Friday, June 5, 2009

Feminist Television Characters (with clips!)

Jezebel just published a list of 20 feminist television characters and, although their list is great, they also lament that 1) most of the characters aren't that recent and 2) they're almost all white. While the latter is pretty much true of television in general--with a few exceptions--I thought I could still find a few more women from the 1990s and the 2000s to add to the list...especially a few more women of color.

Here are five more feminist television characters--three of whom are of color--just off the top of my head (and in order of appearance). Tell me more in the comments (Buffy and Xena are already givens)!

1. Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad), The Cosby Show (1984-1992)

2. Winifred 'Freddie' Brooks (Cree Summer), A Different World (1987-1993)

(Freddie comes in around 3:30 or so, but the whole clip's interesting -- this episode dealt with domestic violence. A Different World might be one of my favorite sitcoms of all time.)

3. B'Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson), Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001)

I couldn't find a good, representative clip of her awesomeness (although, admittedly, they tamed her down a good bit over Voyager's seven seasons), but you should watch this fun little tribute video for the women of Voyager (Torres, Captain Janeway, and Seven) set to Salt-N-Pepa's "Ain't Nuthin' But A She Thing." It's priceless!

4. C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney), The West Wing (1999-2006)

Probably not the most representative clip, but I sadly, don't have all day to troll around Youtube! ;-) However, speaking of Janney, Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood just posted a great interview with her the other day.

5. Sarah Connor (Lena Headey), Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009)

Again, a compilation (made by folks who want to save the recently-canceled show). Still, so true...

That's all for now, folks! Seriously, though, add to Jezebel's list...and to mine.

Update: Check out the excellent additions (also with clips) by Melissa over at Women and Hollywood.


Unknown said...

Starbuck and Laura Roslin from "Battlestar Galactica."

Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) was also in the short-lived revival of "The Bionic Woman" (can't remember her character's name) and made a helluva bigger impression (at least on me) than the so-called "star."

Eliza Dushku from "Dollhouse," although one could call that entire premise problematical, to say the least.

vpass said...

Love you picks! How could they miss Claire Huxtable! I though I'd share my favorite West Wing feminist moment, when Josh calls C.J. a "Paranoid Berkley shiksa feminista":