Are the powerful woman characters on TV really such great examples of strength?
I’ve recently been invited to join a social media initiative headed by a partnership between SheKnows/BlogHer and PRI that focuses on talking more about women in the news and sharing their stories. The hashtag for this campaign is #womenslives, so you’ll likely be seeing this quite a bit on my Twitter feed.Not every powerful female character on TV is a good example. Here are the best ones. #WomensLives Click To Tweet
I decided to make my first post about powerful women on TV and whether they’re good examples. Really, this is mostly a space to complain about Olivia Pope on Scandal, but I’ll throw in a few other characters as contrasts and discussion points. (Note: SPOILERS up to the most recent episodes of Scandal, Homeland, Walking Dead, and The 100.) If you like anything in this post, you can just highlight it and automatically share it on Twitter or Facebook!
Olivia Pope is NOT a powerful woman
On Scandal, Olivia Pope is presented as a very powerful character, flanked by very powerful men. TV commercials tout her as powerful, as a great example to women. But she’s not. In fact, my husband and I both get pretty annoyed at just how weak this “powerful” character is. She’s in an emotionally abusive relationship/affair with President Fitz. The show tries to make it look like a sweet “Romeo & Juliet” romance. But really, Fitz just abuses her. He doesn’t want her when he can have her. And the moment she pulls away from him, he suddenly wants her back (so he can abuse her some more.) For him, it’s all about power and control and she is his pawn. But woe on the world if he should lose his plaything.
The show tries to represent Olivia as being powerful because powerful men want to be with her. But really, I think they’re only with her because they can smell weakness.Olivia Pope on #Scandal isn't a great example of strength. #WomensLives Click To Tweet
This is a huge pet peeve of mine (even though, admittedly, I enjoy the show and watch it…) I just keep waiting for the day when the writers will turn her into being the truly powerful woman that they pretend she already is.
Oh, and Carrie Mathison isn’t powerful either.
Sorry, but just no. After Season 1, when she just couldn’t let Brody go and put her job first… Sure, a lot of times she was shown as being right against all odds. But really, I feel like it was more luck. Maybe with Brody out of the picture now, she’ll get stronger…
So who are some truly strong women character on TV?
Well, there’s Carol from The Walking Dead:Want a strong female example on TV? Consider Carol from #TheWalkingDead. #WomensLives Click To Tweet
She’s a complete bad-ass and the show did a great job of showing real character growth over the seasons. She started out being a scared woman who only escaped from her abusive husband because a zombie killed him. She’d never held a gun and was scared to use it. Fast forward to this season, when she single handedly rescued EVERYONE from Terminus and burned the place to the ground. Oh, and let’s not forget that she’s not dependent on any man or woman to save her. Remember when Rick kicked her out of the group? She survived just fine on her own (in fact, even better than they did as a group.) She’s arguably the most bad-ass character on the entire show.
Carol is a great example of how any woman (or man for that matter) can rise above their past and become powerful and freaking amazing.
Next, we have The 100.
Seriously, this show is pretty much ALL about powerful women, and most of them are just barely over 18. All of them survived a very formidable Earth and came out like warriors.#The100 is full of strong, bad-ass female characters. #WomensLives Click To Tweet
We’ve got Clarke, who does what has to be done no matter how painful it is. She’s forged alliances with the Grounders and maintained her leadership role even when the adults returned. I like Octavia even better. She thinks for herself and is training to be an amazing, kick-ass fighter. She’s aligned herself with a Grounder but doesn’t shirk into nothingness when he’s not there by her side. And let’s not forget Raven. The poor girl has lost use of her leg, watched her longtime boyfriend leave her for Clarke, and dealt with tons of other terrible things. But she keeps doing her job and keeps strong, no matter what. (And even though this post’s about the women, I don’t want to ignore that the male characters are also very strong too. Like Bellamy and Jaha.)
Who do you think is the strongest female character on TV right now? Please leave a comment below and let me know who I missed! There are so many more that I could talk about. The point is – strength isn’t about being associated with strong people. It’s about who you are on the inside and whether you can stand up for yourself and those you love. 🙂If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to the blog below. 🙂