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1%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread:²%% Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread.²%%²[[quoteright:275:[[Series/XenaWarriorPrincess]]]]²[[caption-width-right:275:In a time of ancient Gods, Warlords, and Kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle.]]²²->''"If I made ''Buffy the Lesbian Separatist'' [as] a series of lectures on Creator/{{PBS}} on why there should be feminism, no one would be coming to the party, and it would be boring. The idea of changing culture is important to me, and it can only be done in a popular medium."''²-->-- '''Creator/JossWhedon'''²²About half the population is female, yet the chances are that any summer blockbuster you can name will have [[MenActWomenAre male heroes saving the world and women as]] their [[DamselInDistress hapless]] LoveInterests--if they even feature at all. And if they do they'll probably only be minor characters [[UsefulNotes/TheBechdelTest talking about the men in their lives]]. This invites a question: ''Why?''²²Well, because commercial fiction is produced to make money, and, for a variety of reasons, women have either lacked disposable income or have been more likely to pay for a story about a man than the other way round. Publishing costs money, and writers have to make a living, so they need to show profitability to get their works made. Thus, the English-speaking world's growing focus on women as equal partners has been slow to translate into fiction in which women figure as main characters. Adventure-oriented genre works, including fantasy and science fiction, have been even slower in that respect than romantic, comic, domestic, or "literary" stories. ²²But there are always exceptions, and from those exceptions, we get Feminist Fantasy. ²²At its most basic, this just means science fiction or fantasy whose main character is a woman who is the active center of her own story, making things happen. Maybe we just like seeing a woman save the world from aliens sometimes… ²²These stories can, but don't have to, contain other feminist elements:²* Some stories point out the ever-present but oft-ignored gender inequalities in a StandardFantasySetting. Conversely, "escapist" stories in which equality is simply taken for granted are good for a dose of optimism and expanding the idea of the possible.²* Science fiction and fantasy are suited to examining sexual issues and gender-relations by depicting alternative societies (maybe a LadyLand or the result of a {{Gendercide}}) or species with [[BizarreAlienBiology unfamiliar sexual biology]], or by subjecting characters to {{Gender Bend|er}}ing.²* Another type of Feminist Fantasy is a gender-flipped or non-sexist [[TwiceToldTale retelling of an old story]], often [[FracturedFairyTale 19th-century "fairy tales" or folk tales]]. These are popular and seem to be the way this generation of Disney princesses is turning out -- see ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'' and ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog''. The former is self-aware and sends up the traditional Franchise/DisneyPrincess archetype, and the latter is about a hardworking girl who wants to be a businesswoman and ends up with a guy and a tiara along the way. Both arguably advocate different ways to "be female". ''Enchanted'' celebrates Giselle's idealism and the qualities that make her a "traditional" Disney princess while ''The Princess and the Frog'' contrasts Tiana's mature independence with her more girlish friend Charlotte.²²²See also MostWritersAreMale, MostFanficWritersAreGirls, and MostWritersAreWriters.²²----²!!Examples:²²[[foldercontrol]]²²[[folder:Anime and Manga]]²* ''Manga/{{Gokusen}}'' is about a female Yakuza heiress who teaches in an all-boy's school for delinquents, trying to balance keeping her students in check like a drill Sargent, kicking all kinds of ass, saving the handsome ''DudeInDistress'' Shin, and yakuza politics. The live-action series… not so much.²* ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' is probably the most feminist anime in existence. It explores the classical fairytale motifs of the Heroic Prince that rescues a princess, the contrast of the innocent Princess and the mature Witch, and turns them completely on its head. It also deals with childhood and growing up, often in very dark and mature fashion. The heroine, Utena, dreams of becoming a Prince just like the one that once saved her as a child and battles to protect the mysterious Rose Bride, Anthy. It is surreal, and rarely is anything (or anyone) exactly what they seem. ²** Director Creator/KunihikoIkuhara's work as a whole tends to fall into this category, although ''Anime/YurikumaArashi'' may actually unseat ''Utena'' in terms of [[AuthorTract unbridled fury]] at the patriarchal structure of Japanese society, particularly in how it affects the way that women, especially lesbians, are portrayed in fictional media. Initially presented as a surreal fairy-tale take on the YuriGenre set in an all-female high school in a world where humans and bears have been separated by a massive Severance Wall, it rapidly becomes clear that not only does Ikuhara intend to [[DeconstructorFleet subvert and even deconstruct]] [[UnfortunateImplications the sexist and homophobic assumptions]] [[ValuesDissonance underlying many such works and tropes]], but to explore how the implicit and explicit condemnation of nonconformity (especially with love, sexuality and gender roles) adversely affects how individuals look at themselves and others. It's certainly [[MindScrew not the easiest nut to crack]], but the message and the passion behind it shines through regardless.²* Creator/HayaoMiyazaki identifies himself as a feminist, and the numerous films of Creator/StudioGhibli typically feature female protagonists that are brave, clever, and strong-willed. He is not fond of the cliche where the lead male and female characters must end up together and wants to show love in other forms (the only film of his with a typical boy-meets-girl love story is ''Anime/CastleInTheSky''). He is openly critical of {{Otaku}} culture and sexist portrayals of women in media, such as {{Moe}} characters. ²%%* ''Manga/{{Basara}}''²%%* ''Manga/PrincessKnight'': One of the first manga to tackle gender issues. [[FairForItsDay Was considered very feminist at its time, maybe not so much today]], but it is still highly influential and is even the ''first shoujo'' manga.²* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' has a strong focus on the feminine as a source of power, with the Princesses of various celestial bodies acting as the protectors of the universe. These powers are passed from mother to daughter, with WordOfGod explicitly stating that there is no current Sailor Earth because men cannot become Sailor Warriors. Tuxedo Mask, the Prince of Earth, is TheOneGuy of the group, and primarily there to provide support to the women rather than to rescue or protect them. Female sensuality and sexuality are subtly and respectfully explored in the series, avoiding equating [[IncorruptiblePurePureness purity]] with VirginPower as the heroine is both [[OnlyThePureOfHeart the purest of heart]] ''and'' intimate with her boyfriend. The relationship between Haruka and Michiru is portrayed without the typical fanservice related to lesbian couples, instead focusing on the strength of their devotion to each other. ²** The 20th-anniversary series, ''Anime/SailorMoonCrystal'', is even more blatant right in its OpeningTheme, ''Moon Pride''. ²--->''"We all have [[HeroicWillpower unshakeable wills]], we will fight on our own without leaving our destiny to a prince!"''\²''"We are not [[DamselInDistress helpless girls]] who need a man's protection."''²** The notable thing about the series, however, is that it doesn't go and present the path of an idealized 'super tomboy' as an alternative, but contains large amounts of pink and frills and unicorns... and turns them into symbols of cosmic power, generally avoiding the message that you have to fit into a certain "box". Sure, there's one tomboyish character, but she's not ''defined'' by that and gets intricate motivations and characterization. There's a princessy hopeless romantic, but also someone who wants to become a doctor. What really set the show apart (especially compared to the American cartoons of the time who just had a token smurfette, BettyAndVeronica or at best a TomboyAndGirlyGirl contrast where the character is completely defined by their possesion or lack of whatever "girlyness" is supposed to be) is that the various female characters have distinct, varied personalities not built around stereotypes related to their gender, but something that is sensibly related to the plot, such as the elemental powers associated with their planets. ²* ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' features a school girl battling magical creatures, taming said creatures, and then using them to expand her personal army. She becomes the Mistress of the Clow Cards not by beating Yue over the head with her staff but by attempting to befriend him. One reason (of many) that the dub is despised is that it did its best to downplay Sakura's role in the US broadcast and increase Syaoran's[[note]]To the point where it tried to make it look as though he was the main character.[[/note]] because it didn't think there was an audience for this sort of thing.[[note]]Along with fears that it would be perceived as reinforcing various female stereotypes.[[/note]] Sakura is still clearly the main character in other regions which received the Nelvana dub and did not have episodes cut, and the dub is in fact a FeministFantasy in its own way since it gives her a [[AdaptationPersonalityChange more tomboyish personality]] in a genre that primarily enforces Japanese perceptions of feminine gender roles.²* ''Anime/PrettyCure'' is a franchise that distinguishes itself from other MagicalGirl series through a strong focus on [[GoodOldFisticuffs physical fighting]] and each girl ''truly'' KickingAssInAllHerFinery. Expect to see girls in brightly-colored, frilly outfits smashing things with their fists and getting into fight scenes worthy of any Shounen series. ²* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' is a surreal tale set at a ballet school and centered around an old fairy tale being acted out. Ahiru takes on the role of Princess Tutu, and becomes a MagicalGirl that uses dance to free the missing shards of the Prince's heart. As the story unfolds and the true nature of events becomes clear, Ahiru must find a way to save Prince Mytho and [[ScrewDestiny defy]] the original tragic ending of the story. ²* ''Anime/PrincessNine'' is all about a team of teenage girls taking on the ''boys'' high school baseball tournament.²%%* ''Manga/SugarSugarRune''²* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', the biggest name in the MagicalGirlWarrior subgenre, takes a very subtle approach to its portrayal of women: it never, ever directly addresses the gender roles (or sexuality, for that matter), but looking at it from that perspective readily reveals that the main (all-female) cast masters both traditional feminine (home-keeping, family-building, children-raising) and masculine (money-earning, loved ones-protecting, and world-saving) tasks with equal proficiency.²* ''Manga/KamikazeKaitouJeanne'', which builds upon the story of UsefulNotes/JoanOfArc as its core. Maron is the reincarnation of Joan [[spoiler: and [[Literature/TheBible Eve]]]], and on a MissionFromGod to use her holy powers to track down and seal various demons. Because the items these demons hide in vanish after being sealed, she's mistaken as a PhantomThief and constantly on the run from the police. A skilled gymnast and acrobat, the majority of her attacks use feminine tools such as ribbons and flowers to fight the demons. ²* ''Shin Shirayuki-hime Densetsu {{Manga/Pretear}}'' (Pretear: The New Legend of Snow White) takes very loose inspiration from the fairy tale, only with seven handsome guys instead of dwarves. Himeno is approached by a group of warriors, who ask her to become the latest in a line of magical girls charged with protecting the world. As Pretear, Himeno posesses the power to destroy the monsters attempting to drain the [[LifeEnergy Leafe]] from the world, transforming with the aid of her Leafe Knights into various forms. Brave, energetic, and very much a {{Tomboy}}, Himeno struggles upon learning that should she lose hope, she will become the very thing she fights against. Her foe, [[DarkMagicalGirl Fenrir]], is in fact the previous Pretear who fell into despair. ²* ''Manga/TokyoMewMew'' is another MagicalGirl series that features a team of girls using magic and their fists to save Planet Earth from danger. Each girl is chosen to defend the planet from invading aliens, using powers derived from the DNA of endangered animals. ²* ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'': Often regarded as the the most well-known and oldest modern anime Feminist Fantasy, and has been cited as an influence on ''[[Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena Utena]]''; it follows Oscar, a noblewoman raised as a man in order to inherit her father's place as commander of the Palace Guard. Set prior to UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, Oscar is torn between class loyalty and her strong sense of justice, as well as the conflict between her gender and the militant life she leads.²* ''LightNovel/SaiunkokuMonogatari'' is a story about the aspiration of the female protagonist to be a government official in a male-dominated FantasyCounterpartCulture of ImperialChina and how she is working hard through skill and determination to achieve those dreams.²* Studio Creator/BeeTrain and its founder Creator/KoichiMashimo in particular are well-known in Japan for their very feminist stance. It is particularly evident in their GirlsWithGuns trilogy (''Anime/{{Noir}}'', ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'', and ''Anime/ElCazadorDeLaBruja''), which is all about strong women who make tough choices and kick ass in a dangerous world (though ''Noir'' is very light on the speculative aspect, mainly found in the [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower implausible fighting abilities]] of the main characters).²* ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'' stars an almost entirely female cast, all HalfHumanHybrid warriors that hunt the shape-shifting Youma. The woman are varied in both their personalities and appearances, with some being stunningly beautiful and some being downright unattractive. Beauty is [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished tarnished]] frequently, and the women are treated as powerful and determined warriors that form strong bonds or rivalries with each other. Fanservice is almost entirely absent, and what little nudity there is usually involves BodyHorror. ²* ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'', the groundbreaking {{Cyberpunk}} anime of the late 1980s. It focuses on the adventures of a [[FourTemperamentEnsemble team]] of female mercenaries in PoweredArmor called the Knight Sabers. Led by genius heiress Sylia Stringray, the team is composed of hard-rocking BikerBabe Priss, unlucky-in-love athlete Linna, and DitzyGenius hacker Nene. Using a soundtrack composed primarily of songs performed by Priss' [[FakeBand band]], it follows Sylia's quest to bring down corrupt corporation [[BigBad Genom]]. ²* ''Anime/KidouTenshiAngelicLayer'' is an interesting example, being created to target a male audience with its shounen TournamentArc theme. However, it stars a female protagonist in a role usually reserved for male leads and features a primarily female cast. The game Angelic Layer utilizes customized dolls to engage in duels, blending activities stereotypically reserved for one sex or the other (dress-up with dolls vs. action figures fighting) together into an exciting concept.²* ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'' is another shounen series starring a female protagonist, in this case FieryRedhead Lina Inverse. While she has the reputation of being the most powerful sorcerer around, that title actually belongs to her [[AloofBigBrother Aloof Big Sister]], Luna. She's also not a slouch with a sword, making her a powerful warrior-mage that repeatedly saves the world. (And has a tendency to blow things up, when provoked.) The cast, when traveling as a group, remains gender-balanced and hold their own in battle. The Lord of Nightmares, creator of the universe, is notably portrayed as a young woman. ²* ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' takes the quest to rescue a PrincessClassic, and throws multiple twists into the formula. When the magical kingdom of Cephiro is in danger, [[BarrierMaiden Princess]] [[DamselInDistress Emeraude]] summons three ordinary girls to undertake a grand quest. Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are the Magic Knights of legend, tasked with honing their magical powers through a series of trials in order to defeat [[BigBad Zagato]] and rescue the princess. [[spoiler: In reality, nothing is what it seems. Zagato is merely trying to ''protect'' the woman he [[StarCrossedLovers loves]], as Emeraude has summoned the knights to [[SuicideByCop kill her]] so a new Pillar can be chosen. They only learn the horrible truth after slaying Zagato, sending Emeraude into a murderous rage that threatens to completely destroy the world]].²* Legendary CyberPunk creator ''Creator/ShirowMasamune'' seems to be fond of strong female protagonists, as several of his influential works feature them.²** ''Franchise/GhostInTheShell'' stars Major Mototo Kusanagi, a cyborg police woman. ²** ''Manga/{{Appleseed}}'' stars a BattleCouple in the form of Deunan and her cyborg partner, Briareos. Extremely skilled fighters, they are recruited into a counter-terrorism squad. ²** ''Anime/DominionTankPolice'' stars {{Shorttank}} Leona Ozaki, a police officer that drives a customized tank to battle crime in a futuristic city.