We’ve already discussed how there are too few women writing for TV and movies, and how that makes it challenging to find worthwhile women to watch. Even when there are women on television, they’re often the kind of cloying and annoying characters that make too many compromises, or are possessed with stereotypical flaws that allow them to be palatable to viewers at home (Liz Lemon, I’m looking at you). Or worse, they serve as simply foils or disposable love interests for the show’s male protagonists.
So it’s refreshing when there’s actually a smart, well-written, complex female character on a show. Here are 11 of our favorites (plus an honorable mention). But listen, we can’t watch all the TV (we’ve tried, trust us, we’ve tried). So we’re looking to you to tell us what lady characters don’t make you want to wretch. Tell us in the comments.
I admit, I used to subscribe to The Economist. I let the issues pile up, promising I’d get to them eventually, whenever I felt like reading pretentious, dry and humorless reading on world affairs. But that day never really came. And so after about a year, my subscription ran out, and I traded it in for a sub to The New Yorker, which I happily devour each week. When I saw this delightful little pamphlet put out by the mag’s clearly-misguided marketing team, it only further confirmed my decision to get the eff away from the First World Order boy’s club that seems to be running the place. “Why should women be reading The Economist?” it queries, and answers, “They shouldn’t.” Instead! “Accomplished, influential people should read us. People like you.” Which of course, assumes that women couldn’tpossibly be accomplished or influential. (Ladies! I know, right?) Oh, old guard, you really got us there. A better question might be ,”Why should anyone be readingThe Economist?” Because obviously, they really, really shouldn’t.
A new study done at Pennsylvania State University found that hormones may play a role in women’s carer choices. A group of 125 men and women between the ages of 9 and 26 were asked to rank careers in order of interest. Women with high levels of the male hormone androgen tended to prefer professions such as carpenter, pilot, scientist — the same as the men who participated in the study — while women with lower levels of androgens were interested in more interpersonal careers such as teacher, social worker, or musician. Although scientists are still unclear about exactly how these hormones affect our brains, this information is useful in enticing more of us to pursue careers in science and technology — play up the interpersonal aspect and we will flock. [Live Science] Keep reading »
Another day, another affliction that women suffer from. Today it’s Midlife Mirror Angst Syndrome which, according to a new study, is a syndrome that 90 percent of women in their 40s and 50s suffer from. It is a glorified way of saying that most middle-aged women hate what they see when they look in the mirror because they are old. Oh, and society is ageist in case you weren’t aware.
Changes wrought by age, combined with a youth-obsessed fashion industry, led to a dramatic drop in body confidence for women the older they get — resulting in Midlife Mirror Angst Syndrome … There’s no psychological underpinning for this, but the fact remains that at midlife, women can feel invisible — or at worse, unattractive.
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The androgynous look isn’t just a thing that popped up in the 1970s and comes back in vogue every few years. Apparently, it’s an evolutionary fact. Researchers at North Carolina State University (go Wolfpack!) studied Spanish and Portuguese skulls from now, as well as hundreds dating back all the way to 16th century. And it looks like over time, male and female skulls have come to look much more similar than they used to. Why? Apparently while both genders’ skulls looked different, the female skulls showed the most change. Over time, women’s facial structures have gotten larger, probably because of better nutrition. Ahhh, so this explains the Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber phenomenon. [Newser, Science Daily] Keep reading »
What will become of me? Are outcast or grandmother my only options? Ack. It’s just that Path A seems so much more fun … until you hit 40. Damn that bad literature! [The Gloss] Keep reading »
In two weeks, I am turning 32. My 20s are officially long gone. I was thinking the other day about what I was up to when I was 21. I immediately thought of Marcy, an acting teacher I had at the time. Marcy was 39 and I remember her seeming so much older and wiser than me. I would go to class and cry about dudes or not knowing what to do with my life or being broke and Marcy would do the same thing every time. She would pat me on the back and say in her nasally voice, “Nobody tells you your 20s are going to suck.” While I do wish she had expounded a bit, her words made me feel better in a strange way. Just knowing that things would get better, well, not better exactly, just easier to deal with, was a relief. In your 20s, you don’t know what you don’t know and you’re struggling to figure it out. Everyone is. As I march bravely forward into my 30s, here’s what I wish Marcy would have told me. Keep reading »
I am 25 years old with lots of girlfriends and a sizable collection of purses. Reunions with old pals usually involve squeals or hefty grins and, yes, cute bunnies make me go “aww.” For some girls, these moments of elated feminine energy are non-stop, but I can only take small doses.
A former tomboy, at 13 I was jumping in mud puddles (still am), and at 18, I was wearing torn jeans with paint spots. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I learned how to walk in high heels. Keep reading »
Ladies — always mucking up the important film narratives for the dudes, am I right? That’s why this extensive “female character flowchart” is so handy: You can easily figure out which terribly cliched movie trope you’re watching by simply consulting the chart. Is she a “psycho feminist lesbian amazon” or a “happy single teenage mom”? A “mama bear” or a “manic pixie dream girl”? Consult the chart and find out! [Overthinking It] Keep reading »