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International Women's Day 2016

March 8th is International Women's Day, a day celebrating women's achievements while raising awareness of the work which remains to be done around the world to ensure true equality...


Last year I wrote about L.T. Meade, feminist activist and the godmother of modern girls' fiction. This year I'm looking at fiction once more - here is a list of the female characters who, though perhaps not always the most suitable role models, made a big impact on my formative years.

Dr Jessica Holm
Okay, so this is cheating because, obviously, Dr Holm isn't fictional. But. As a very young child my only goal in life was to be a squirrel. My mum taped the Daylight Robbery 2 documentary on squirrels presented by Dr Holm off the TV, and I watched it every day (sometimes multiple times a day) for months. For years this basically made Dr Holm the only woman I was familiar with, other than school teachers, who had been to university and had a career. So, Dr Holm, I salute you!


Captain Janeway
Captain Kathryn Janeway
She was Captain of a spaceship. Need I say more??


Laura Lancing (Brittas Empire)
Laura, due to Brittas' incompetence, essentially ran Whitby Leisure Centre. She was no-nonsense and capable. And super stylish!


Rizzo
Betty Rizzo (Grease)
Rizzo was the bad girl and, yet, unlike some girls we could mention she wasn't about to overhaul her personality to get a man or make friends. 


Mulan
Mulan
I was ten when Mulan came out and felt I was getting a little old for Disney, but I still watched it over and over. (And still have the Mulan doll I received that Christmas.) She was strong enough not to care about tradition if it came between her and the things she held dear. ♥


Hole movie poster
Liz Dunn (Hole)
Hole is a 2001 British thriller about a group of teens who get stuck in an old underground war shelter, and is best known today for starring a young Keira Knightley. But I was fascinated with the character of Liz Dunn - the only survivor. She's clever, manipulative, evil. And unlike any other female character I could remember, she gets away with it.


Ayla
Ayla (Earth's Children)
I first read Clan of the Cavebear at about 13 and Ayla immediately became one of my heroines. She was flawed and vulnerable, and yet it seemed that there was nothing she couldn't do. Ayla might be the sparkliest Sue ever to have sparkled, but she does it fabulously!


Dr Michaela Quinn
Dr Michaela Quinn
What a woman. Not only was she a boss lady doctor in Victorian times, she also supported all the lovely lefty liberal ideas I held so dear. It might even be the very first episode where she tells Colette that she ought never to let being a woman be an excuse for not trying her best. That always stayed with me.



Which fictional female characters have most inspired you?




For more like this, check out:
Masculinity in Crisis

Comments

  1. I actually looked back at this myself a few weeks ago. Rory Gilmore, Precious Ramotswe, Hermione Granger, Professor McGonagall, Sally Fletcher are all on my list.

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    1. Awesome choices! I think Hermione has had a big impact on so many lives, such a great character. :)

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  2. Oh I always used to watched dr Quinn when I was a kid! Loved her! x

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  3. You have lots of great choices. It is quite ironic I am watching Charlie's Angels at this very moment. Solving crimes in a bikini, ha ha!

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    1. The problem is, where would you keep your cuffs??

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  4. I'd forgotten all about the Brittas Empire! I absolutely love that show! #thelist

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  5. I love rizzo, she is my favourite character from grease! I think I would have to include Buffy the Vampire Slayer I am rewatching all series on syfy right now #KCACOLS

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    1. I used to love Buffy, I was distraught if I missed an episode! x

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  6. Back again from #KCACOLS - still loving Laura Lancing! #KCACOLS

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  7. Great choices. I was a big fan of the brittas empire too so I would say Laura Lancing is a good one and I think you are never too old for Disney!! My kids would say that Frozen has two inspirational female characters! #KCACOLS

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    1. As soon as my daughter was born I started collecting the DVDs - I'll be gutted if she doesn't like Disney now! x

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  8. Love your choices - especially Rizzo! More recently I would add Lisbeth from the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. #KCACOLS

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    1. I still haven't read those! My 'to read' list is a few miles long... :)

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  9. Fantastic choices of women great post Thanks for linking to the #binkylinky

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  10. Great post Thanks for linking to the #binkylinky

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  11. Fab list of women! I used to love watching The Brittas empire. For me, Xena from Xena Warrior Princess springs to mind and I also loved watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer too!

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again next week X

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  12. I enjoyed reading your list - I don't know a lot of those characters so I will have to look them up and do some watching!
    Mine would be Trillian from Hitchhiker's. She never just sat around waiting for stuff to happen to her - a real go-getter.
    x Alice
    #kcacols

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    1. Good choice! I love Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy x

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  13. Ooooh, another Dr. Quinn fan! I loved that show when it was first on and even went back a few years ago and watched it all again, from the library! #FridayFrivolity

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    1. I love it! I didn't see it until about 2006 - I learned to set the VCR just so I could tape it while I was at school! :)

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  14. Ha this brilliant, nice to read something a bit different! Mulan is definitely underrated its a great Disney. I love the Hole movie it's very clever #fabfridaypost

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    1. I was so obsessed with Mulan, I've seen it so many times! x

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  15. Brilliant list!! Love that you have Laura from Brittas Empire! Great list. And I've not seen Dr. Quinn in ages! #KCACOLS

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  16. (Sorry if you get two comments - it SEEMED to delete it the first time I tried to submit!) I haven't seen most of these, but loved The Brittas Empire. Never considered this question! Buffy! Always loved Dinah from The Demon Headmaster. Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Winona Ryder's character in Edward Scissorhands. Mildred Hubble! #KCACOLS

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    1. Mildred Hubble! I was such a huge Worst Witch fan! And I loved The Demon Headmaster too :)

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  17. Brilliant idea - I always wanted to be one of the Famous Five and was Sabrina from Charlies Angels!! #KCACOLS

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    1. I used to spend so many hours playing at being in the Famous Five!! x

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  18. Dr Quinn! I loved that one. :P Going to have to watch Hole, it sounds intriguing! :) Off to read your Meade post... I love the books of hers I have on my shelves but am embarassed to say I know very little about her...

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