I’ve been frustrated over the past couple of years. I see new TV shows and movies come out and I keep asking, “where are the good females?” “Where are the role models for young women?” I saw a movie with a woman who was a total jerk to men and other women. I saw a TV show that had male actors and has progressively fired them all and replaced them with more women as if women and men can’t work together.
But it’s not like there aren’t good female characters out there, but I blame the modern movie and TV industry for ruining our image.
For example, I once watched a video essay about Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. (I’ll link it here.) Basically it says that book Hermione is a great role model for young women. She has big teeth. She’s smart. She’s bossy. She has a big heart. She loses her head under pressure. She perseveres through diversity. See, she’s broken, but she longs to and does improve herself. And, she’s equal to Ron and Harry. But movie Hermione is perfect. She never loses her cool. All people love her. And she continually makes a mockery of Ron saying that women are not equal to men; they are superior.
If you want a good TV show with a good female character and a good role model for your young girls, watch Lois and Clark the New Adventures of Superman. (Find it here.) Lois isn’t perfect, but she’s strong, great at her job, beautiful, top of her field, and knows how to submit to Clark (when it’s time – spoiler).
If you want a good movie with a strong female lead and powerhouse, watch the newest Wonder Woman.
If you want good books (emphasis on books – not all visual versions of these ladies are well portrayed) for your young girls to have someone to follow, I have a few suggestions. (And as C.S. Lewis said, if you can’t read a children’s book when you’re old, it’s not worth reading when you’re young, so you can read these books, too.)
1) Anne Shirley
Anne Shirley (or Anne of Green Gables) is a wonderful character full of imagination and growth and ambition and vocabulary. (Find her series here.) She doesn’t let people push her around, but she’s teachable. She has a hot-head that gets her into trouble, but she’s humble and learns from her mistakes. She learns and grows and adapts and doesn’t let diversity stop her – but she isn’t rude and overpowering and in-compassionate. You’ll laugh with her. You’ll cry with her. You’ll love with her. Read about Anne.
2) Elsie Dinsmore
Elsie Dinsmore is a character in her own book series that not many people have heard about. (Find the first book here.) She lives on a plantation just before and after the Civil War. The book series starts with her as a child and moves into her being a mother. She is a strong Christian girl and woman whose faith moves mountains and the lives of those around her. She invites those around her one step closer to Jesus, just like Jesus did, and just like you can do. Read about Elsie.
3) Jo March
Jo March loves adventure. Jo March can’t be tamed. Jo March has failures. Jo March has successes. And Jo March knows who she is. Jo March is a Little Woman with a big heart. (Find her story here.) I love Jo March and I wanted to be her growing up. But, I am glad to be like her sister Beth in my adulthood. Read about Jo and Beth and Amy and Meg and see which sister you’re more like. Then see which sister you’d like to be like. Then work to be like Jesus and I’m sure the best qualities of all the sisters will shine through.
You see, these women aren’t perfect. A lot of them don’t even know Jesus. But I learned a lot from them, and as a young person, they really helped shape me into a woman who loves Jesus, people, adventure, imagination, and moving mountains.
Share with me who are your favorite female characters?