²* ''Anime/{{Patlabor}}'': Despite the series penchant for comedy, all of its female officers are portrayed as being capable and competent. [[TheProtagonist Noa Izumi]] starts off as a somewhat ditzy rookie cop, who gradually shapes up to become [=SVU2's=] best labor pilot. [[ColonelBadass Shinobu]] is the captain of [=SVU1=] and a ReasonableAuthorityFigure, while [[TheAce Kanuka]] is a hotshot NYPD officer, who's on loan to division 2. And finally, there's Takeo Kumagami, who serves as Kanuka's replacement after she ends her tenure and returns to The States.²* ''Anime/ElHazardTheMagnificentWorld'' features an entire cast of magically empowered females - from the 3 Priestesses of Mt. Moldune, to the two [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Demon Dolls:]] [[PersonOfMassDestruction Ifurita]] and [[ApocalypseMaiden Kalia]]. Also, both the ruling positions are held by Princess Rune Venus (of the Royal House of Roshtaria), and Queen Diva (ruler of the Buggrom Empire). So while Makoto is the protagonist, it's actually the ladies that're running the show, since he often has to rely on their powers, because [[NonActionGuy he doesn't know how to fight]].²* ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' has gone through numerous incarnations, but is invariably about the trope-naming LovelyAngels leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Kei and Yuri work for Worlds Welfare Work Association ("3WA"), a galactic troubleshooting agency that sends highly-skilled teams to deal with problems. Violently. While one of the most successful teams around, the Lovely Angels have been nicknamed the "Dirty Pair" due to the tendency of their missions to leave buildings, cities, and even an ''inhabited planet'' blown to smithereens. In some fans eyes, this is somewhat diminished by the standard uniform being a [[BareYourMidriff Midriff-baring]] cleavage-exposing halter top and hot pants which are regularly the [[MaleGaze camera's focus]]. The uniforms have the fan nickname of "Battle Bikinis."²* ''Anime/WizardBarristers'' features a TeenGenius that joins an OccultLawFirm. The cast is primarily composed of women who are professionals (lawyers, paralegals, investigators), who are almost universally powerful magic users as well. ²* Ironically, ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'' of all series counts. The Anarchy sisters are powerful figures who are in full control of their sexuality and embody a very crude form of WishFulfillment for girls. Plus for all the fanservice that takes place there's just as much sex humor that doesn't pander to the MaleGaze (or might even be FanDisservice to them). SlapstickKnowsNoGender is in full force, and a good chunk of the show's jokes involve lampshading, subverting, or averting the gender {{Double Standard}}.²* ''Anime/BloodTheLastVampire'' and its [[Anime/BloodPlus various]] [[Anime/BloodC re-tellings]] focus on Saya, a [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld seemingly]] teenaged VampireHunter that wields a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana]]. No matter which incarnation, she is a deadly [[OneManArmy One Woman Army]] on a quest to slay a powerful foe. ²* ''Anime/RomeoXJuliet'' is ''very'' loosely based on the play, and re-imagines Juliet as TheChosenOne that enjoys a stint as a [[Franchise/{{Zorro}} Zorro-esque]] VigilanteMan. As the last surviving member of the rightful rulers of Neo-Verona, she is raised for the purpose of overthrowing the tyrant that murdered her family and turns out to also be [[spoiler: a BarrierMaiden that must be sacrificed to feed the mystical tree that holds up the floating island. Instead, she uses ThePowerOfLove to bring the island safely onto the ocean, breaking the cycle of sacrifice and saving the country with her sacrifice]]. ²* ''Anime/SelectorInfectedWixoss'' blends darker elements of the MagicalGirl with the card-based tournament series, resulting in a series about young girls drawn into a mysterious game. The CollectibleCardGame Wixoss has a strong female following, and certain girls find that their in-game avatar (a "LRIG") is in fact alive -- promising if they battle as a "Selector" and meet certain conditions, their wish will be granted. The motivations and CharacterDevelopment of each girl is explored, with a strong focus on their friendships and rivalries as they battle to become an Eternal Girl and get their wish. Since the primary focus is a card game, the girls are portrayed using tactics and strategic thinking to outwit their opponent while their LRIG use FullContactMagic and [[PowerMakeover increasingly more decorative]] clothing to beat their opponent into the ground. ²* ''Manga/YonaOfTheDawn'' takes many of the standards of the Shoujo genre -- a beautiful heroine with numerous potential male suitors -- and makes the heroine a {{Princess}} with a BattleHarem. According to legend, the Kingdom of Kouka was founded by a Dragon God that took human form and his four Dragon Warriors, beings blessed with the blood of the other Dragons that wished to protect their king. Princess Yona is the only child of the kingdom's pacifist king, and lives a sheltered life in the palace. But one night, she witnesses her beloved [[KissingCousins cousin]] Soo-Won murder her father and is narrowly saved from death by General Hak, her [[ChildhoodFriendRomance childhood friend]]. Together, they become fugitives and begin a journey to locate the descendents of the original Dragon Warriors so that Yona can reclaim her kingdom. While initially [[DamselInDistress weak]], Yona quickly shows herself to have an unbreakable will and refuses to simply be protected -- learning to fight with a bow and a sword, becoming a WarriorPrincess through intense and tireless training. As the reincarnation of the legendary Dragon-King Hiryuu, she is TheChosenOne and undergoes considerable CharacterDevelopment while [[TookALevelInBadass taking]] many levels in badass along her journey to save her kingdom.²* ''Anime/SenkiZesshouSymphogear'' blends the MagicalGirlWarrior with the IdolSinger, featuring young women that save the world with magical armor that runs off ThePowerOfRock. ²%%* ''Manga/MakenKi'' features a predominantly female cast and makes it a point to assert their dominance over the series' male lead, due to his belief that [[WomenAreDelicate woman shouldn't fight]]. An outlook which has gotten [[ Takeru told off]] [[ more than once.]] Further, despite being the protagonist, [[SupportingProtagonist his role is secondary]] to [[{{Deuteragonist}} Himegami's]], since she's the manga's [[LivingMacGuffin most plot relevant]] [[ character.]]²* ''Anime/UmaMusume'' is surprisingly Feminist, particularly since it's primarily a MoeAnthropomorphism series. But the cutesy premise and fancy costumes take back seat to an exciting, inspiring SportsAnime. The series heavily focuses on the athletic prowess of the girls, as well as the powerful bonds of friendship and [[FriendlyRival rivalry]] between them. Each girl is a SpiritedCompetitor that loves a challenge, pushing the other girls to become stronger runners and give them the best race possible. Whether teammates or fierce rivals, they support each other in pursuing their dreams and never resort to catty behavior, jealousy, or foul play.²* In ''Manga/{{Radiant}}'''s Cyfandir arc (volume 5-10), female aspiring knight Ocoho is the {{deuteragonist}} and arguably the true hero, who contributes to unveiling the conspiracies surrounding the kingdom, [[spoiler:takes down a ship of Baron Merchants after her childhood friend Mordred's treason]] and indirectly opens Queen Boadicea's eyes on her mistakes. More generally, while the series' protagonist is male the story features a number of female characters who are not only as strong, active an developped as the male ones, but also take an equal amount of physical damage, if not ''more'', with little-to-no MaleGaze. The author confirmed in volume 11's Q&A that he took great care in fleshing out male and female characters equally.²* ''Manga/SnowWhiteWithTheRedHair'' is a series about Shirayuki, a red-haired herbalist making her own way in the world where she escapes an attempt to make her a concubine by fleeing to the kingdom of Clarines. The series becomes all about Shirayuki and her attempt to create a new life for herself, her own struggles, passions, and eventual mutually respectful romance with Clarines' Prince Zen, who values her as the person she is, along with with Shirayuki's relationships to those about her.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Card Games]]²* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' has an odd example: White represents healing, protection, chivalry, and law and order. Many of the powerful white creatures (''all'' the powerful angels, Lin Sivvi) are depicted as female. Indeed, the first pure white-mana plane, Serra's Realm, is a matriarchy.²** As explained by Mark Rosewater himself, one reason for the FemaleAngelMaleDemon standard is to ''specifically'' avoid the evil succubus trope.²** ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' in general is very equal opportunity-minded. The style guide given to the artists explicitly states: "Make an effort to illustrate a variety of races, genders, ages, and body types. Feel free to paint beautiful women, as long as they're shown kicking ass. No damsels in distress. No ridiculously exaggerated breasts. No nudity."²** Furthermore, later editions make a point to avoid printing non-Legendary cards with exclusively male or female names, so cards like [[ Hasran Ogress]] and [[ Brothers of Fire]] are unlikely to see reprints any time soon.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Comic Books]]²* Franchise/WonderWoman is perhaps the ''original'' Feminist heroine; a super strong crime fighter ''amazon''. Creator William Moulton Marston even believed that within a century America would become a matriarchy (and that that was a good thing).²* ComicBook/{{Batgirl}} is always highly intelligent, a skilled fighter, and very much an equal to the other members of the Batfamily no matter which heroine currently wears the mantle.²* ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} has had multiple incarnations, but is always one of the most powerful heroes around since she is the DistaffCounterpart to Franchise/{{Superman}}.²* ComicBook/PowerGirl has always been portrayed as a powerful heroine, and often stands out from other female characters in having muscular build. Her CleavageWindow (easily her most marketed feature) is a point of contention, with people both in-and-out of universe asking exactly how seriously she Kara can be taken in such an outfit. How it's resolved is usually DependingOnTheWriter.²* [[ComicBook/MsMarvel Captain Marvel]], [[IHaveManyNames formerly Ms Marvel, Warbird and Binary]], is explicitly Feminist, starring a highly decorated Officer turned superheroine. Carol has seen many ugly incidents, but even when stripped of her powers she still kicks much ass alongside her male peers. Eventually, after the madness that was M-Day and living an alt life as the most powerful non-mutant superhero, she got her act together. Furthermore, she transitioned from Ms Marvel to Captain Marvel, taking on the title in honor of the original Mar-Vell (while she isn't the first female to do so, being the third actually, she is the one with the most staying power). ²* Comicbook/MsMarvel2014 sees a new generation taking up the mantle, focusing on Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan. A long-time fan of Carol Danvers, she is inspired to take up the mantle of Ms. Marvel after gaining superpowers as part of the Terrigan Mists awakening her dormant Inhuman genes. The series has been an unexpected hit, with critics even calling her "the new Spider-Man". ²* ComicBook/SheHulk is a brilliant lawyer, as well as a physical powerhouse, ''and'' her series often deal with positive portrayals of female sensuality and sexuality. ²* ComicBook/BlackWidow is one of the greatest spies in the world, a deadly assassin, and a core member of the Avengers. ²* ComicBook/SpiderWoman has had several incarnations, but is always a strong woman with abilities that set her apart from that [[{{Spiderman}} other hero]] with spider-themed powers. Interestingly enough, she was not created as his SpearCounterpart (she was actually made when Marvel noticed some people were making a project called Spider-Woman and they rushed to make the character to claim the name), so she can carve her own path. ²* The Daughters of the Dragon mini series staring Misty Knight and Colleen Wing.²* ''ComicBook/XMen'', beginning with the famous run of Creator/ChrisClaremont from 1975 to 1991. His run saw Jean Grey grow from TheChick to one of the most powerful beings in the entire Marvel Universe, Phoenix Force notwithstanding, and established Storm firmly as the team leader. Fans invented the term [[FanNickName "Claremazon"]] to describe his focus on powerful, intelligent, skilled, independent, ''and'' glamorous women. Even with his departure from the X-books, the franchise continues this tradition of portraying varied women -- often the most popular characters in the book(s) at any given time. ²* ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'' is a series with explicit Feminist themes, and the decades-long work of married creators Wendy and Richard Pini. The series explores gender roles through culture clash, features multiple examples of female leaders and warriors, takes pot shots at the Comic Industry's bias against female creators, and features an incredible [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters variety]] of female characters. In particular, long-time lovers Nightfall and Redlance defy typical gender roles with her as a fierce Huntress and Warrior, while he is a gentle [[GreenThumb Plantshaper]]. During the 80s, the possibility of a Saturday Morning cartoon was explored, but ultimately abandoned when ExecutiveMeddling came into play. The studio demanded that PolarOppositeTwins Ember and Suntop be given a personality switch, as they didn't want a [[{{Tomboy}} tough]] future Chieftess and a [[NonActionGuy gentle]] boy. The Pinis walked away rather than comply. ²* Depending heavily upon the creators involved, ''ComicBook/RedSonja'' is an early example with a powerful, independent female warrior who focused strongly upon defending the weak and turning the tables on her male foes. Some [[ChainmailBikini aspects]] [[BestHerToBedHer of]] [[RapeAsBackstory the]] character come under question, or have been poorly handled by creators and undermined the more positive elements. This has resulted in Sonja being a highly controversial character, alternately praised as an iconic Feminist heroine or decried as a juvenile representation of a heroine. The incarnation being written by creator Creator/GailSimone has been highly-praised.²* Speaking of Creator/GailSimone, ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'' is a rare example of a female-centric superhero team. ²* ''ComicBook/{{Vampirella}}'' was created as this, though changes in Feminist ideals and poor handling by creators has strayed from that. Designed and co-created by feminist Trina Robbins, she was a strong, powerful, independent heroine with a seductive appearance ''and'' innate goodness. Like the equally-controversial Red Sonja, she was created during the Second Wave of Feminism -- an era that dealt with women's sexuality, rejection of sexual repression, and reproductive rights. ²* ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'' deals with beings from Fairy Tales and mythology living in exile in modern day New York. It explores some of the darker aspects of the original tales, and deconstructs many of the problematic elements found there. In particular, Prince Charming is the prince from ''most'' stories, and a serial divorcee unable to find happiness as a result. Snow White is often the focus of the series, having grown into a strong-willed politician that runs much of Fabletown's daily business. Just [[RapeAsBackstory don't]] [[BerserkButton mention]] [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge the]] [[RapeAndRevenge seven]] [[DepravedDwarf Dwarves]]. Consisting of a massive ensemble cast, almost every single female character has developed over the centuries into a force to be reckoned with. The war in the Homelands, as well as changes in human society, have transformed them into modern women, often looking unfavorably on certain aspects of their pasts. The {{Spin Off}}s, ''Fairest'', ''From Fabletown With Love'', and ''Fables Are Forever'' all focus on the women of the series. The later two are solo adventures starring Cinderella, [[spoiler: Fabletown's master spy and assassin]] in James Bond-style adventures. Issues of female sensuality and sexuality, motherhood, reproductive rights, healthy and unhealthy relationships, misogyny, and sexism are all touched on or explored within the series. ²* ''ComicBook/HackSlash'' features a FinalGirl who becomes a SerialKillerKiller, traveling the country fighting undead beings known as "Slashers". Cassie Hack is [[MadeOfIron tough as nails]], highly intelligent, and a bit concerned that her mother's murderous impulses may be InTheBlood because she's ''really'' good at fighting monsters. She travels with the deformed Vlad, who looks like a bit like [[Franchise/FridayThe13th Jason]], but is actually the more gentle and kindhearted of the pair. The series deals head-on with many of the misogynistic tropes of Horror films, and Cassie often works to help other women go from victims to {{Action Survivor}}s capable of fighting for themselves. Often compared to [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]], another series involving the designated female victim killing monsters. ²* The only thing preventing ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'' from being a MagicalGirl ''manga'' is that it was drawn and first published in Italy.