films people assume that if a female character can use a gun or is super smart she is a feminist figure. However, is combat skill really feminism?

In reality, feminism isn’t about the power of women, sure there is an element of this idea in feminism, but as  whole the core belief is equality. Feminist characters are those few who demonstrate strength, power, and push themselves to break social borders/boundaries.

Film and Television are powerful mediums to express social issues and to project opinions on certain debates. In a way, a movie can not only entertain but it can also brain wash. The film franchise High School Musical made many tweens believe that high school was going to be all clicks and singing.

Strong female characters not only create great story lines, but also capture important issues that should be addressed. Here is a list of a few of today’s (in the last five years) feminist female characters.

Avatar Korra (The Legend of Korra)

Avatar Korra not only proves herself on the battle field, but she is also a wise avatar who places her people over her life. Korra is strong not only physically but also emotionally. Even though Korra has gone through a lot, she continues to be an example and a beacon for the world.

Clarke (The 100)

Clarke took charge of the situation from day one. In the 100 she is not only the main protagonist, but she is also one of the most well rounded characters on screen. Clarke is willing to face judgement and hatred from others as long as she can ensure their safety.

Liz (The Blacklist)

Liz Keen has a lot to deal with in her job and her personal life, however she is always kicking bad guys into jail. Liz is a character that has several flaws, and has to challenge her own selfishness every day. Yet, among her flaws there is also strength and a will force to do good.

Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)

Even though Arya is young and still learning she is by far one of the wisest characters. Arya challenges social and gender rules. Arya desires to learn the art of sword fighting even though it is looked down upon by people in her class.

Cosima (Orphan Black)

I would argue that all the clones in Orphan Black are examples of strong female characters, however, Cosima achieves something special. Cosima has knowledge and intelligence which prove to be more effect at times than a gun. Cosima also challenges the common “ideal” for women by aspiring for her own goals.

Belle (Once Upon a Time)

Belle demonstrates that brains are better than brawn. Belle is one of the most intelligent character on the show. Belle sees the best in others and does not allow for people to get in the way of her decision making. She is willing to fight for what she believes in and make her own choices based on what she thinks.

Annalise Keating (How To Get Away With Murder)

Not only is Keating intimidating she is also dangerous. Keating has a perfect combination of charm and strategy which comes in handy in her profession. Annalise Keating can stand her grown and break standards.

Felicity Smoake (Arrow)

Team Arrow would be nothing without Felicity Smoake. Felicity is the eyes and ears of the Arrow and has saved his life multiple times thanks to her skills. The reason Felicity made it to the list and not the Black Canary is simply because Felicity does not need to be a warrior to kick ass.

These are only a few of modern television’s strong female characters.


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