All Women's Talk

9 Strong Female Characters on TV Who Are Truly Inspiring ...

By Shannon

I always enjoy reading about strong female characters on TV. My major in college was communication, with a focus on writing. I've read and seen a lot of shows that make women either look like sex objects or the damsel in distress. There's nothing saying that strong female characters on TV can't be sexy or vulnerable, but I find it very empowering to see women who are not afraid to stand up for themselves. To that end, here are just a few of the examples I've found. Even if they're not the kicking butt ninja types, there's a sense of quiet determination all of these women have that anyone can learn from.

1 Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen, Game of ThronesNo list of strong female characters on TV would be complete without Daenerys Targaryen. She went from a meek, scared teenager with a sadistic older brother to being the wife of a king, to the leader of her own empire. She climbed up onto her husband's funeral pyre to hatch three dragons, whereas I get scared on the Ferris wheel. She's gone from being cowed by her brother to being a person you definitely do not want to mess with.

2 Temperance Brennan, Bones

Temperance Brennan, BonesThere's no denying that she's one of the most intelligent women on TV today. Between being abandoned by her parents at a young age and going on some pretty rough expeditions (she was once attacked by a band of guerrillas in Indonesia), she's built a very tough exterior. She may rub some people the wrong way at first, but she's grown over the course of the series enough to learn that things don't have to be rational to be worth having.

3 Callie Torres, Grey's Anatomy

Callie Torres, Grey's AnatomyThis talented orthopedic surgeon has really been through the wringer. She's been cheated on by not one but two spouses, both male and female. She's been through a car wreck that could have killed her, been disowned by her father (who has since come back into her life) and lost the father of her child. As if this train wreck weren't enough, a former patient recently sued her for malpractice! She's come through all of this with flying colors and still manages to a good mom to Sofia. This woman is amazing inside and out.

4 Emily Thorne, Revenge

Emily Thorne, RevengeI can't even begin to imagine what it was like growing up the way she did. Her father went to prison for a crime he didn't commit, which essentially robbed them both of any sort of decent life they may have had. Now, she's back, posing as someone else and slowly taking down the people she deems responsible. Say what you want about vengeance; you have to admit that the way she's destroying her father's enemies one at a time shows a lot of cunning.

5 Arya Stark, Game of Thrones

Arya Stark, Game of ThronesI'm including her in my list of strong women because, not only is she a total badass, she's only about 12. I'm guessing at her age here; her older sister Sansa was 14 in season 3, and Arya is at least two or three years younger. When I was that age, my biggest concern was whether or not the boy next door liked me. She, on the other hand, has had to watch her father beheaded, avenge half her family and pose as a page boy to gather intel on her family's enemies. If she's this tough now, imagine how she'll be as an adult. Wow.

6 Olivia Pope, Scandal

Olivia Pope, ScandalThe thing I like most about this character is that she's relatable. We may not be having an affair with a married President or spend our days fixing people's reputations, but we can probably all relate to wanting a simple life with the person we love. She's tough but allows herself to cry and show emotion in a way that makes her a bit more real.

7 Peggy Olson, Mad Men

Peggy Olson, Mad MenShe literally clawed her way up from the bottom - from the secretary pool to the boardroom to a top spot in her firm. Tenacious and smart, she's learning to navigate through a man's world in a way that was practically impossible in 1960's New York. Yes, the glass ceiling was and is definitely there, but she didn't let that stop her and had no problem asking for what she felt was due. Considering that many women still don't get paid as much as a man doing the same job, it took a lot of guts to ask for that. Even if she didn't get it, she still gets props for asking. A lot of us (me included) wouldn't have.

8 Santana Lopez, Glee

Santana Lopez, GleeShe may come off as coarse, but beneath that harsh exterior is a woman with a tough spirit and fierce loyalty to the people she cares about. She went head-to-head with her roommate and friend Rachel's shady boyfriend in a way you wouldn't expect from someone who speaks as roughly as she does. She's one of those people whose actions you have to pay attention to more than their words. If nothing else, you know where you stand.

9 Meredith Grey, Grey's Anatomy

Meredith Grey, Grey's AnatomyBeing very well aware that her mother didn't want her, Meredith has managed to learn to forge relationships while becoming a successful surgeon. Her relationships with McDreamy and her person Cristina have definitely had their ups and downs, but they've always found their way back to good. She's survived a drowning, performed surgery on conjoined twins and given her estranged father a piece of her liver. In contrast, I can barely resist using my ex's picture as a dartboard. But then, I'd probably be more generous if I got to kiss Patrick Dempsey every day.

I know I've left some people out, but there are just too many to name in one article! With all of the trash we see paraded on TV, it's nice to know that there's at least something positive out there. What do you think? Are there any characters you see differently? Who have I left out?

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