I try to be honest on this blog — with myself, and with anyone who bothers to read this thing consistently — so honestly, I’m going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment. From my emotional wellbeing to my mental health, it’s all a bit up in the air and I kind of want to just curl up in a ball and ignore the world for a little bit. With as many strong female role models I have in my life (hi, mum!) there are lots of ladies in the fictional universe that I admire too. If I’m gonna get a grip and power through this blip, I’m gonna need to take a leaf out of these women’s books.
Amy Farrah Fowler | The Big Bang Theory
I know a lot of people don’t like TBBT and its treatment of female characters, but I think the writers have improved on the latter in recent years. I feel a bit of an affinity with Amy. When she was first introduced, it was for the sake of mocking her lack of femininity, laughing at her for being the anti-Penny, the anti-thesis of what a 21st century female should be. That didn’t improve when they started introducing her sexuality — let’s all have a good old laugh at this geeky, unattractive and ~clearly~ desperate woman with a starved sexual appetite.
Her portrayal hasn’t always been perfect or even sensitive, but I think her character has proven to be resilient. She’s passionate about her job, incredibly clever and always wanting to learn and collaborate on new projects. She’s kind and thoughtful, and always does her best to accommodate Sheldon’s needs without compromising her own. Her breaking up with Sheldon was a big turning point — she loved him and wanted to be with him, but knew he wasn’t grateful or good for her at that time, but she wasn’t too stubborn to give things another go. Lastly, she’s weird and wonderful and totally her own person, and she knows it and owns it.
Monica Geller | Friends
For ages, Phoebe was my favourite female in the Friends gang, until I realised that she’s not always the nicest person. I rewatched the series recently and was surprised at how much I related to Monica.
At the beginning of the series, she was a carefree single woman, going on dates, supporting herself and happily getting on with her life. Her best friend from high school comes into her life in a bit of a state and she opens her doors (and heart) with little hesitation, inviting her into her friendship group — I don’t think I would be able to do that without being a bit funny about it! I love her integrity with men as well; she never begs or chases after anyone, allows herself to go through the grieving process after her break-up with Richard with no shame, and puts Chandler in his place after their first fight. When she’s faced with a problem, she doesn’t pout and sulk; she finds a way around it.
Brienne of Tarth | Game of Thrones
SHE’S JUST SO GODDAMN READY. I’ve stopped watching Game of Thrones now (the horror!!) but if anyone’s going to make me catch up on what I’ve missed, it’s this gorgeous gal right here. It’s so hard being obviously different — while Brienne has her stature, I have my (albeit less blatant) dislikeable and “weird” personality. I can’t think of a single person that hasn’t called me “weird” at one point, and it’s kind of hard to get on board with.
But Brienne has turned that into her strength. Without her impressive height, she wouldn’t be able to be the amazing fighter she is. She subverts expectations of what a woman in pseudo-medieval times should be and plays it to her advantage. She’s kind and sensitive, but can turn on a sixpence at the first sign of disrespect. She picks her battles and doesn’t waste time or energy on those who don’t deserve it.
‘All my life, men like you have sneered at me. And all my life I’ve been knocking men like you into the dust.’
Any other strong female characters I should be taking inspiration from?