The 20 most female empowering TV moments of 2012


Alicia realizes she’s been caught in a game of self-defeating sexist paranoia, deals with it like a champ (The Good Wife)

Woman-on-woman hate in the cutthroat world of big city law is all too common. And Alicia fell into the trap when Lockhart & Gardner hired a pretty blonde thing named Caitlin to share some of Alicia’s load. She got swept away in a river of paranoia, convincing herself that Caitlin was after her job. In the end, Caitlin really just wanted to start a family, and Alicia realized how the male-driven narrative of lady-hate had bamboozled her brain. She apologized and realized she should be helping women like Caitlin, not icing them out.

Joan kicks her rape-y husband to the curb (Mad Men)

Joan Holloway’s husband has been universally despised since his first appearance at SCDP. But Joan married him anyway because she’s a pragmatist who decided he was her best shot at having the life she’d always dreamed of. She finally tired of his horribleness this year and kicked him out of the house, but not before reminding him that he’d raped her once, on the floor of Don Draper’s office.

Betty McRae leads a Canadian riot with a suggestion box (Bomb Girls)

When Gladys tried to introduce a suggestions box (in the form of a literal hat box) at Victory Munitions, she was met with derision from the male factory workers and fear of ridicule from the female factory workers. The men suggested she make them some dinner. So Betty took matters into her own hands, writing down a suggestion and stomping to the box in front of everyone and dropping it inside. And then she led the other women to do the same.

Arya Stark schools Tywin Lannister on death (Game of Thrones)

Arya Stark outsmarted hordes of men this year on Game of Thrones, passing herself off as a boy for half the season, working her way into the employ of the Lannisters, and even tricking an assassin into granting her more than three wishes and her freedom to boot. (He even offered to take her and train her up as an assassin he was so impressed with her.) But her most chilling badassery came when, after listing the rumors about her brother’s invincibility to Tywin Lannister, she looked him right in the eye and said, “Anyone can be killed.”

What was your favorite female empowering moment of 2012 TV?

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