By Bronwyn O’Neill
After subjecting myself to a torturous viewing of Fifty Shades of Bleh, I felt an overwhelming surge of anger. Not at the terrible plot, chemistry or “romance”, I was outraged at the fact that Anastasia Steele is the most unappealing, anti-feminist character I have come across. So how about we count down the top ten strong females on the big and small screen. I think this would make up for the appalling female characters in that film.
- Black Widow – The Avengers
First up we have secret spy and all around badass lady, Natasha Romanoff. Under the alias of Black Widow, she’s pretty awesome. Showing us she can fight with the big boys and even be better. She’s just all around great.
- Amy Elliott-Dunne – Gone Girl
“Why is Amy Elliott-Dunne on this list,” you cry incredulously at me as you stare slack jawed at your computer screen. Simple. If you have read/seen Gone Girl you know how crazy this woman is. Do you think she would listen to Christian Grey for two minutes? Not a chance. She’s not going to be anyone’s “cool girl”. She may be crazy, but she does stand up for herself.
- Amy Pond – Doctor Who
I have heard a lot of criticism of Amy Pond over the years. Possibly because she wears short skirts or maybe because she had a schoolgirl crush on the Doctor. Either way, you’re wrong! Amy Pond reminds us you don’t have to be ice cold to be a feminist. You can cry and wear dresses, whilst managing to be a strong female character.
- Michonne – The Walking Dead
Following on from that, Michonne is the complete opposite. However this could be mainly due to the fact she is pushed into being hard and closed off. It is a zombie apocalypse after all! She can take on any Walker or human. A serious role model for all women out there.
- Buffy Summers – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
A high school cheerleader who cares about her appearance but also manages to slay vampires in her spare time? Yes please. Although Buffy ended in the early 2000s, the character still endears, once again showing that you can wear pink and still kick ass.
- Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games
If you simply watch the films you only receive the smallest glimmer of what Katniss is capable of. Not to say Jennifer Lawrence isn’t flawless, but books always outshine the movie. The sixteen year old manages to overcome serious dangers, mostly death and by doing so, shows that girls can be incredibly resilient. Everyone knows that females are more loyal and protective. Fact.
- Lagertha – Vikings
Back in the day before the patriarchy took over, women had almost equal rights. Here is a prime example, where we see Lagertha fight alongside men as a shieldmaiden. Not only is she a fierce warrior, but she is an incredible mother and supportive wife. She is basically an all-rounder. Once again highlighting the point that women are not so two-dimensional.
- Eowyn – Lord of the Rings
Eowyn is by far my favourite character in Lord of the Rings. Although she is rejected by the man she longs for, she moves on. She doesn’t mope and dwell on it. Instead she pretty much saves the day. “I am no man!” The best line in the trilogy, it pretty much gives me goosebumps every time I watch that scene.
- Daenerys Targaryen – Game of Thrones
Dany has been through a lot over the past four seasons and even more in the books. She loses people she loves, however she strives onwards to claim her rightful place on the throne. In doing so she saves thousands of people and is seen as a liberator. In the male centred world of Westeros, Dany is one of the few females who does not have to use her femininity and sexuality to get her way. If she doesn’t win the Iron Throne by the end I will cry.
- Hermione Granger – Harry Potter
Most of us grew up with Harry Potter, be it the books or the films. Hermione was an integral part of my childhood and an amazing role model for me. She incorporates brains, strength and courage. Unlike a few of the females on this list she does not use physical strength to get her way. However she is still leaps ahead of the boys. Honestly, without her Ron and Harry would probably be dead.
This list hopefully shows a better range of female characters rather than Ana Steele or heaven forbid, Bella Swan. Altogether I feel this list shows us women are not defined by beauty or the men they get with. Women aren’t just two dimensional characters to survive as the man’s love interest, heart breaker, or to simply sit in the background and look pretty. It’s 2015 girls, let’s represent.