2011’s Badass Females

Popular culture has always had issues with creating the right sort of female. Either she’s too meek and mild to be considered anything but a damsel in distress, or she’s so extremely independent and feisty that she’s off-putting or unrealistic. 2011 has presented us with some great examples of balanced, realistic, and fabulous women in our cinema, television, and even comic books.

My favorite badass heroine of the year is most definitely Sif from Thor. Sif (played by Jaimie Alexander) is a warrior goddess who fights beside Thor and the Warrior’s Three. She is never regarded as less than her male counterparts and never put in a situation where she can be compared to them simply by her sex. She is just another member of the all-star team who happens to be stunningly gorgeous and supremely female.

Another great girl in film this year is the now famous Lisbeth Salander (played by Rooney Mara) from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She is fiercely independent but can be a team player just as well if the situation calls for it. She is unique, somewhat introverted, but never particularly meek. She lives her life the way she wants to and can fight back against her foes without coming off as overtly hot-headed or too tough. Lisbeth is a complex and interesting character that will do wonders for the collection of cinema personalities.

As for television, 2011 presented us with the new show Charlie’s Angels. Although the show didn’t last past 8 episodes, it brought the famous angel trio back to life in a new (and fashionable) way. Just like their predecessors, Rachael Taylor, Annie Ilonzeh, and Minka Kelly were beautiful butt-kicking babes who showed how you can be feminine and tough without falling into any ridiculous stereotypes.

2011 television also brought us HBO’s Game of Thrones which showcased the queenly Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Showtime’s The Borgia’s which features the seemingly innocent Lucrezia Borgia (Holliday Grainger). Both females start off as the typical political pawn, moved only at the will of their male family members. But as each show progresses, we see both Daenerys and Lucrezia grow into their own and move from innocent girl to wisely and tough women. I’m hoping 2012 can give us even more to love about these two.

The world of comics also got themselves a new superhero this year. DC’s hotly contested reboot included a new series with the mysterious new super heroine of Gotham City, Batwoman. Batwoman (Kate Kane) is a tough-as-nails ex-military lesbian crime fighter. With her intense training regime and slinky black and red uniform, Kane has wiggled her way into the respected bat family. Writing a lesbian superhero character could have been tricky and easily fallen into over-compensated role, but Kane comes off as a real person with multiple facets and a will to fight evil.

2011 has shown a host of admirable female characters in film, television, and literature. This article has only discussed some of my favorites, but there were plenty more three-dimensional women to be examined this past year. I’m happy to say that 2011 has made me proud and I can only hope that 2012 does the same.