²* ''ComicBook/RatQueens'' centers on a particularly crude and foul-mouthed team of strong women.²* ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'' has become one, with a woman currently holding the title and wielding Mjolnir. With the new Goddess of Thunder, the series has taken on a distinctly [[ feminist tone]] with creators responding to sexist complaints in a very meta fashion. ²* The new (as of 2015) ''ComicBook/DCComicsBombshells'' is an alternate DC universe where all the superheroes are female with a RoaringTwenties feel and set in a World War II environment. ²* The ''ComicBook/SpiderGwen'' one-shot takes perhaps the [[ILetGwenStacyDie most famous]] [[ComicBook/TheNightGwenStacyDied dead girlfriend]] in all of comic books, and offers an alternate take on things. Gwen Stacy becomes the super-hero with spider powers, though the circumstances of her and Peter are radically different; while Uncle Ben doesn't die [[spoiler: Peter ends up dying a bit after he becomes the ''Lizard'', due to being envious of her superhuman abilities and him always needing her help.]] The series started as a one-shot in ''Edge of ComicBook/SpiderVerse'', and proved popular enough to get an ongoing that ran for five issues before ''ComicBook/SecretWars2015'' hit, then relaunched with a new issue #1 after it was over.²* ''Femforce'' from AC Comics is a superhero group composed entirely of women. Despite the "cheesecake" art style, the ladies of Femforce are treated with a reasonable level of respect - they are brave, smart, capable, and everything else a hero should be. ²* ''ComicBook/TankGirl'' is a cult classic among female fandom for its outrageously sex-positive characters and punk aesthetic. Notably, Rachel Talalay proposed doing a film adaptation because of this, and despite the movie being heavily neutered from its source material because it scared the executives, the movie also developed a cult fanbase over the years.²* ''Magical Beatdown'' is a hyper violent street harassment revenge fantasy about an average video-game loving schoolgirl who transforms into a foul-mouthed and rage-fuelled MagicalGirl when provoked.²* ''ComicBook/AForce'': A Marvel superhero team consisting entirely of women from the Avengers, including several names found elsewhere on this list like Captain Marvel and She-Hulk.²* ''ComicBook/UnstoppableWasp'': Nadia van Dyne is an enthusiastic {{Science Hero}}ine eager for adventures. Her recurring mentor is her [[GoodStepmother stepmother]] Janet van Dyne, the original Wasp and the first female Avenger. Nearly all of her supporting characters, not to mention her most prominent team-ups, are women and girls, many of whom are her friends through [[FunWithAcronyms Genius In action Research Labs]].²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Disney]]²[[Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon Disney]] animated films have been more proactive with their female characters starting with ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'', but the most extensive example of this trope is undoubtedly ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog''. The princess movies seem to be getting less and less sexist, as well as more self-aware, with every passing year. Whether they count as ''feminist'' depends on where you draw the line; for the most part, they're definitely not groundbreaking in any way. ²* ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' is the TropeCodifier as far as Disney examples go. The villain Maleficent is a LadyOfBlackMagic and referred to as the Mistress of ''All'' Evil. She's notably stronger, more powerful and much smarter than the typical Disney villain. So effective is she that she's effectively ''won'' [[NearVillainVictory by the end of the second act]]. On the heroes' side, the three Good Fairies drive the plot. They hide the princess from Maleficent for years and create the counter spell to save her. When Prince Philip is captured, the fairies are the ones that rescue him and provide him with the tools necessary to stop Maleficent. Blog/UnshavedMouse noted how unusual even today it is for a film to feature three female protagonists who don't provide {{Fanservice}}, pass UsefulNotes/TheBechdelTest, and don't end up as someone's love interest.²* ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'': Ariel is a RebelliousPrincess fascinated by the human world, challenging her father's firm belief that everything on the surface is evil. Falling for Prince Eric is merely the push needed to drive her to pursue her dream. Unlike her counterpart in the original story, she gets a happy ending.²* ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' features an [[BrainyBrunette intelligent]], free-spirited heroine that loves to read and dreams of living a life of adventure. Belle stands her ground against JerkJock Gaston and the titular [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Beast]], calling them on their behavior and refusing to change herself to suit others. ²* ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'': Princess Jasmine is another RebelliousPrincess, unsatisfied with her GildedCage and unwilling to be forced into marriage just because the law demands it. Her EstablishingCharacterMoment involves sending her latest suitor packing by sending her pet tiger after him. ²* ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'' stars another RebelliousPrincess, ''very'' loosely based on the real figure from American history. She's bothered by the idea of settling down in a "good match" marriage. Instead, she challenges John Smith's ideas about the world and ends up preventing a war. ²* ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' [[{{Xenafication}} transforms]] Esmeralda from the weak, fickle woman of the novel into being kind-hearted and street-smart. Even when she's in danger, she [[DefiantCaptive makes]] [[GroinAttack them]] [[DefiantToTheEnd regret]] it. Her role illustrates how unrealistic the MadonnaWhoreComplex truly is, as all three men want her....but while Quasimodo sees her as a perfect angel and Frollo sees her as a wicked temptress, AmazonChaser Phoebus sees and appreciates the ''person''. When Frollo ties her to a stake and threatens to have her [[BurnTheWitch burned as a witch]] if she doesn't become his mistress, she responds by [[SpitefulSpit spitting]] in his face. ²* ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'': Based on the Chinese legend. Mulan is resourceful and brave, choosing to disguise herself as a man in order to take her father's place in the Imperial army. Through her quick wits and determination, she becomes an accomplished soldier and goes on to defeat the BigBad and save China. [[spoiler: Her love interest follows her home, to return her helmet. When awkwardly complimenting her, he focuses on her fighting skills]]. ²* ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'': Tiana is a hard-working, determined young woman with a dream of opening her own restaurant. [[spoiler: She faces down the BigBad to save Naveen, winning through her refusal to accept the temptation of an easy fix. She then confronts the businessmen that refused to sell the restaurant to her, and goes on to achieve her dream of opening a thriving business that she runs with Naveen at her side.]]²* ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'': Rapunzel, while having [[TheIngenue multiple]] PrincessClassic [[FriendToAllLivingThings traits]], uses her 70-foot long hair and a frying pan as weapons. When her [[MyBelovedSmother mother]] refuses to let her leave her tower to see the yearly lights in the sky that she's always dreamed of watching up close, she knocks out the thief who breaks into her tower, ties him up with her hair, and talks him into showing her where the lights take place.²* ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'' stars Merida, a RebelliousPrincess that is something of a tomboy. She's an exceptional archer, as well as skilled at horseback riding and rock climbing, and constantly battles with her strict, traditional mother. The story focuses on the relationship between mother and daughter, as an ArrangedMarriage and a curse forces them to work together and begin understanding one another better. [[spoiler: Merida comes to see her mother's quiet strength, and the heavy responsibility she shoulders as both a mother and a Queen. Meanwhile, Queen Elinor comes to respect her daughter's independence and decides against forcing her into a political marriage. As a ''literal'' MamaBear, she faces down and defeats a monster bear in order to protect her husband and children. The curse is lifted once Merida is able to accept her mistakes, and reconcile with her mother. The political marriage is called off, with both Merida ''and'' her suitors declaring that they want to MarryForLove and the relationship between Elinor and Merida strengthened considerably]].²* ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' has BadassAdorable Vanellope Von Schweetz and SpaceMarine Sgt. Calhoun, as one half of the gender-balanced main cast. Vanellope is a glitched character in a racing game, and blackmails Ralph into helping her win the next big race. [[spoiler: In doing so, the game will be reset and she'll reclaim her rightful place as the Main Character. Though she's really a {{Princess}}, she gives up the throne in favor of becoming President]]. Sgt. Calhoun is the commander in a First Person Shooter, acting as the player's guide and generally kicking ass as a [[Franchise/MassEffect Fem!Shep]] {{Expy}}. Having been WidowedAtTheWedding when a Cy-bug ate the groom, she's determined to track down and destroy the Cy-bug threat. [[spoiler: She ends up marrying Fix-It Felix Jr., who falls in LoveAtFirstPunch and avoids his predecessor's fate due to the wedding involving massive amounts of firepower. The ending credits feature them as a BattleCouple]]. It's also noteworthy for the decision to use a [[GamerChick young girl]] as the AudienceSurrogate for the events outside the video games. ²* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' focuses on the relationship between two sisters, and explores the meaning of True Love as well as conquering your fears. Anna is in love with the idea of love, dreaming of LoveAtFirstSight while Elsa attempts to always keep her emotions in check and refuses to let anyone close out of fear of her powers. [[spoiler: Anna falls head over heels in love with Prince Hans, agreeing to marry him after knowing him for a few hours. First Elsa, and later Kristoff, both call her on rushing into such a serious matter with someone she barely knows. The nature of True Love is also explored when Anna's heart is frozen, with only an "act of True Love" capable of saving her. Everyone believes it will require True Love's Kiss, and rush her back to Hans... only for him to turn out to be a BitchInSheepsClothing out to seduce his way onto the kingdom's throne. The act of True Love is instead Anna's HeroicSacrifice to protect her sister, and this allows Elsa to realize that fearing her powers and shutting everyone out was the cause of her PowerIncontinence. Once she accepts herself, she's able to restore her kingdom and become a Queen adored by her people. Meanwhile, Anna and Kristoff realize their feelings for each other and take the first steps towards a relationship. Hans is first punched into the harbor by Anna, and then sent back home to face punishment for his crimes]]. ²* ''Film/AliceInWonderland2010'' is a ComingOfAge story with a nineteen-year-old girl as TheChosenOne. While it has some {{Anvilicious}} bits (the end of the garden party, anyone?), it's still properly epic.²* ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'' uses the DeconReconSwitch to hang many a lampshade on classic fairy tales, with PrincessClassic Giselle being banished to modern day New York by her WickedStepmother, Narissa. There, she meets jaded divorce lawyer Robert and his daughter, who is thrilled to meet a fairytale princess. Prince Edward follows his betrothed to New York to rescue her, while Giselle and Robert begin to see the positive aspects of the other's world view as she tries to help him instill some romance into his relationship with his fiancée Nancy. [[spoiler: In the end, Giselle is saved from a poisoned apple by Robert's kiss, and rescues him in turn when Narissa transforms herself into a dragon. They become a couple, and Giselle opens a business making fairytale princess dresses for little girls. Edward elopes with Nancy, having finally found the romance she's wanted. The queen's henchman stays in New York and becomes a successful Self-Help author.]]²* ''Film/{{Maleficent}}'' is a PerspectiveFlip [[TwiceToldTale retelling]] of ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'', starring Creator/AngelinaJolie. Drawing comparisons to ''Literature/{{WICKED}}'', it reimagines Maleficent as a complex woman who changes from heroic guardian of the Moors, to vengeful and finally into an antihero over the many years the film covers. She serves as an unwitting mother figure to Aurora, and helps to mold the princess into a wise and strong-willed young woman. Aurora is notably more proactive in this telling of the story, with far more character development and agency than is normally seen in most versions of Sleeping Beauty. [[spoiler: She is also not woken from her sleep by Prince Philip, who even points out that he doesn't know her well enough to be in love yet. Instead, it is Maleficent who awakens Aurora with a remorseful kiss to the forehead -- having included in her curse that all who met Aurora would come to love her]]. ²* ''Franchise/DisneyFairies'', a straight-to-DVD film series about six fairies with different "talents" (gardening, fast-flying, animal husbandry, water and light-bending) with no love interests who always go on adventures. The main protagonist is a "tinkerer" which is the equivalent of an inventor and mechanic.²* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' broke the norm with the girl who can "do anything"; kickass females on the front lines, and in a Creator/DisneyChannel action series, no less.²* ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'' uses FunnyAnimals as a media to discuss serious issues of prejudice in society, and how stereotypes harm and hold people back from their dreams. Judy Hopp is a cheerful and determined young Bunny, and refuses to give up on her dream of becoming a Police Officer even when told there's never [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything been a Rabbit Cop]]. She manages to achieve her dream of becoming the first Rabbit Police Officer, but is ignored and belittled by others as "dumb", "cute", or "not a real cop" and sent to work as a Meter Maid. She fights through all of this and teams up with Fox con-artist Nick to save Zootopia from a dangerous plot. The film consulted female police officers about the issues they encounter on the job, and the struggles of being seen as TheChick in a male-dominated profession.²* ''Disney/{{Moana}}'' is a notable departure from many Disney traditions, a fact the company made a point to advertise. Though the chieftain's daughter, Moana is shown to be the sole heir and next in line to lead her people, without any mention of marriage being necessary. In fact, the company noted that she would not have a LoveInterest or romantic sub-plot. The film instead focuses on her as TheChosenOne that undergoes a quest to find the demi-god Maui, and save the world. ²* Being the DeconReconSwitch that they are, ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' and ''WesternAnimation/Incredibles2'' discusses the topic of women and their roles in society through Helen Parr. In the first film, whereas Bob (trying to fit the role as the StandardFiftiesFather) is under masculine pressure to be independent and learning to accept help from others, Helen is the {{Housewife}} that overextends herself to help others and relearns to take-charge for herself in her efforts to save her husband from Syndrome like the feminist icon she propertied to be. In the second film, Helen takes on the role of breadwinner because her abilities are more P.R. friendly. While uncomfortable with the idea at first, she rediscovers a more independent part of herself that she had forgotten about and sees that she has a positive impact on other women like Voyd.²* ''Disney/RalphBreaksTheInternet'' has an extended sequence in which Vanellope meets the characters who comprise the Franchise/DisneyPrincess lineup. They [[LampshadeHanging jokingly acknowledge]] some of the more sexist tropes that have informed the franchise (focus on external over internal beauty, DamselInDistress status, etc.), act as {{Big Sister Mentor}}s to Vanellope, and [[spoiler:in the climax, the fourteen of them basically become a superhero team, using their unique skills and {{Iconic Item}}s to save Ralph's life.]] ²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Fan Works]]²* ''Fanfic/MobileSuitGundamStorm'' is an attempt to take ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'''s "[[PhlebotinumGirl Artificial Newtype Girl]]" archetype (most directly Soma Pieris of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'') and, in the words of Creator/JossWhedon, "create someone who was a hero where she had always been a victim".²* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries''²** One of the objectives of Leslie Fish's ''The Weight'' series, from the 1970s, was to provide the main cast with female counterparts who were every bit as competent as they were. Henry Jenkins chose this story as a case study in the fanfiction chapter of ''Literature/TextualPoachersTelevisionFansAndParticipatoryCulture''.