The 20 most female empowering TV moments of 2012


Rayna James tells a gaggle of rich music industry boss-men to kiss her (perfect) ass (Nashville)

Nashville still has a lot of kinks to work out — including the tiresome catfighting between Rayna and Juliette — but we sure have enjoyed watching Rayna refuse to bow to the whims of the rich dudes in suits who are trying to control her life. We especially loved the moment in the pilot when the head of her record label told her he needed a decision about a proposition that would derail her career, and she said, “Well, you can kiss my decision as it’s walking out the door.”

Daenerys Targaryen rescues her dragons, basks in the glow of their deadly fire (Game of Thrones)

It’s not easy being a lady in Westeros and Essos, but it helps when you’ve got a couple of dragon pups at your beck and call. Unfortunately, Daenerys’ babies were stolen by a wicked warlock who tried to imprison her when she came to rescue them. But the joke was on him, because when mama says, “Dracarys,” mama means “dragonfire.” And that’s how Pyat Pree burned to death in his own dungeon.

Michonne gets her revenge on the Governor (The Walking Dead)

Even a Katana and some badass combat skills aren’t enough to ensure survival in a zombie apocalypse, especially when the Governor sends assassins after you because he doesn’t like your style. But Michonne not only thwarted the Governor’s assassins when they came for her head, she took the Governor’s actual eyeball as payback.

Emma Swan defeats a giant (Once Upon a Time)

It’s no secret that Emma Swan is a badass. (Chainsaw, anyone? Apple trees?) But she brought it big time this year when she escaped from the (literal) clutches of a giant all by her (tiny) self. We worried Hook was going to be her knight in shining armor, but it turned out she didn’t need him at all.

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