News of how ABC is wimping out on some of its strongest women characters reminded me of a list The Park Bencher recently compiled of “Twelve Fictional Females Who Don’t Take Crap From Anybody.” This seems like a good day to remind ourselves of such characters that have both survived and thrived onscreen — and to give us incentive to demand more from film and television producers.
Here are some of my favorites from the list.
Princess Leia, Star Wars
Leia may have needed a better hair stylist, but she was the voice of reason in Star Wars. She survived Vader’s torture and Han Solo’s attitude. Without her, the Empire would’ve been little more than Egos in Space. With her, the Federation refused to lose — and she won most of her battles wearing little more than gold lamé underwear.
Maude, Harold and Maude
Harold and Maude is my favorite movie. Of. All. Time. It, quite literally, changed my world. And Maude’s love of life and refusal to give in to societal expectations for a “woman of a certain age” are big reasons why. We tend to overlook her strength — she was a Holocaust survivor — because she is such an eccentric. I defy anyone to name a character with more courage.
Sarah Connor, The Terminator
Sure, we love Lena Headey’s version of Connor, but nothing can beat the original, the kick-ass, cut heroine played by Linda Hamilton. I was warm for her form, but it was her fighting spirit that really inspired me. If only Sarah Connor could run for Governor of California.
Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
The real power of Liz Lemon is often hidden behind smart girl glasses and bi-curious shoes. But Lemon can match wits with geeks and NBC studio heads in the same half-hour. And even when she succumbs to a bout of drunk dialing, she’s smart enough to know that the only opinion of her that matters is her own.
Take a look at the rest of the list and let us know what you think. Who are your favorite take-no-crap women? How can we keep strong women characters on TV and film?