²** In Henry Jenkins' ''Literature/TextualPoachersTelevisionFansAndParticipatoryCulture'', he mentions Jane Land's "Demeter", which puts Uhura and Christine Chapel in command of an all-female landing party on a voyage to a lesbian seperatist space colony; their adventures not only provide these characters with a chance to demonstrate their professional competency but also to question the patriarchal focus and attitudes of The Original Series and its male protagonists. Land characterises her project as rescuing Chapel from "an artificially imposed case of foolishness":²---> "Try to think objectively for a moment about what we know of Christine Chapel's background, education, accomplishments... and you will come up with a far more interesting character than she was ever allowed to be. The Christine Chapel I found when I thought about her was neither wimp nor superwoman, but, I hope, an intelligent, complex, believable person."²* Many ''Film/{{Maleficent}}'' fanfics give more nuanced roles to the three pixies that were portrayed as useless idiots in the movie, and change Queen Leah's death to a divorce, increasing the number of female roles as well as the quality of the portrayal of women. Maleficent herself makes for a decent feminist hero, and Aurora, more often than not, grows up to be an WarriorPrincess. Some fanfics also do away with the implied romance with Prince Philip, by shipping Aurora with Maleficent. ²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Films -- Animation]]²* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' plays with the PrincessClassic, with Fiona initially trying her best to fit into the traditional role of the princess in a story. However, she's happiest when beating up bandits and being crude with her ogre LoveInterest. The third film builds heavily on this foundation, as Fiona and her mother rally various fairytale princesses to drop the DistressBall and save the day.²* ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' is an AffectionateParody of the Silver Age of Comics. Roxanne Ritchie is a ComicBook/LoisLane-style reporter and frequent DamselInDistress for various evil schemes, but she's easily the most level-headed character and her skills as a journalist save the day repeatedly throughout the movie. The villain Tighten turns evil when Roxanne tells him that she is not interested in him, as he had figured that heroics would automatically entitle him to his crush. ²* ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretLifeOfPets'' is not amazingly ground breaking, and is more focused on it's male characters like most films, but notably [[spoiler: TheHero (and his friend)]] are [[DistressedDude saved]] by the [[spoiler: hero's LoveInterest, who beats up a large group of big dogs, cats, and even an ''alligator'' for him.]] This is what finally causes him to [[AmazonChaser notice her.]]²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]²* The 1993 remake of ''Film/AttackOfThe50FootWoman.''²* ''Film/EverAfter'' is just a feminist retelling of "Literature/{{Cinderella}}" with shaky nods to French history.²* The ''[[Franchise/{{Alien}} Alien]]'' series is legendary for both its Freudian monsters and female protagonist, Lt. Ellen Ripley. The original film was written as a Gender Equality Fantasy, with characters only referred to in the script by their last name or rank so that each role could be cast without preconceptions and thus avoid the standard Horror Movie gender dynamics. This resulted in a male DecoyProtagonist killed early in the film, and allowed the creation of one of the most iconic female characters in Science Fiction history. Ripley would go from an ActionSurvivor taking charge in order to escape the titular alien, to a full-blown MamaBear that blasted her way through an alien hive and battles the enormous Alien Queen in PowerArmor. ²* [[ There's a case to be made]] about ''Film/RedSonja'', the 1985 film adaptation of the eponymous comics.²* The spinoff, ''Film/AVPAlienVsPredator'' honors this tradition of a strong female protagonist, with mountaineer/guide Alexa caught between two of science fiction's most iconic alien threats. She is highly resourceful and fierce enough of a fighter to earn the respect of the Predator warrior she forges an uneasy alliance with. The [[Franchise/AlienVsPredator novels and comics]] the film is loosely based on give us an even greater badass in Machiko, a Security officer that ends up being adopted into a clan of Predators for a time. ²* Creator/GuillermoDelToro's stated intention with ''Film/PacificRim'' was to make a science fiction/action film with a heroine that was an equal partner rather than a LoveInterest, [[MsFanservice "Sex Kitten"]], or a DamselInDistress. While Raleigh is the designated hero of the story, the narrative primary focuses on Mako's HerosJourney and represents her as every bit his equal. Mako has been praised as a non-[[MightyWhiteyAndMellowYellow stereotypical]] [[DragonLady representation]] of an Asian woman while still acknowledging Japanese [[PillarsOfMoralCharacter morals]]. It tilts the standard roles assigned to a male and female protagonist, with Raleigh acting as the [[TheHeart emotional]] support for mentally-scarred Mako as she comes to grips with her painful past and desire for revenge. ²* Another film by Creator/GuillermoDelToro is ''Film/PansLabyrinth'', a haunting [[Literature/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland Alice In Wonderland]]-ish fairy tale set against the harsh reality of the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar. Ofelia, a girl with a vivid imagination and great curiosity, has moved into the countryside with her widowed mother and new [[WickedStepmother step-father]], the brutal Captain Vidal. There, she discovers a mysterious old labyrinth and encounters a Faun, who reveals to her that she is a lost princess from the Underworld. She is faced with three tests, meant to show whether her time in the human world has diminished her true self or not. Meanwhile, the family's maid, Mercedes, attempts to help the rebels against her employer and protect Ofelia. Melding a dark and nightmarish fantasy world with very real human cruelty, it deals directly with themes of misogyny, marriages of convenience, and societies that value male children over everything else. Ofelia is a brave, intelligent, and strong-willed heroine unwilling to be bound by her cruel step-father, while Mercedes is a woman of incredible courage and conviction who famously gives Captain Vidal a half GlasgowGrin when he threatens to torture her and makes it clear, before [[spoiler: the rebels gun him down, that his son will ''never'' know a thing about him]]. While ambiguous in the film itself, WordOfGod confirms that the supernatural elements of Ofelia's journey are real. ²* ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman'' features a more proactive titular princess, who breaks out of her [[GirlInTheTower tower prison]] herself and flees into the forest where no one but the Huntsman will dare to venture. With his teaching, she develops into a LadyOfWar and leads an army to reclaim her throne by force, ultimately taking down the Queen on her own. ²* ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'' is a ComingOfAge tale, combining the talents of Creator/JimHenson and Creator/GeorgeLucas. Sarah is a SpoiledBrat with a love of fantasy, and resents having to deal with her baby half-brother, Toby. One night, when forced to babysit, she [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor wishes]] the goblins would take him away.....and gets her wish. The Goblin King challenges her to solve his Labyrinth in 13 hours, or Toby will be transformed into a goblin. She must outwit the mysterious Labyrinth, escape various death traps, and storm the Goblin City to rescue her brother. Along her journey, Sarah must accept that LifeIsntFair, reject the Goblin King's many temptations, and learn to balance childhood dreams with adult responsibility. When offered the chance to [[WeCanRuleTogether rule at his side]], Sarah rejects him by declaring that, [[ArcWords "You have no power over me"]]. ²* ''Film/MirrorMask'', a hauntingly beautiful dark fantasy written by Creator/NeilGaiman. Helena dreams of leaving the circus, but after a fight her mother falls mysteriously ill. Traveling to a strange and magical world, she encounters many individuals who resemble those she knows in the real world. The White Queen (resembling her mother) has fallen ill, after the Dark Princess (resembling Helena) stole her Charm and without it, the world is dying. Helena undertakes a quest to save the world and her mother, venturing to the Darklands to confront the Dark Queen (again, her mother). A surreal ComingOfAge tale, it remains ambiguous whether it was AllJustADream or [[OrWasItADream not]]. ²* Creator/MillaJovovich and Creator/AngelinaJolie have established themselves as big time [[ActionHero Action Heroines]] through these kinds of films. If they star in a fantasy or science fiction film, expect them to be [[OneManArmy One Woman Armies]]. Creator/MichelleRodriguez and Creator/SummerGlau have also built careers as Action Heroines in the genre(s), to a lesser degree.²** Jovovich has headlined the ''Film/ResidentEvil'' franchise as Alice, a former Umbrella agent out to save the world. ²** In ''Film/{{Ultraviolet}}'', Jovovich stars as a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire-like]] warrior who must protect a mysterious boy from the forces hunting him. ²** Jolie took up the role of AdventurerArchaeologist Lara Croft in the ''[[Film/LaraCroftTombRaider Tomb Raider]]'' films. She's also noted to be the highest grossing Action Heroine in the business. Likewise she plays the live-action Maleficent mentioned above.²* ''Film/KillBill'' is a two-part epic and love-letter to numerous genres in the process. When an assassin tries to settle down into a normal life, her former comrades interrupt her wedding rehearsal and slaughter those present. She awakens from her coma years later, and begins a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against them that spans continents and cinema genres. [[NoNameGiven The Bride]] and the female assassins she faces are all exceptional warriors, engaging in brutal duels to the death and leaving carnage in their wake. The subtle elements of fantasy are borrowed from classic Hong Kong films, with people displaying martial arts that border on the supernatural. Most notably, the HermitGuru was said to be able to use a FingerPokeOfDoom to kill enemies after they took five steps. ²* The ''Film/RedReaper'' stories have elements of this and are combined with SwordAndSorcery, a genre not typically known for feminism.²* ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad''. [[RatedMForManly No, seriously]]. The critically acclaimed film takes place in the kind of [[TestosteronePoisoning testosterone-fueled]] AfterTheEnd setting the ''Mad Max'' setting is known for, yes, and ostensibly stars Tom Hardy as the titular 'Mad Max', but the crux of the movie is propelled by Charlize Theron's character, the elite [[AwesomeMcCoolname Imperator Furiosa]], and her mission to return to the matriarchal home of her childhood, spiriting away five women who have been forced into sexual slavery and baby-production by a brutal warlord in the process. [[ Many]] [[ critics]] [[ have]] pointed out that the real star of the film is arguably Furiosa, who literally drives the action in a quest for redemption for her past wrong-doings and liberation from the warlord, with Max himself taking the more subdued arc of recovery from trauma and reconnecting to his humanity. A good portion of the movie is devoted to women kicking ass and taking names for their fellow women. ²* ''Film/TheThing2011'', a {{Prequel}} of the original film. The film stars Kate Lloyd, a level-headed and [[ActionSurvivor capable]] scientist brought in to examine the titular creature when it is discovered frozen in the ice. According to the creators, Kate was intended as a homage to Lt. Ripley, the heroine of ''[[Franchise/{{Alien}} Alien]]''. ²* ''Film/TheForceAwakens'' was a ''massive'' leap forward for female characters not just in ''Franchise/StarWars'', but the science fiction and action film genres in general, arguably to the degree that ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' played in cinema history. The film stars a woman named Rey who is drawn into the galactic war between the Resistance and [[TheRemnant the First Order]] alongside {{Deuteragonist}} Finn, and in short order proves herself to be smart, badass, and independent. But when she [[spoiler:runs across Luke Skywalker's lightsaber she discovers that she is in fact extremely gifted in the Force and a nascent Jedi-to-be]]. Princess Leia is now ''General'' Leia and leads the Resistance military. There's a female stormtrooper captain named Phasma who is set up to basically be the next Boba Fett, in addition to random female stormtroopers (pay attention to some of their voices next time you watch the movie) as well as female First Order officers. Tons of women are seen as being part of the Resistance military, including a female X-Wing pilot who is featured quite prominently in the final battle. There's also Maz Kanata, a mysterious non-human woman who is sensitive to the Force and [[spoiler:urges Rey towards her destiny as a Jedi]]. As director Creator/JJAbrams has pointed out, the Force belongs to ''everyone'', not just dudes. ²* ''Film/Ghostbusters2016'' is a {{Reboot}} of the franchise, starring a GenderFlipped cast. The team consists of a group of female scientists (and an amateur historian) who wear practical uniforms and kick plenty of ass while fighting to get the respect they've earned. The filmography of director Creator/PaulFeig itself tends towards the trope in the comedy genre.²* Despite the SlasherMovie genre's misogynistic reputation, several franchises stand out as this. ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'' has Freddy Krueger repeatedly bested by strong-willed and resourceful teenage girls, even in the one entry which has [[Film/ANightmareOnElmStreetPart2FreddysRevenge a male protagonist]]. In fact, Creator/WesCraven made Nancy, the FinalGirl of the [[Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984 first film]] that way in response to his daughter complaining about clumsy girls in horror movies. ²* ''Film/{{Scream}}'', Wes Craven's other famous franchise, takes this even further by turning the genre's more sexist conventions on its head. Notably two of the movie's survivors are female, both of whom outwit the killer at several turns (especially in the sequels too).²* Japanese [[JapaneseDelinquents Sukeban]] and Female {{Yakuza}} B-movies of the late 60s and early 70s, despite being classified as {{Exploitation Film}}s and many of them including sexual violence, showed women outwitting and defeating the Yakuza who, despite being criminals, were still part of institutionalised patriarchy.²* ''Film/SuckerPunch'' has a group of women who are in a mental hospital treated like sex slaves by the corrupt orderlies. They band together to find a way to escape their situation, using their own sexuality as a weapon. Overall the story attempts to deconstruct the MaleGaze by showing the nasty effect it can have on the girls. There's also a few literal examples - as there are many fantasy sequences imagined by the protagonist where she and her friends become an AmazonBrigade to achieve their goals. Reaction to the film was very [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment divisive]], but it does have a small fanbase of feminists who believe in its message.²* ''Film/{{Wonder Woman|2017}}'' stars the aforementioned comic book superhero of the same name and is about her journey from the LadyLand of Themyscira into Man's World at the height of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI where she fights to end one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. True to the comics, Wonder Woman embodies a number of positive, strong feminine ideals such as empathy, love and truth while also being a super strong demigoddess capable of kickings ''tons'' of ass. In a meta sense, the film is also the first tent pole superhero film to be [[Creator/PattyJenkins directed by a woman]] and the first theatrical comic book adaptation centered around a female lead ''ever'' to receive critical acclaim and commercial success.²* ''Film/{{Bumblebee}}'' manages to shake off the long-running franchise's misogyny, written by a woman and featuring women as the human protagonist and the main villain. The {{Prequel}} focuses heavily on the [[ABoyAndHisX bond]] that develops between [[WrenchWench Charlie]] Watson and the titular Autobot. Frequenting a junkyard to find parts for an old sports car, Charlie becomes fascinated with a broken-down [=VW=] Bug and takes it home to begin fixing it up. The car turns out to be a badly-damaged Autobot with a faulty memory core and missing voice components. She befriends and nicknames him Bumblebee, and begins working on repairing the alien as best she can. As the government and a pair of Decepticons close in on them, Charlie and Bumblebee must save Earth from destruction. ²* ''Film/{{Captain Marvel|2019}}'' is a fiercely and unapologetically Feminist film, bringing the heroine to the screen in the ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'''s first film to be centered around a female protagonist. An AmnesiacHero, Vers is a Kree warrior fighting in the galactic war against the shapeshifting Skrulls when she crash-lands on Earth in the 1990s. Forming a partnership with a young Nick Fury, Vers beings to discover clues to her own past as a human fighter pilot named Carol Danvers. The film features several TakeThat moments to common criticisms that women face such as seeming unfriendly for not "smiling enough" or being required to prove themselves to gate-keeping men. In a twist on the classic mythos, [[spoiler: the mysterious woman from Carol's past turns out to have been the original Mar-Vell]] and the final confrontation concludes with [[spoiler: Carol ignoring her former commander's taunts to fight him on ''his'' terms, blasting him into a mountain before stating she doesn't have to prove herself to him]]. The film is a Power Fantasy for women, portraying numerous badass women that are unapologetic in their confidence and ability. It also takes the time to include messages of inspiration for the next generation of girls, encouraging them to pursue their ambitions without compromise. ²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Literature]]²%%²%%Please put Literature examples in chronological order if possible²%%²* ''Literature/AliBabaAndTheFortyThieves'' is perhaps one of the earliest examples of such a tale. While the story is named for the titular Ali Baba, he is a DecoyProtagonist that innocently goes through the story being threatened by the Thieves. The true hero of the story is Morgiana, the clever slave-girl that systematically outwits and kills the thieves to protect her master. At the finale of the story, she is granted her freedom and marries Ali Baba's son -- a Gender Inversion of the StandardHeroReward. ²* Before either feminism or fantasy, ''Literature/TheFaerieQueene'' (Books 1, 3, and 4 [[note]] other books had less flattering portrayals of women [[/note]]) featured some pretty tough female knights. What else would you expect from an epic dedicated to UsefulNotes/ElizabethI? ²* In Creator/LFrankBaum's [[Literature/LandOfOz Oz books]] (1900 onward), the Land of Oz was founded by a woman (Lurline) and ruled by four women (the Witches) up until the end of ''Literature/TheMarvelousLandOfOz''. (It's pretty clear the Wizard and the Scarecrow only ran the Emerald City, and nominally at that.) In that book, one of the women (Glinda) works with another woman (Mombi) to restore the rightful ruler of the land of Oz. Guess who ''that'' is? Yep, a woman (Ozma). Probably not coincidentally, Baum's mother-in-law was Matilda Gage, one of the greats of the First Wave of Feminism.