What does Leslie Knope, Emma Swan, Liv Moore and Laurel Lance all have in common? They all kick some serious butt! Whether it be fighting for a park that needs to be built, slaying dragons and venturing the depths of Hell, being a zombie and saving others, or being an attorney who wants to make a difference, these four women have defied gender roles on TV.
Without a doubt, Leslie Knope is the best politician, like ever. (Leslie Knope 2016!) What I love about Leslie is that she knows what she wants and will do anything to obtain that goal. She works in government which is a male dominated workforce. However, she ignores the constant sexism of her colleagues and gets things done. Her confidence never wavers even when the whole town was trying to get her to quit the city council. But what did Leslie do? She ran again. Her quirkiness is admirable because it’s what makes her so unique and strong. I also love how Leslie follows her dreams even when no one else believes her. “I am big enough to admit that I am often inspired by myself.”
Emma Swan (Once Upon a Time)
Surprise, I’m talking about Emma Swan again. I know I do a lot, but she is an excellent example of a strong fictional woman. She’s slain a dragon, dueled a sword-wielding pirate (she’s probably sorry for punching you, Hook), broke a curse, battled being a Dark One, journeyed into Hell, and took a risk at love. This is a woman who grew up alone and thought she would never amount to anything. But here she is bringing back happy endings while also fighting for her own. *SPOILER* She may be seeing visions that her fate is to die, but Emma Swan has proven time and time again that she doesn’t give up. Besides winning a few duels, she’s torn down her walls for love. She thought being in love was useless, but she proves that love is strength. Being in love does not make you weak, nor does being vulnerable. Emma Swan keeps defying gender norms and proving women don’t need to be rescued by a man.
Liv Moore isn’t your typical superhero. For one, she’s a zombie. However, instead of giving into zombieism (is that a word? It is now), she uses it to her advantage. She doesn’t kill for sport like other zombies. Instead, she decides to help solve the murders in Seattle all while staying true to herself. Of course, she was totally bummed when she became a zombie, but she chose to live her life still. No, it wouldn’t be the same or easy, but for Liv, giving up was not an option. Not only can she give a good punch, throw sass in your face, but she also is a super loyal and caring friend. Which are strong qualities to have. Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, but Liv knows that giving up is not something she intends to do.
So I may only be on episode 6 of season 1 (I’m a slow binge watcher), but Laurel Lance is a force to be reckoned with. She’s an attorney who has no problems getting her hands dirty for the sake of justice. She also throws a mean punch. If it hadn’t been for her, Oliver and Tommy would have gotten their butts beat by a snooty club owner. Girl power at its finest. Not only can she kick some ass, but she’s also incredibly smart and uses it to her advantage. She’s passionate about her job, even when things aren’t always that easy. However, she believes in the power of helping people even when there’s a high chance of danger. Laurel has no problem defending her friends either.