Happy International Women’s Day! HerDMU is firm in supporting equality and independence for everyone, which is why we are firm supporters of this fantastic day along with a lot of others. So to celebrate International Women’s Day, I’ve put together a list of strong female TV characters from the TV shows I watch (or have watched) and love, so I hope you can agree with and identify with. Enjoy!
10. Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
“You know, you really should watch your language. Someone didn’t know you, they might think you were a woman-hating jerk” – Buffy Summers.
There wasn’t ever going to be a list of strong female TV characters without Buffy, the most badass chick around, included. I remember when I was younger and used to sit with my mum and indulge on episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel – who my mum had a mad crush on – and all I could think is ‘wow, she really is awesome’. I think because Buffy was one of the first female leads in a supernatural-based programme, it’s easy to consider her as a strong female character because she didn’t take crap from any of the guys or… well… anyone really. She stood up for herself, never backed down on a fight or confrontation and made sure that her loved ones were always as safe as houses. You rule, Buffy!
9. Jess Day, New Girl.
“You don’t like my style? That’s fine. But I’m not gonna change who I am. So you’re just gonna have to deal with it, and respect it.” – Jess Day.
I could talk forever about how perfect a strong independent woman Jessica Day makes but I will save you from the trauma of it all. But to summarise my life-long story, Jess is comfortable in her own skin and who she is. She’s known to be a bit ‘weird’ and a bit ‘odd’ but she’s just finding her way in a very male dominated place – which is very apt as she lives with guys. New Girl is centered around her life and the life of her roommates whom she interacts with on a daily, constant basis, and although she sometimes faces some life struggles in her work, friendships and love life, she overcomes them with comedy, truth and acceptance for who she is. She makes all of us crazy people feel a little bit better about ourselves!
8. Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood.
Jason: Our whole family’s gone. Everybody who counts. We’re all alone. We’re all that’s left.
Sookie: So you know what we gotta do. We gotta grow up. We gotta stick together and we gotta be good to each other or we’re lettin’ them down.
Being a huge fan of the books, I know exactly how awesome psychic Sookie is in every sense of the world. Like most of the other leading ladies in the TV shows I’ve mentioned so far, she’s been through a lot. Dead family. Dead friends. (Un)dead lovers. Dead co-workers. And counting. But she continues with that brave face that the others do and looks out for herself when she can.
7. Robin Scherbatsky, How I Met Your Mother.
“I can’t believe I’m talking to a therapist. Well, ususally I’m not the touchy-feely, talk-about-your-emotions type. But with this… I just had to be a big enough person to admit that I need help. Huh. I guess this is what growing up feels like.” – Robin Scherbatsky.
One of the reasons I have chosen Robin in this list is because she is fab. Not only that but she has always been a strong character who I admired in How I Met Your Mother in the sense that she was in a career led by male dominance and arrogant people, and she still achieved everything she wanted. Nevertheless, she did agree marry Barney Stinson, the lothario, woman-user male who however funny he might be, is known for his womaniser antics throughout every season of the show, because she loved him and tamed his somewhat idiotic ways. She’s comfortable with herself and around her second family (a.k.a the rest of the How I Met Your Mother gang) and shows no mercy to anybody who thinks otherwise.
6. Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl.
“As you can see, I survived without you.” – Blair Waldorf.
When she isn’t wearing headbands and ruling school or being the best Upper East Side socialite, Queen B (Blair) is known for her very straightforward and sometimes harsh ways as a woman. A lot of people can identify with her in the sense that she makes the best with what she has, a broken family, a very adulterous group of friends who are at each others throats ALL THE TIME, and a VERY rocky love life with the incredibly gorgeous Chuck Bass, but there are parts where she does break down and falter. This shows that no matter what happens in Blair’s life, she is 100% human with a loving heart and soul but tough exterior who can get through just about anything…
5. Debra Morgan, Dexter.
Dexter: I remember your first words: shoes. You were very girly once upon a time.