²* The ''Literature/JirelOfJoiry'' stories by C.L. Moore (C.L. stands for Catherine Lucille), published between the years 1934 and 1939. The title character was the first ever heroine in the HeroicFantasy genre.²* Creator/RobertEHoward's own Dark Agnes de Chastillon may have been written earlier,[[note]]The first recorded mention of Dark Agnes is the when Howard sent a copy of his first Agnes story, "Sword Woman", to Moore after having read her first Jirel story in Weird Tales, so it is unclear if he wrote Sword Woman after having read Moore's story or if he had written it beforehand and, failing to get it published, sent it to Moore after reading her Jirel yarn.[[/note]] although her stories was only published long after Howard's death. Compered to Jirel it has lighter on the fantasy (fantastical elements only appeared in the unfinished third and last story), but MUCH heavier on the feminism. To quote Jessica Amanda Salmonson: "Had a woman written of Agnes in a similar manner, the author would have been charged with man-hating, frigidity, being a castrating bitch, a crazy radical."²--> "Ever the man in men! Let a woman know her place: let her milk and spin and sew and bake and bear children, not look beyond her threshold or the command of her lord and master! Bah! I spit on you all! There is no man alive who can face me with weapons and live, and before I die, I'll prove it to the world. Women! Cows! Slaves! Whimpering, cringing serfs, crouching to blows, avengin themselves by -- taking their own lives, as my sister urged me to do. Ha! You deny me a place among men? By God, I'll live as I please and die as God wills, but if I'm not fit to be a man's comrade, at least I'll be no man's mistress. So go ye to hell, and may the devil tear out your heart!"²* 1972's ''Literature/WhoNeedsMen'' provides an early {{deconstruction}}, with the ActionGirl heroine part of a glamorous elite military combat unit fighting dangerous barbarians... and finding that her life still is not very enviable in the end. Her country may be a LadyLand, yet it has all the same problems of corruption, fanaticism, etc. as any other [[TheEmpire totalitarian state]]. Just having women as the rulers instead of men changes nothing much, either for better or worse. And romance and propaganda aside, WarIsHell whether the military is male or female.²* The ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'' books were written to challenge the portrayals of women in Sci Fi in the 60s and 70s. However, they are now subject to ValuesDissonance.²* Joanna Russ' ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfAlyx'', a pioneering heroic fantasy with a woman hero.²* Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin wrote ''Literature/TheLeftHandOfDarkness'' to challenge gender assumptions in science fiction but later decided she hadn't gone far enough, especially since she used the default pronoun "he" for her genderless characters.[[note]]The first short story set on Gethen, the planet of ''The Left Hand of Darkness'', was also written using masculine pronouns, but when it was republished several years later, she changed to feminine pronouns, but left masculine titles such as "king". In the much later Gethen story "Coming of Age in Karhide", feminine pronouns are used, as well as "mother" and "grandmother" to refer to the protagonists' parent and grandparent.[[/note]] In the 1990s, she began a feminist deconstruction of her own earlier ''Literature/{{Earthsea}}'' fantasy series. Many of her other works are relevant to this trope too.²* Creator/MarionZimmerBradley (whose most famous feminist book, ''Literature/TheMistsOfAvalon'', doesn't qualify for this trope because its main character is pretty much a victim of fate rather than a hero) wrote a number of women heroes in her Literature/{{Darkover}} books and others. For example, in ''Hawkmistress!'' Romilly has the gift of merging minds with animals, runs away from her home to escape marriage, aids an heir to the throne and participates in military campaigns.²* The ''Sword and Sorceress'' anthology series, started by Marion Zimmer Bradley and continued by other editors after her death, is specifically dedicated to women heroes in sword-and-sorcery stories.²* A more light-hearted counterpart to ''Sword and Sorceress'' was the ''Literature/ChicksInChainmail'' anthology series (edited by Creator/EstherFriesner, who also includes {{Action Girl}}s in her own writings).²* Creator/MercedesLackey's books feature these themes, some more than others. For example, she created the magical blade "Need", which helps women in need (hence the name). ²* Another 1970s heroic-fantasy and science fiction author whose works featured strong women was Elizabeth A. Lynn.²* Creator/AngelaCarter wrote fairy tale revisions, collected in ''Literature/TheBloodyChamber'', and freewheeling fantastic stories with women who like men but don’t really need them, such as ''Literature/NightsAtTheCircus''.²* Jessica Amanda Salmonson's ''Literature/TomoeGozenSaga'', starring the eponymous legendary lady samurai. The first book was published in 1981.²* In the 1980s, P. C. Hodgell created the Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath centered on dancer/fighter Jame.²* The [[Literature/TheDuelOfSorceryTrilogy Duel of Sorcery Trilogy]], to at least some degree.²* Creator/StephenRDonaldson meets the definition of writing this (and also to some extent seem to see himself as writing this), but his credentials are still hotly debated. On the plus side: plenty of strong female characters in prominent positions in his stories, which generally take place in settings where no one thinks to question their right to take point and make the important decisions (and in settings where that is not the case, such as ''Daughter of Regals'' and ''Literature/MordantsNeed'', the emphasis is usually on a heroine overcoming her sexist surroundings). On the other hand: ''massive'' use of RapeAsDrama, as well as the controversial (especially in feminist circles) belief that rape, while certainly [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil worse than just about everything else]], is not necessarily a MoralEventHorizon - while it is very difficult for a rapist to redeem himself in Donaldson's stories, it ''is'' possible and Donaldson's [[Literature/TheGapCycle two longest and]] [[Literature/TheChroniclesOfThomasCovenant most well-known]] series have main protagonists who commit rape in the first book but change their ways and become (at least partly) forgiven by the last one.²* ''Literature/ChildrenOfMotherEarth'' features a GreenAesop, it is a futuristic fantasy that is located in Greenland, which, due to global warming, is ''actually'' green (the rest of the world has become a barren wasteland). The changes made to society to make the lifestyle more sustainable include the removal of patriarchy. Men are not allowed to carry weapons, so that they can't attempt to oppress women once again, but in all other respects, society is equal (and men can get a special permission to carry weapons if they really need to). ²* The 1986 fairy tale anthology ''Don't Bet on the Prince''.²* ''Literature/{{Dreamsnake}}'' (a post-apocalyptic story in which the protagonist's talent is healing, not fighting, but she's definitely active center of the story), and other books by Creator/VondaNMcIntyre.²* ''Literature/TheTrueGame'' series by Creator/SheriSTepper; in this setting, where magic combines with technology, there are many strong women characters, and the second and third parts are told from women’s point of view. Tepper writes more science fiction than fantasy, but always focusing on women.²* Creator/TerryPratchett, the creator of ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', has stated that he prefers to write strong female characters. A few of the books in the series have particularly feminist themes.²** ''Discworld/EqualRites'' is about a young woman, Eskarina Smith, who was inadvertently imbued with wizard ability, despite the commonly held belief that wizards are exclusively men, and witches are exclusively female, and the ensuing attempts to teach her witchcraft instead, or get her accepted into wizarding school.²** ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'' is about the role of women in war and a different take on SweetPollyOliver.²** The Tiffany Aching books, about a young girl growing up to be a formidable witch, also have such themes.²* The Dragonsword Trilogy (a 1980s American woman is taken to another world and becomes a warrior) and other books by Gael Baudino.²* The works of Creator/RobinMcKinley, including such fairy tale retellings as ''Literature/{{Deerskin}}'' and ''[[Literature/BeautyARetellingOfBeautyAndTheBeast Beauty]]'', and secondary world fantasy ''Literature/TheBlueSword'' and its sequels.²* ''Literature/LostGirls'' (a revisionist take on Peter Pan), ''[[Literature/GreatAltaSaga The Books of Great Alta]]'' (a society with women warriors), and many other works by Creator/JaneYolen.²* Anything by Creator/TamoraPierce, who, with one exception so far, has written exclusively about female main characters. In the Literature/CircleOfMagic, the genders seem to be mostly equal in the main setting, Emelan - when protagonists visit places where they aren't, they comment in the narration - whereas in the Literature/TortallUniverse, several of the stories exist to point out gender (and class) inequalities.²* ''Literature/TheBlackCompany'' series varies from book to book. ''Dreams of Steel'' and ''Water Sleeps'' both have a female protagonist, from whose perspective we see most of the events, and who shows strength of character, a lot of competence, military skill and the capability to hold her own in a deeply sexist society; and they aren't the only competent female characters in those books. Croaker's books seem to flip-flop on this - the first four books have his relationship with the female EvilOverlord as an important element, but her portrayal in ''The Black Company'' and ''The White Rose'' is much more rounded than in ''Shadows Linger'' and ''Shadow Games'' (in which she is either not present most of time or [[spoiler: still hasn't pulled herself back together after being depowered]]). The Murgen books (''Bleak Seasons'' and ''She Is the Darkness''), ''The Silver Spike'' and ''Soldiers Live'' seems to be the least feminist-friendly: though a fair of number of competent women appear in various capacities, they're just given much less focus than in other books of the series.²* Various series by Creator/ElizabethMoon, such as ''Literature/TheDeedOfPaksenarrion'' (heroic fantasy, starring the female paladin Paksenarrion), and ''Literature/FamiliasRegnant'' and ''Literature/VattasWar'' (space opera with {{Action Hero}}ines).²* ''The Practical Princess and Other Liberating Fairy Tales'' by Jay Williams.²* Creator/MelanieRawn tackles this head on in her ''Exiles'' series, set in a matriarchal society where women are the dominant gender — the rulers, leaders, the soldiers. Men are to be cosseted and cared for, submissive to their wives and so forth.²* The first of Creator/MelisaMichaels' ''Skyrider'' novels, ''Skirmish'', starred a two-fisted space pilot. (Republished by a house that specializes in [=FemLit=])²* In the first four books of Katharine Kerr's ''Literature/{{Deverry}}'' series, the main female lead is quite capable of handling herself in combat and the breaking of social expectations is regularly noted. In the later books, the long-term viewpoint character and most powerful wizard also is female.²* Emma Bull's books usually have strong female protagonists (e.g. rock musician Eddi [=McCandry=] in ''Literature/WarForTheOaks'').²* ''Literature/TheObernewtynChronicles'', a ScienceFantasy series whose protagonist, Elspeth, is an ActionHero, and there are plenty of others in the series. The same author also wrote Literature/TheLegendsongSaga, a TrappedInAnotherWorld tale.²* Creator/CJCherryh created many strong female characters: Morgaine, a female swordswoman (''Literature/MorgaineCycle''), Signy Mallory (''Literature/DownbelowStation''), Ariane Emory I/II (''Literature/{{Cyteen}}''), Raen (''Literature/SerpentsReach''), Elai and Elizabeth (''Literature/FortyThousandInGehenna'') etc.²* ''Literature/BlackTrillium'', co-written by Creator/MarionZimmerBradley, Creator/AndreNorton, and Creator/JulianMay, has three young girls delve into the secrets of ancient magic and liberate their kingdom from an invading army pretty much all by themselves.²* [[Literature/EnchantedForestChronicles The Enchanted Forest Chronicles]]. The heroine, Cimorene, is able to solve just about any problem that comes her way through plain common sense, bravery, and ingenuity. Kazul is shown to be pretty open-minded by dragon standards (most dragons don't consider confiding political and social issues to their princesses, and certainly don't take the princesses seriously), which means that she and Cimorene are often able to pool their resources and get quite a lot done. Morwen the witch is shown to be very powerful and quite willing to forgo "traditional" witch practices (wearing pointed black hats, only keeping black cats, etc.) just because they're impractical. While many of the princesses are shown to be feather-headed, it's agreed that they're pretty much that way because of impractical upbringings and not because the women themselves are naturally stupid. Even in the final book, when the protagonist is Cimorene's son, Daystar, he's only able to get as far as he does thanks to the extensive education his mother gave him.²* Creator/DavidWeber's ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series, essentially Literature/HoratioHornblower InSpace! Not only does the series follow GenderIsNoObject (except on the planet Grayson, which undergoes its own social development throughout the books), but roughly half the main characters are female, and not all of them are military; most of them are, as you'd expect from a MilitaryScienceFiction series, but diplomats, doctors, politicians, queens, and presidents all get their time in the spotlight.²* ''Nadya: The Wolf Chronicles'' by Pat Murphy: a fiercely independent female werewolf roams the Old West. Almost anything Pat Murphy wrote would qualify for this trope.²* ''Literature/TheSevenwatersTrilogy'' (dealings between human women and fairies in ancient Ireland) by Juliet Marillier.²* ''Kissing the Witch'', a series of retold fairy tales by Emma Donoghue.²* Gwyneth Jones has written fantasy and science fiction in which women play prominent roles; for example, in her ''Bold as Love'' cycle, Fiorinda (a modern analogue of Queen Guinevere) has just as decisive a role in the action as the other two protagonists.²%%* ''Literature/AshASecretHistory'', the ''Literature/WhiteCrow'' books, and others by Creator/MaryGentle.²* The ''Wolf Walker'' series by Tara K. Harper. A mixture of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, it involves women that share a telepathic bond with wolves -- primarily focused on Dion, a healer and scout. Other novels focus on her daughter, Nori or NaiveNewcomer Rezsia. ²* In Creator/LEModesittJr's ''Spellsong Cycle,'' a modern music professor becomes regent of a magic kingdom and one of the most powerful sorcerers in that world.²* ''The Wood Wife'' by Terri Windling, who, as an editor, is one of the strongest proponents of retold fairy tales; the book centers on a woman who becomes involved with spirits in the southwestern desert.²* ''Even the Stones'' by Marie Jakober; the protagonist is a queen who must hold on to her throne in spite of assaults from all sides.²%%* Creator/NahokoUehashi is very good at this, both ''Literature/Moribito'' and ''Literature/TheBeastPlayer'' can count as feminist fantasy.²* ''Literature/EllaEnchanted'' by Gail Carlson Levine is a retelling of Cinderella where Ella takes charge of her own destiny and in the context of the 'blessing' of absolute obedience, no less.