Feminism is the support of equality political, social, cultural and economic rights between the sexes. It was a big word in pop culture this year, churning hashtags and celebrities to ally themselves with feminism. Television is no exception. It’s the place to go when you want to find compelling women and female characters on the screen (though there could always be more powerful women on my TV). This year had some of the best feminist characters in recent memory. Let’s celebrate them.
Claire Randall/Fraser, Outlander
Claire Randall, or later Claire Fraser, was your ordinary English World War II nurse taking a honeymoon with her husband in the Scottish Highlands before being sent back in time to the 18th century. Claire is a triumph of feminist ideals—independent, headstrong, sexual and demanding equality in a time when there was anything but.
Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project
isn’t afraid to show that Mindy Lahiri is the pinnacle of self-absorbed, materialistic rom-com culture all the while she’s kicking ass as a woman of color in the OB/GYN field.
Clarke Griffin, The 100
The leader of “The 100” teens sent down from space to test Earth’s survival is a pragmatic, compassionate and wonderfully flawed leader just trying to keep everyone alive. What Would Clarke Do? Probably anything and everything she wants to.
Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report
The GamerGate movement—which is often seen as a misogynistic attack on female gamers—idolized Stephen Colbert’s fictional alter ego on The Colbert Report
. Targeted journalist Anita Sarkeesian came on the show to talk feminism, gaming and misogyny and asked Stephen Colbert if he believed women should have equal rights to this men and fight for those rights, he declared himself as a feminist.
Click here for the full list!
Note: while there are many other feminist characters, we have selected one from each show to represent them. This means omitting favorites like Ron Swanson and many of the ladies from Game of Thrones. Also, I had difficulty determining many male feminists on shows where there were not amazing female feminists. So there are plenty more male feminists out there, but according to these rules, they had to be on different shows. Thanks!