Deb: That’s funny. I always remember my first words as being, ‘Hurry the f**k up.’
If you’re as much of a fan of Dexter as I am, you will know how much I adore Debra. Yes, she swears a LOT, yes, she’s impatient and sometimes rude – but she worked her way to the top like no other woman on that show did. Despite the really REALLY bad times she went through during the show (having various murdering boyfriends, murdered boyfriends, a serial killer for a brother – obviously – and nobody really to call her own), she managed to always maintain a brave face and a middle finger to the world when she knew that she could do better than that. And she did, which is why she made this list and has a special place in my TV show heart – because that exists, you know!
4. Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke, Revenge.
“Are we true to ourselves? Or do we live for the expectations of others?” Emily Thorne.
I. Love. Revenge. So. Much. And why? Because Emily Thorne is the epitome of strong-willed. Her father was murdered when she was young and sets out to find out the truth behind his death by avenging it. By hiding her real identity (Amanda Clarke), Emily never backs down from her true ‘mission’, she stays faithful to it in order to avenge her father – even it if’s telling a LOT of lies along the way. Emily might be the physical meaning of a strong woman, but she is incredible in the sense that she teaches me a lot about how to channel your anger – but don’t worry, I’m not going to be going around avenging deaths anyone anytime soon… She also has the most amazing hair in the world, give me it please.
3. Daeneyrs Targaryen, Game of Thrones.
“I am a Khaleesi of the Dothraki! I am the wife of the great Khal and I carry his son inside me! The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands.” - Daeneyrs Targaryen.
Everytime I see Daenerys, Mother of Dragons (as she is better known by fans *scoff*) on Game of Thrones, I think ‘if I could be anybody in this programme, I would be you, because you are the coolest person and the most strongest woman in this whole show’. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you will know that most of the women on this show are pretty strong and pretty badass, like Brienne of Tarth and even little Arya Stark, and it’s good that a fantasy/drama show like this has these women for us to look up to and not soppy ‘where is my husband wahhh’ women. I’ve chosen Daeneyrs because even after her husband dies, she is forced to look at the world and say ‘okay, yeah, he died and I’m pretty sad even though the whole thing was arranged and forced on me, but whatever, let’s do this and be the Queen that I know I am, damn it’ and walks away with her dragons and followers all sassy. Let me be you, Khaleesi!
2. Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy.
“At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don’t keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That’s how we’re made. So, you can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them. But there are some lines… that are way too dangerous to cross.” – Meredith Grey.
Last year, my friend Emily told me (forced me, really) to watch Grey’s Anatomy ASAP. And I never did because there were so many TV shows I was watching at the time that I simply didn’t have the time to. But I’m glad I did, and a fortnight after starting it, I’m nearly finished with season three – so no spoilers please. Meredith is the main character, but also one of my favourites, because she does a lot in the show that shows how much of a good person she is. She’s good to patients, her friends, her boyfriend, her mother and a lot of other people who she comes into contact with on a daily basis. Meredith has a hard life, but she always keeps her chin up and tries to remain ‘bright and shiny’ every day.
1. Peyton Sawyer, One Tree Hill.
“I want to draw something that means something to someone. Like when you go see a really great band live for the first time, and no one is saying it but everyone’s thinking it. I want to draw that feeling, but I can’t.” – Peyton Sawyer.
Don’t even act like you didn’t know this was going to happen. There are so many reasons I chose P. Sawyer in my rundown of best TV females. One being that she has great taste in music (and men), always sticks by her friends, stands up for what she believes in and who she believes in, is passionate in everything she does, creates art to help people make it through, has a brave face even without parents and sometimes friends, immerses herself in the things that make her happy and never gives up. That’s an important lesson really, never giving up, and Peyton – as well as the other women in this list – have always taught us to never give up with ourselves, our friends, our partners, our families and what we love doing. If you’re as much of a OTH fan as I am, then you’ll know exactly what I mean. Peyton, you are my hero!