²* Levine's other book, ''The Two Princesses of Bamarre'', is also very much this. The protagonists are the sisters Princess Addie and Princess Meryl. Meryl dreams of going out adventuring [[spoiler:and ends up turning into a fairy, which means she will spend an eternity fighting and protecting her land from monsters]]. Addie fights her fears and travels the land to save her sister from an illness, along the way facing numerous monsters and outwitting a dragon. The king, the girls' father, is shown to be an indecisive and ineffectual ruler, and the book ends with the implication that Addie will become a far better ruler ([[spoiler:or at least will be able to rid the land of the monsters in it]]). The main male character and Addie's LoveInterest, Rhys, helps out when he can, but it's clear that Addie is the heroine of the tale.²* The novels and stories of Nalo Hopkinson. In ''Literature/MidnightRobber'', a girl grows up on a distant planet and, among other adventures, becomes a "Robber Queen" righting wrongs; in ''Literature/BrownGirlInTheRing'', the main character Ti-Jeanne fights against gangsters and crooked politicians in a future Toronto.²* The ''Literature/ElementalLogic'' series (starring earth witch Karis G'deon, fire witch Zanja na'Tarwein, and many other important female characters) and Children of Triad series by Laurie J. Marks.²* The [[Literature/TheOtherworld Women of the Otherworld]] series, contemporary fantasy that is particularly strong in feminism, by Kelley Armstrong.²* ''Literature/TheSight'' by David-Clement Davies. Might be pushing it a bit since the novel is about wolves, but the main character, the main antagonist, and the secondary antagonist are all females. There are also many female supporting characters.²* The Literature/BooksOfPellinor: main character Maerad is a Bard who can change Nature as well as a swordswoman warrior²* The Literature/OneRoseTrilogy by Gail Dayton: a warrior woman in a matriarchal society.²%%* Allthough written by a man ''Literature/{{Phenomena}}'' has two heroes, the twins Alk and Ilke, a boy and a girl. Ilke is the strongest of the two, [[SlaveLiberation frees more people]], and is even one of the most beloved characters in the books. She has no real ImpliedLoveInterest, but according to WordOfGod will she only see a person as strong as herself worthy. Millian is also a strong female character, who is never in need of saving.²* ''Literature/RangersAtRoadsend'', and the other volumes of the Celaeno series, by Jane Fletcher features lots of asskicking women who are members of the military elite unit, the Rangers, and a society completely free of sexism. ²* ''Sappho's Leap'' by Creator/EricaJong. It's basically ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' told with a female protagonist (the poet Sappho). ²* The Literature/GodspeakerTrilogy, centering on two women who fight their way from slavery to queendom (or empressdom).²* ''Literature/TheOrphansTales'' by Creator/CatherynneMValente; many, many characters, probably more of them female than male, definitely individual and active.²* Nihal, the main heroine of the Literature/ChroniclesOfTheEmergedWorld, is a badass Half-elf Dragon Rider.²* In general, most of Creator/NnediOkorafor's works, from her first novel (''Zahrah the Windseeker'') onward, have women with magical powers who have to overcome sexism (and sometimes racism as well).²* Creator/RhiannonFrater has made a living trying to alter the horror landscape to have room for these. ''Literature/AsTheWorldDies'' (two women surviving a ZombieApocalypse and running a fort) and ''Literature/PrettyWhenSheDies'' (a woman, having become a vampire, battles an ancient evil) are some of the works she's created in its pursuit.²* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' and the resulting films based on it. Taking place AfterTheEnd, Katniss Everdeen finds herself thrust into political plots and revolution after volunteering as a Tribute to save her younger sister. Katniss is an intelligent, strong-willed, and courageous woman who secretly hunts to provide for her poor family, a skill-set that allows her to become a serious contender in the Hunger Games. Her victory in the first Games leads her to become a symbol of rebellion, igniting a revolution that she is quickly swept up into. One of her [[BettyAndVeronica potential]] love interests is notably more gentle and artistic compared to Katniss, who has to deal with the dark side of fame -- being forced into the box of the beautiful woman in love, as opposed to her true self. ²* Jim C. Hines' ''Literature/ThePrincessSeries'' stars Snow White, the Sleeping Beauty (but don't call her that), and Cinderella as far-from-passive heroes.²* The main character of ''The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms'', the first volume of the Literature/InheritanceTrilogy, is Yeine, who comes to the imperial center as a potential candidate for the throne, participates in intrigues in order to save her home country, deals with gods, and never backs down. The second volume of the trilogy is again centered on a woman, but she's a bit less in control of events.²* The ''Literature/LunarChronicles'' places well-known fairy tales such as Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood in a dystopian sci-fi setting, with the heroines of each tale teaming up to defeat a wicked Queen. ²* ''Three Parts Dead'' by Max Gladstone, whose main character, Tara, is a necromancer tasked with bringing a god back to life. This is the first volume of the Craft Sequence, some of whose other volumes have female protagonists also.²* Most of the protagonists in the main series of ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' are female (presumably half when the main arc finishes). Pyrrhia is ruled by queens and in other jobs females are just as common as males, and there are plenty of powerful female characters on all factions.²* The Radchaai in ''Literature/AncillaryJustice'' do not see gender and thus, every character in the series is referred to with the pronoun "she" thanks to TranslationConvention. The protagonist is biologically female.²* In the Alpennia series by Heather Rose Jones, set in a Ruritanian country, the main cast is all women: in the first book, we are introduced to a swordswoman who is surrounded by political intrigue, who needs to sort out her role, and another woman who is interested in recovering and improving old magical rituals; in the second volume, they are joined by an experimental alchemist and a society hostess and all four of them foil a plot against Alpennia; by the third volume, it's clear that the political intrigue has implications beyond the kingdom.²* All novels by Creator/FrancesHardinge feature very strong and non-stereotypical female protagonists (except ''Verdigris Deep'', and even that one has a lot of important female characters), but ''The Lie Tree'' is a pure work of feminist fantasy, as it explores the image of woman in the Victorian society, concepts like learned helplessness and masochism and how the enormous contribution that the woman made to both that society and the natural science has gone most unnoticed until recently - all through the eyes of a 14-year-old girl against a backdrop of a murder mystery with a shade of supernatural. ²* ''Literature/{{MARZENA}}'' is a story about a woman who runs a military company made solely of womyn, who [[DeadlyEuphemism "erase"]] people for a living and give psychotherapy to civilian women to convince them to spy and kill for said womyn. Not to mention that the entire universe of the story is based on a neurotechnological boom caused by the discovery of how the brain produces consciousness, the greatest discovery of all time, also done by a woman. ²* ''Literature/TheRadiantDawn'' plays this trope straight. Dawn, the main protagonist, is a OneWomanArmy and is not shown to have physical weaknesses, at least once she ascends. Her male partner takes a supporting role as a forklift operator who also functions as a warrior. Nadia and Laina also take major roles as the helicopter pilot and mythology expert respectively. On the side of the antagonists, Stacie is shown to be the more mature of the pair and is more intelligent than Aaron, who is boyish and impulsive.²* ''Literature/{{Divergent}}'' features a female protagonist called Tris who, upon discovering that she is a Divergent (and therefore under risk of being disposed of by her dystopian government), puts herself through TrainingFromHell. She and her eventual boyfriend Four become a BattleCouple in the process. Two of the faction leaders are also women, and Abnegation features Tris' mother in a very prominent position (and she goes MamaBear to rescue her from Dauntless soldiers at the end of the first film). There are numerous {{Action Girl}}s such as Christina and Tori in the supporting cast.²* Creator/CharlesStross writes science fiction that usually centers around a female protagonist (human or humanoid android), or if there's a male and female hero team, it will be a NonActionGuy and an ActionHeroine - even if the latter sometimes got her fighting skills through rather contrived circumstances (e.g. a historical reenactment / fencing hobby). Of particular interest with regards to feminist themes are the Freyaverse novels ''Literature/SaturnsChildren'' and ''Literature/NeptunesBrood'', the aborted "trilogy" ''Literature/HaltingState'' and ''Literature/Rule34'' (lesbian police officer protagonist), and ''Literature/TheMerchantPrincesSeries''.²* Numerous UrbanFantasy series star asskicking women as their main character. Here are just a few:²** The Black Sun's Daughter series by M.L.N. Hanover²** The Literature/CassandraPalmer series by Karen Chance²** The Greywalker series by Kat Richardson²** The Literature/KateDaniels series by Ilona Andrews²** Carrie Vaughn's Literature/KittyNorville series²** The Literature/MercyThompson series by Creator/PatriciaBriggs²* The protagonist of ''Literature/Birthright2017'', Sabrina Bunahr, is a princess whose claim to the throne is never questioned, and who very quickly decides to solve her own problems rather than wait around for rescue. The dragons of the setting may also be a matriarchal society, as all of the leaders seen so far have been female.²* Literature/{{Maresi}} and its sequels, with the emphasis on the feminist over the fantasy. It centers around the Red Abbey, a haven from patriarchal oppression where women and girls go to be safe and learn, and part of the curriculum is magic both individually and as a whole. The first book details the Abbey women saving a girl from an honor killing, while the second has seven abused wives/servants of an EvilVizier working together to escape and strip him of his magical power.²* ''The Wrestling Princess and Other Stories'' by Judy Corbalis.²* Creator/DianeDuane's ''Literature/{{Rihannsu}}'' sequence pairs [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries James T. Kirk]] with a Romulan (Rihan) {{deuteragonist}}, a ''khre'riov''[[note]]"commander general", equivalent to a commodore or rear admiral[[/note]] named Ael t'Rllailleiu. The books' vision of Romulan culture is slightly matriarchal (there are more women than men in the Grand Fleet and many political leaders are female), and while there is some slight ShipTease between Ael and Kirk, she is written as his equal and a fellow commander rather than another GirlOfTheWeek. She's also a mother and a widow, and tends to be AMotherToHerMen as well. The novels also give supporting roles to ''Enterprise'' communications officer Nyota Uhura and one of her female subordinates (their expertise in the Rihan {{conlang}} is vital) and to Terise [=Haleakala-LoBrutto=], a Federation anthropologist in {{deep cover|Agent}} on Romulus.²* ''Literature/Aeon14'' is a SpaceOpera SharedUniverse packed full of badass women (and female-presenting {{AI}}s), most good, some bad, while most of the ''really'' nasty villains are men. This is not to the exclusion of the softer aspects of femininity: main protagonist Tanis Richards becomes a mom early in the ''Orion War'' series, while also acting as the governor of her colony (while remaining a FourStarBadass).²* ''Literature/TheImmortalJourney'' takes place after a ZombieApocalypse in the future, where the few remaining humans can't afford to be weak-willed, no matter their gender. The protagonist is female, but even outside of her none of the women in this story are to be trifled with. Daisy the instructor is stated to be the main reason Emily's team hasn't gone soft, [[RidiculouslyHumanRobot Carol]] regularly rebuffs the man she bodyguards, her maker Nicole is an extremely gifted WrenchWench (while Carol's impossibly advanced AI was created by another woman), and the leader of the Manhattan vampires (Manhattan being one of the last bastions of life on Earth) is also female.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Live-Action TV]]²* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' provides the page image above. ²* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', and a fair number of Creator/JossWhedon works. (The original [[Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer 1992 film]] aspired to this too, but didn't quite get there.)²* ''Series/Charmed1998'' is a feminist fantasy that featured three women banding together and saving the world. This is especially true of earlier seasons when the story seemed very focused on vulnerable women preyed on by aggressive male characters. The fantasy was that they were witches and could thus defend themselves from all of these threats. Also, Charmed was very focused on celebrating men in general with the Halliwells descended from a long line of strong women. Like the original show, the [[Series/Charmed2018 new series]] also revolves around three sisters as its main protagonists, and often involves women's issues as well. In fact, their mother was even a professor of women's studies at the local university.²* ''Series/WonderWoman'' was intended to be explicitly feminist like its comic book counterpart, but [[ExecutiveMeddling the network]] ordered the show's producers to tone down the messages.²* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' follows Emma Swan, a tough and cynical Bounty Hunter that finds her life turned on its head when the son she gave up for adoption shows up on her doorstep. He reveals to her that she is The Savior, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming destined to break the Evil Queen's curse and save the enchanted residents of Storybrooke. Though initially unwilling to believe, over time Emma comes to accept her destiny as a hero. Featuring numerous characters from classical fairy tales and legends, many are re-imagined as heroines in their own right as opposed to typical [[DamselInDistress Damsels]]. Snow White and Prince Charming are a BattleCouple, the Evil Queen is a complex and deeply flawed woman, Belle is a {{Guile Hero}}ine, and even those women that don't physically fight are shown to possess other kinds of strength -- great intelligence, supernatural might, or incredible emotional fortitude. ²* ''Series/OnceUponATimeInWonderland'' is a SpinOff of the above, and continues the tradition of strong women. Alice is brilliant and able to outwit the various {{Chessmaster}}s gunning for her. Discovering that TheLostLenore is still alive, Alice undertakes a quest to rescue him. ²* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', the SpinOff of the ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' films. Picking up after the second film, it stars Creator/LenaHeadey as [[MamaBear Sarah]] and introduces Creator/SummerGlau as Cameron, a Terminator in the form of a young woman who has been sent back to protect [[TheChosenOne John]] Connor. Much of the series revolves around the two women fighting to protect John from killer cyborgs, ensuring that he'll grow up to follow in his mother's footsteps as leader of the human resistance. ²* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' features a balanced cast, explores explicitly feminist themes, and features a fairly equal society. Secretary of Education Laura Roslin finds herself thrust into leadership as President of the refugee fleet, struggling to deal with maintaining power while hiding her terminal illness. Kara Thrace is an [[TheAce ace pilot]] with a troubled past, and mysterious visions that could lead humanity to salvation. Caprica Six is a seductive but strangely kind Cylon, with the Six models slowly finding themselves at the forefront of a philosophical divide among the Cylons. Three, played by Creator/LucyLawless, is a prophet that believes she can discover the identities of the divine Final Five models. The Eights, primarily [[TomatoInTheMirror Boomer]] and Athena, struggle with identity and finding their place in the world as they find themselves on opposite sides of the war. The series deals with issues of reproductive rights, female sexuality, abuse, sexual violence and its aftermath, troubled relationships, varying sexual orientations, and the problems women face as leaders. For every male lead, there is an equal female lead with her own unique journey. ²* ''Series/TinMan'' is a ScienceFantasy retelling of ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'', where the three main power players are women. DG leads the resistance, her mother the queen is TheMentor pulling the strings so that evil is defeated, and the evil Azkadellia commands an entire army as well as wielding plenty of dark magic herself. [[spoiler: As Azkadellia is really DG's possessed sister, the climax of the story stresses the power of sisterly love - where the combined powers of the sisters defeats the true WickedWitch]]. Most of the men in the story are subservient to the women in some way.²* ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven'' is a distinctly [[DarkFantasy dark and twisted]] tale, driven by a diverse cast of women. The shadowy society of magic is almost predominantly female, with the powerful figures of Fiona Goode and [[ Marie Laveau]] leading the rival groups. Unlike previous installments of the series, the women are the driving force of the story and rarely require assistance or protection from the few male characters. They fight their own battles, with each other as well as the various outside forces that threaten them. It deals with issues of older women as sexual beings, feminism as a force that changed society, sexual assault, and even women as dangerous figures in the form of abusers or killers. It neatly avoids the [[DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale Double Standards]] concerning female-on-male violence, portraying either sex as equally capable of being the abuser ''or'' the victim. On multiple occasions, students of the school declare that they do not need men to protect them, facing down hordes of zombies or axe-wielding serial killers without needing for rescue. ²* ''Series/{{Nikita}}'' features two women as the main heroes in season 1, and in seasons 3 and 4 the primary antagonist is a woman. The titular character is considered among the most dangerous characters in the series. When most male division agents run into her, it doesn't end well for them. ²* ''Series/OrphanBlack'' is a gritty sci-fi series about a human cloning conspiracy. Along with having a main cast consisting almost entirely of complex female characters, the series explores themes of identity, motherhood, female autonomy, and reproductive rights.²* ''Series/AgentCarter'' is a spin-off of ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'', starring the titular female agent, becoming the first female lead in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse. In the aftermath of the war, Peggy finds herself reduced to fetching coffee and answering phones at the organization she works for -- belittled by her peers and unable to find respect as a field agent. When Stark inventions are stolen and he finds himself accused of treason, he contacts Peggy to clear his name and find the missing inventions. Working as a double agent, Peggy takes advantage of her peers' tendency to ignore her and fights to save New York from a criminal organization. The series deals with not only the misogyny of the era, but the plight of thousands of women forced to surrender their wartime careers to the returning soldiers. ²* ''Series/JessicaJones2015'', the second work in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse to be lead by a woman, takes a ''really'' DarkerAndEdgier approach while still focusing on a female hero and having a supporting cast that is comprised mostly of women. ComicBook/JessicaJones, as in the comics, is a retired superhero who has taken to private investigation work. Her enemy is Kilgrave, who has the ability to control minds with his voice, and uses his powers to [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil rape women]] and abuse other people, and of whom Jessica herself was once a victim. Her biggest allies are a powerful female attorney and an equally powerful female media personality. ComicBook/LukeCage is another one of her allies, but in a GenderFlip, he's mainly there to look hot and have sex with Jessica at first. Notably, the series plays many FilmNoir tropes straight, except with a woman being the lead instead of man, including her being a hard drinker and having casual sex. ²* ''Series/StrangeEmpire'' was a sadly shortlived Canadian western about a Metis gunslinger looking for her missing husband, a black woman who used to be a sex slave and now is married to the villain of the show, and an autistic woman who wants to be a doctor, and their struggles in the NoWomansLand of a small frontier township consisting primarily of miners and prostitutes. The show particularly stands out in the way it plays Literature/AndThenThereWereNone... with its white male characters.²* ''Series/DarkMatter'' started out as a normal ensemble show, but in season 2 developed more and more into this trope, by sidelining, [[FaceHeelTurn face-heel-turning]], or unceremoniously [[spoiler: killing off]] most of the regular male characters [[spoiler: including the original WhiteMaleLead protagonist]], as well as adding another female regular and expanding the android's personality and plot involvement. By the end of the season, the remaining 2 guys on the AntiHero team basically just act as henchmen for "Boss Lady" - and they are perfectly content with that. ²* The [[Series/{{Supergirl2015}} Supergirl TV series]] focuses on the titular heroine, as she decides to follow in her cousin's footsteps and become a hero. Kara worries about being trapped in her more famous cousin's shadow, and works to become her own hero defined by her own successes and failures. Alongside her foster sister, Alex, she aids a covert government agency in hunting down escaped alien criminals -- with the relationship between the sisters a major focus of the story. Her boss, media mogul Cat Grant, also brings another perspective into the story in exploring the double standards attached to successful women. Women, she tells Kara, have to work twice as hard to be acknowledged and aren't allowed to make mistakes if they want to be taken seriously. ²* ''Series/{{Fantaghiro}}'', an Italian RomanticFantasy series by Creator/LambertoBava, is about the eponymous character fighting rival kingdoms, {{evil sorcerer}}s and fantasy monsters; and her boyfriend [[DistressedDude is usually the one who needs to be rescued]].²* ''Series/IZombie'' is a crime/fantasy drama focused on [[PunnyName Olivia "Liv" Moore]], a woman that finds her plans derailed after being turned into a zombie. With a need to consume human brains to remain sentient, Liv breaks off her engagement and quits her job as a Surgical Intern before taking a job as an Assistant Medical Examiner. This grants her access to the brains she needs, but with it comes visions from the deceased -- visions that allow Liv to help solve their murders. ²* When ''Series/DoctorWho'' returned to TV in 2005, its producers (first Creator/RussellTDavies, later Creator/StevenMoffat) took the view that the ''companion'' was to be a central character in the series, equal to the Doctor. Considering most of the Doctor's companions are female, it resulted in Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Amy Pond, Clara Oswald, and Bill Potts all becoming a major focus of the action in turn, with many occasions in which they save the day (and the universe). In particular...²** ... the uber-example of the companions is [[Characters/DoctorWhoClaraOswald Clara Oswald]] (to the point of the character becoming a [[BrokenBase base breaker]]). By the time of her departure after "only" 2 1/2 seasons, she was responsible for not only the Doctor's survival over the millennia, but every future Doctor will also exist because of her (thanks to her resolving a longstanding plot point about how many times [[TheNthDoctor the Doctor can regenerate]]). She is also the only companion to be explicitly established as the Doctor's DistaffCounterpart.²** With the 2017 announcement that the Thirteenth Doctor is a woman (Creator/JodieWhittaker) the show is '''firmly''' this from Series 11 onward.²* Upon close-inspection, Morticia Addams from ''Franchise/TheAddamsFamily'' ([[Series/TheAddamsFamily the show]] and [[Film/TheAddamsFamily the film series]]) can be read as a feminist icon to a certain degree. She is sexy, confident and fully comfortable in her own skin, completely unashamed of many of her strange hobbies and her still ''very'' active sex-life. In her marriage, she is equal to Gomez in everything, especially when it comes to parenting their children. Whenever they have a scheme, they do it together, and they have no secrets to hide from each other (not that they would want to).²* After showing how women are underestimated at best and treated as sex slaves, brood mares and bargaining chips at worst, ''Series/GameOfThrones'' gets this tinge in its 6th season, in the form of WomenAreWiser. Almost all factions (King's Landing, the Reach, Dorne, the Iron Islands, Meereen) have come to be headed by strong, competent (at least [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen sometimes]]) female rulers (Cersei, Olenna, Ellaria, Daenerys) while the men who had previously held these positions have failed one way or another. The one faction that has a man at its throne (the North) owes its existence to Sansa Stark more than it does to its king Jon who almost got himself and his men killed and would have lost without Sansa's diplomatic skill. Even previously competent male leaders like Tyrion and Jon have turned into GeneralFailure and make a mess for the women to clean up. Women such as Brienne, Arya and Lyanna Mormont, if not queens in their own right, acquit themselves better than most men do at this point. It eventually ends up being subverted by the end. Ellaria is last seen rotting in the dungeon after being defeated by Balon Greyjoy and losing her daughters, while Olenna is given the chance to commit suicide after being defeated by Jaime's forces. Most controversially, [[spoiler:Daenerys ends up JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope, going on a rampage through King's Landing and killing thousands of innocent people, not just Cersei. Jon is ultimately forced to kill Daenerys, resulting in only two female rulers remaining- Yara Greyjoy ruling over the Ironborn and Sansa as Queen in the North, and both largely got the positions by virtue of no one else being eligible for them.]]²* ''Series/{{Witchblade}}'': The Witchblade is explicitly a female force, choosing women to wield it and regarding them as superior. Many of the villains Sara encounters are, conversely, in one way or another embodiments of the darker sides of masculinity or the products of male efforts to "usurp" the female domain (e.g., [[CloningBlues clones]] represent [[DesignerBaby artificial control over pregnancy and birth]], {{brainwashing}} {{super soldier}}s can be seen as a twisted version of child rearing, and TheLanceOfLonginus is {{literal|Metaphor}}ly the SpearCounterpart to the Witchblade and wielded by a villain). Protagonist Sara Pezzini is tough and capable but also not afraid to show emotion or otherwise appear feminine, and protective of others in a definite MamaBear sort of way.²* ''Series/TheOutpost'': There are roughly equal numbers of women and men in the main and supporting cast, with many common character archetypes of HeroicFantasy (and [[WeirdWest Westerns]]) GenderFlipped: TheDrifter, protagonist Talon, is a [[WalkingTheEarth wandering]] {{revenge}}-seeker trying to find a place in the world, TheBartender is a money-grubbing, morally gray female innkeeper, and Gwynn is set up as a [[PrincessClassic classically feminine]] BlueBlood but shows a taste for wild living [[spoiler:and then turns into TheHighQueen and an ActionGirl to rival Talon after it's revealed she's really Rosmund, the {{Hidden Backup Prince}}ss who is plotting a revolution to regain her throne]].²* ''Series/TheHandmaidsTale'': Not only is the main character a woman along with most supporting characters too, the series revolves around women's issues. Most particularly is bodily autonomy, since the Handmaids are {{breeding slave}}s, though also other rights which women have gained (at least in part of the world). They struggle both to resist and survive under a misogynist regime that's horrifically oppressive, in which the smallest freedom is denied for them. Given that many issues in the series have come back into prominence with a number of US laws curtailing many reproductive rights, actual American feminists have even taken up the Handmaid motif to protest while wearing their garb. ²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Tabletop Games]]²* ''TabletopGame/BlueRose'' is designed to emulate Feminist Fantasy of the sort published by Creator/TamoraPierce and Creator/MercedesLackey.²* ''TabletopGame/{{Heroine}}'' is a highly unusual role-playing game that doesn't explicitly concern itself with any obviously feminist issues, but stars an AlwaysFemale main player character overcoming fantastic challenges through her cleverness, daring, and kindness. Also, it is more of a storybook fantasy than any other kind of fantasy.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Toys]]²* Lauren Faust's original toyline concept, ''Toys/MilkyWayAndTheGalaxyGirls'', does this with a wide, diverse cast. She got put in charge on the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' ContinuityReboot when she pitched the idea, and you can notice similarities between the two. Either way, she is quite proud that she could deliver such a blow to the GirlShowGhetto.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Video Games]]²* Lara Croft from ''Franchise/TombRaider'' was always divisive when it came to whether she was a positive female character or not. She's a kick-ass, intelligent AdventurerArchaeologist, is independent and wealthy, but she was also ''very'' sexualized in the marketing for her earlier games. Far less contentious however is the rebooted ''Tomb Raider'' franchise produced by Crystal Dynamics, which thus far includes ''VideoGame/TombRaider2013'' and ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheTombRaider'', which toned Lara's sexualization way down to the point of being basically non-existent and focused on her growth and CharacterDevelopment from a timid college student to a tough but traumatized survivor and badass. The first game in particular focused on her relationship with another woman, Sam, and how their friendship helped Lara grow as a person. The scripts for the rebooted series were also written by a woman, Creator/RhiannaPratchett. ²* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'':²** The title character is an ''insanely'' powerful Witch that uses FullContactMagic, a variety of weapons, her intelligence, and [[DeadpanSnarker snark]] to tear her way through everything in her path. She is one of the last of the Umbra Witches, an order of women warriors charged with helping to uphold the balance of the world.²** She is the sort of stylish, sexy, sarcastic fantasy action game hero that was an AlwaysMale archetype at the time her game came out. Unlike many less effective 'sexy' {{Action Hero}}ines, her {{Camp}} approach allows her to serve as a silly EscapistCharacter who gamers relate to and want to be, rather than [[LowestCommonDenominator a well-rendered pair of buttocks]] for [[MaleGaze the assumed-straight-male gamer to stare at from a distance]]. We also get to see her as [[ThreeFacesOfEve a child, a mother and a nun]], implying a femininity that is more complex than just sex.²** The male cast members are almost entirely support or comic relief, with Bayonetta and [[TheRival Jeanne]] both serving as the driving force behind the game. Jubileus the Creator has a feminine form, suggesting that the God worshipped by the male Lumen Sages and the normal humans may in fact be female.²** The game also has RomanticismVersusEnlightenment along traditional myth tropes of the light masculine principle and dark feminine principle, suggesting that feminine subversion, liminality, feeling, sexuality and fun is the only way to dismantle boring, orderly, oppressive, repressed patriarchy. At the end of the game, Bayonetta summons a prostitute demon to punch the Abrahamic God into the Sun. In an attack called a 'Climax'.²** There's a strong subversion of the tendency to view [[RealWomenDontWearDresses feminine gender expression as shallow and frivolous]]. Bayonetta's girly accoutrements are all sources of her power - her impractical heels are guns, her jewellery is a MacGuffin, her fancy glasses are her mother's, her lollipop is her connection to her childhood, her perfume allows her to signal her presence despite being hidden in a pocket dimension, she uses her lipstick to write, and her long hair is a medium by which she can summon an extremely powerful demon. But she's also fine with the idea of 'a girl without lipstick', so [[RealWomenWearDresses avoids the inversion]].²* ''VideoGame/LollipopChainsaw'' features a cheerful, perky cheerleader that slays zombies with a chainsaw. A chainsaw that spews rainbows and sparkles, because [[RuleOfCool that's awesome]]. In order to save her boyfriend after he's bitten, she uses a spell to transform him into a living severed head and brings him along on her adventure to save the world from a zombie apocalypse. Creator/Suda51 and Creator/JamesGunn use AudienceSurrogate Nick to illustrate points about unequal relationships and objectification, in this case quite ''literal''. ²* ''VideoGame/{{Bloodrayne}}'' follows {{Dhampyr}} Rayne, a [[OneManArmy One Woman Army]] working for the Brimstone Society. The first installment sees her battling Nazis during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, while the sequel deals with her personal quest to wipe out her vampire kin. Powerful and highly skilled in martial arts and weaponry, Rayne tears her way through armies and supernatural horrors bent on world domination while dishing out [[DeadpanSnarker snark]]. She shows great intelligent and ingenuity, often out-smarting her foes and coming out on top even when at a physical disadvantage. In the finale of the second game, [[spoiler: after slaying her father and finding herself abandoned by the Brimstone Society in a nightmare world, it's hinted she intends to take over her father's territory -- "Empress might not be a bad job title", indeed]].²* ''VideoGame/ScienceGirls'' is about the science club of an all-female school which has to team up and use super-powers to fight off an alien invasion.²* ''Franchise/MassEffect''²** It does a great job with its female characters, which is one of the reasons why the game has such a large EstrogenBrigade. Since the first game, every squad in the series has had a roughly 1:1 gender distribution, with women warriors potentially outnumbering the men if you play as female or [[spoiler: save Ashley on Virmire]]. Even the more sexualized characters, like Miranda and Samara, are ''far'' more than eye candy and receive plenty of CharacterDevelopment throughout the series that turns them into, well, people rather than objects. Much like sister series ''Franchise/DragonAge'', ''Mass Effect'' also shows plenty of women as soldiers, scientists, and other strong individuals among the N.P.C.s and background characters. The real icon of the feminist influence in ''Mass Effect'' though is the female version of Commander Shepard, affectionately known as "Fem!Shep" to the fans, who manages to surpass being a typical PurelyAestheticGender RPG protagonist due to [[Creator/JenniferHale Jennifer Hale's]] extremely well done voice performance for the character and [[Creator/BioWare BioWare's]] acknowledgement and endorsement of female Shepard as a strong female protagonist. ²** The asari, a OneGenderRace of [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe blue alien space babes]] who [[MsFanservice conveniently]] are willing to mate with any gender of any species, initially come off as pure {{Fanservice}} material, and there's no denying they're the most sexualized characters in ''Mass Effect''. Nonetheless, the asari are also regarded as the most intelligent and powerful beings in the galaxy due to their long life span, history in galactic politics (they found the Citadel first, and essentially run the galactic government), and natural talent for biotics, and their individual soldiers are considered the most formidable warriors in the galaxy. As with the other more sexualized female characters in ''Mass Effect'', the asari characters in Shepard's squad as well as notable NPC characters all are well developed characters with their own motives, ambitions, and personalities. Whether or not all of this cancels out the {{Fanservice}} they provide is one of the most contested parts of ''Franchise/MassEffect''. ²* ''Franchise/DragonAge''²** Creator/BioWare's other big franchise seemingly outdoes ''Franchise/MassEffect'' in its portrayal of badass women. Female fighters are simply ''everywhere'' in Thedas, with most nations having adopted a GenderIsNoObject policy long ago (with Tevinter and the Qun being the notable exceptions). Throughout the series you are partnered with several fully-fleshed out women in your squad. Additionally the Chantry, the FantasyCounterpartCulture for the Catholic Church and arguably the most powerful political entity in Thedas, is comprised ''exclusively'' of women, including the head of Chantry and its most powerful scholars and warriors. This is in large part due to the fact that its founder was female prophet/warrior named Andraste (whose story is honestly worthy of a game itself). ²** Ironically, even though the Qun is the only nation in Thedas that prohibits women from fighting (at least in the military. The [[SecretPolice Ben-Hassrath]] have quite a few female agents), it is actually a matriarchy. Women are seen as naturally better at management, so they're in charge of government, the priesthood, the merchants, the crafts(wo)men, and the farmers. Men are soldiers and laborers, and can be a part of the priesthood. That's it. The Tamassrans, a female-exclusive branch of the priesthood, are the de facto rulers of Qunari society. ²* ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' has Jade, an IntrepidReporter who goes up against the GovernmentConspiracy and handles herself extremely well in the situation. She is also commonly cited among the best examples of realistically proportioned and sensibly dressed female protagonists in video games.²* ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'' and ''VideoGame/DreamfallTheLongestJourney'' heroines April Ryan and Zoe Castillo are often considered by the fans to exemplify Feminist Fantasy, but their creator, while admitting a penchant for diligent and persevering women, denies that it was his main intention for creating them. Nevertheless, the fact is that both go out on an adventure, brave danger, proactively solve their own and others' problems and issues and ultimately save their world.²* ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' features a very balanced approach to its protagonists, with multiple strong and capable women. The first two installments gave the player the choice of a male or female character, and subsequent titles have always had at least one strong female as either the primary or secondary lead. The majority are professionals working in law enforcement or the military, and any rescuing is divided equally between the genders. Those that aren't {{Action Girl}}s are accomplished professionals, such as scientists or businesswomen. Ashley Graham is the lone exception, which is somewhat justified since she's the President's daughter.²* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' was one of the first video game series to feature a strong female protagonist, even though the identity of Samus Aran was kept a secret until the finale.²* One of the things that makes ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' stand out from the pack that its only two characters are both female. [=GLaDOS=] is a deliciously snarky and manipulative character, and while Chell's HeroicMime status makes her a bit of a blank slate, she's clearly intelligent and [[TheDeterminator determined]] and isn't sexualized. ²* ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' with the irony of being created as a SpiritualSuccessor to a Franchise/JamesBond game.²* ''VideoGame/NoOneLivesForever'', on the other hand, is an outright parody of Franchise/JamesBond but its heroine Cate Archer nevertheless stands out on her own.²* While ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' has an ensemble cast and doesn't really have a single main character, the two characters who come closest to fulfilling the role for most of the story, Terra and Celes, are both female. Terra is frequently considered the most important character in the game not just by players but by the cast themselves, due in no small part due to being [[spoiler:half-Esper]]. She also fits a number of {{Messianic Archetype}}s (hell, her mother's name is ''Madonna''), though not as much as Yuna, seen below.²* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'''s main character may be Zidane, but the majority of the plot is driven by Princess Garnet. Rather than just being a PrincessClassic, she's a highly intelligent and determined young woman who (despite her initial naivety) manages to prove her own independence across the game. Supporting females include Freya - who is a powerful dragon knight out to rescue the man she loves, Beatrix - a fearsome OneWomanArmy who commands the all-female military of Alexandria, and Eiko - a WiseBeyondHerYears six-year-old who is highly skilled and resourceful in the field.²* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' seemingly tricks the audience into believing that Tidus is the main character of the story, and as the story progresses it appears that this is actually Yuna's story and he serves as the AudienceSurrogate for her quest to save the world. Yuna begins the story as a naive young woman determined to sacrifice herself for the greater good, but as it goes on she must choose a new path in order to defeat [[EldritchAbomination Sin]] once and for all. Towards the story's climax, it becomes clearer that Tidus is the {{Deuteragonist}} to Yuna's SupportingProtagonist [[spoiler:as he is the one trully destined to kill Sin, not Yuna]]. The game's sequel, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'', is stright example which features an all-female party, taking elements of the MagicalGirl genre with transformations allowing them to harness different powers and abilities. The Gull Wings are primarily focused on enjoying the world they saved, but Yuna also seeks to find out [[spoiler:what happened to Tidus after he vanished during the first game's ending]]. ²* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' features a naive male AudienceSurrogate, but RebelliousPrincess Ashe is the focal point of the plot, using political intrigue and supernatural or military might to reclaim her throne and save her kingdom. When an invasion killed first her husband, and then her father, rather than surrender to her fate... she faked her own death, and became part of an underground resistance. The others become involved in her quest, and follow her as she journeys across the lands in search of mystical artifacts, great weapons, and political allies to aid in her mission to save her kingdom. She becomes the focus of [[spoiler: a mysterious race of god-like beings, who offer to make her a God-Queen ruling over all mankind. They encourage her desire for revenge, but ultimately she rejects them and chooses a path towards freedom and peace for mankind]]. ²* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' was advertised as the first in the series to have a female protagonist (as opposed to previous titles that used a male as the AudienceSurrogate), and centers primarily around the women of the story. Lightning is a capable and skilled soldier, and quickly establishes herself as a leader while struggling to [[DefrostingIceQueen open up]] to her new companions. Vanille and Fang also help drive the plot through their choices, and [[spoiler: ultimately find a loophole to complete their Focus while still saving the people of Cocoon]]. The sequels expand upon this, with the focus upon the Goddess Etro and how her Seeress has shaped history. Serah takes the reigns of TheProtagonist, while Lightning becomes a Champion of the Goddess. The final game of the trilogy sees Lightning become the maiden of legend: the Savior foretold to appear at the end of the world and lead mankind to salvation. It deviates from a party system, seeing Lightning become a literal [[OneManArmy One Woman Army]] on a divine mission to save mankind. The final confrontation with the BigBad manages to further the feminist themes of the story: [[spoiler: Upon learning that God intends to make humanity soulless puppets, with her as Etro's replacement, she uses her new-found power as a [[AGodAmI Goddess]] to defeat him. The many incarnations of the Seeress Yeul offer to take Lightning's place as the new Goddess of death to ensure the cycle of rebirth can be restored, while Lightning leads the souls of humanity to a new world]]. ²* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' addresses issues concerning gender, with the majority of the party struggling in some capacity with the problems stereotypes and traditional expectations cause people. {{Tomboy}} Chie struggles with being viewed as "one of the guys", and feels jealousy towards her more traditionally feminine friend, Yukiko. Meanwhile, Yukiko feels trapped in her role as the heiress of an Inn, with her Shadow taking the form of a twisted PrincessClassic waiting for a Prince to rescue her. (Of course, she has to do it herself.) Tough Guy Kanji resents being treated as less of a man for [[RealMenWearPink liking cute things and enjoying knitting]], while KidDetective Naoto pretends to be a man in order to be taken seriously in a male-dominated field. Finally, IdolSinger Rise struggles to define herself beyond the many roles she has played in her career, and worries about who the "real" Rise is. Her [[JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind Dungeon]] takes on the form of a strip club, reflecting the darker side of fame for women. ²* ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'' stars FairCop Aya Brea, an NYPD detective that discovers her [[CursedWithAwesome mutated genes]] have made her the only person capable of saving humanity. Her police training and growing powers make her a [[OneManArmy One Woman Army]], battling her way through various mutated horrors in her quest to stop the titular [[BigBad Eve]] from destroying humanity. The sequels see her become an FBI agent, and once again the only woman capable of saving the human race. ²* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' stands out from the rest of the franchise for not only providing the first playable Heroine, but turning classic Disney films on their head a little with how she fits into their narratives. The story begins with Aqua earning the rank of Master, and being charged with locating and bringing home her TrueCompanions when they go astray. She spends much of the game struggling to save Terra and Ventus from the darkness threatening them, [[spoiler: and is the sole protagonist of the Final Chapter]]. An equal balance of LadyOfWar and LadyOfBlackMagic, she is an exceptionally skilled warrior and the most level-headed among the PowerTrio. When encountering classic Princesses, she is the one who actively facilitates their happy endings -- escorting Cinderella during her escape from Lady Tremaine, defeating the Magic Mirror and the Evil Queen to help save Snow White, and rescuing Prince Phillip from Maleficient's castle before they face down the sorceress-turned-dragon together. [[spoiler: In the Final Chapter, it is revealed that she was the one that laid many significant pieces of groundwork for the main story -- providing Kairi with the power of the Keyblade, creating Castle Oblivion to protect Ventus, and foiling Xehanort's original plan by destroying the x-Blade and leaving his new host (Terra) without memories. She was also the one to first encourage and warn Sora to watch over Riku, and never give up on him should he go astray in the future]].²* ''VideoGame/FatalFrame'' is an unusual example, as having female protagonists was intended to make the player feel more vulnerable. The unintended result was a series that focuses primarily on female characters, with heroines that rely on their intelligence and courage to overcome tormented spirits and dark curses while [[OrpheanRescue saving]] loved ones. Each game focuses on the downfall of cults that exploited Shrine Maidens for their power, causing a deadly curse. [[spoiler: These curses were caused by [[BreakTheCutie traumatizing]] the BarrierMaiden while attempting to control her. And each curse is lifted through the female protagonist learning the BigBad's tragic story and helping her find peace by making things right]]. The first game focuses on Miku's quest to save her older brother, while the second game focuses on the bond between twin sisters as one tries to rescue the other. The third deals with the nature of grief, tying together the two previous installments while focusing on Rei's journey into a dreamworld to find the soul of her dead lover. It features the first playable male character, noteworthy for being ''weaker'' than the women and forced to hide from spirits as a result. ²* Much like ''BG&E'', ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge'' stars a tough [[LeParkour free runner]] Faith who takes up the fight against the corrupt government (and a GovernmentConspiracy to boot) to save her framed sister and sole surviving family.²* The ''VideoGame/{{Syberia}}'' series revolves around Kate Walker's journey, both physical and spiritual, from a professionally single-minded lawyer arriving in Valadilene to a BoldExplorer braving the wilderness of the eponymous lost island of Syberia.²* ''VideoGame/ADanceWithRogues'' is a very mixed bag. On the one hand, it [[TraumaCongaLine holds absolutely no punches]] when it comes to dangers faced by a young woman with no status or family in a MedievalEuropeanFantasy land -- yes, that includes repeated enslavement, torture, rape, and murder attempts -- and is rigged against the character being able to fight her way out of many situations. On the other hand, it provides numerous opportunities to avoid danger by timely application of guts, wits, and skills or, failing that, to take revenge, persevere, and ultimately emerge a stronger and better person despite all of that. It's ''also'' an unabashed woman's sexual fantasy (by WordOfGod in an interview) about being desired by everyone and getting to have lots of no-strings-attached sex if you want to, with attention paid to making the sexual content actually meant to be sexy to be only by choice (though there is a slight bias towards the author's own desires to go for it, so that a player who's not into that part of the story won't necessary feel comfortable with everything).²* ''VideoGame/DinoCrisis'' and its [[VideoGame/DinoCrisis2 first sequel]] are both SurvivalHorror games made by Capcom, starring a strong female protagonist. Regina is a highly-skilled professional soldier, serving as part of a team sent in to extract a rogue scientist. She's intelligent, calm under pressure, and highly capable of taking on the various dinosaurs infesting the facility without any need for rescue. While her male peers primarily act as MissionControl or take on information gathering, Regina is responsible for much of the grunt work and dinosaur-slaughtering necessary to survive. ²* ''VideoGame/{{Folklore}}'' involves a supernatural murder mystery, told from the point of view of protagonists [[MysteriousWaif Ellen]] and [[IntrepidReporter Keats]]. While Keats follows behind, Ellen dives forward into a quest to discover her forgotten past and unravel the mysteries of the Netherword that threaten the residents of Doolin. Ellen is the latest in a long line of women chosen to be the Messenger, using a supernatural cloak to travel between the world of the Living and the Netherworld. As Ellen battles her way through various worlds, she comes closer to discovering the dark secrets that connect her to a tragedy from 15 years ago. ²* In the spirit of the film series, ''VideoGame/AlienIsolation'' features a strong-willed female protagonist faced with surviving against impossible odds. [[LegacyCharacter Amanda]] [[AllThereInTheManual Ripley]] is the daughter of Lt. Ellen Ripley, and has spent her life wondering what happened to her MissingMom -- when she's given the chance to help retrieve the flight recorder from her mother's ship, she ends up trapped on a space station being hunted by both paranoid humans and the titular Alien. An [[WrenchWench engineer]] by trade, she's an ActionSurvivor, using intelligence and her skills to outwit and elude her enemies. ²* ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'' is the first (and thus far, only) installment in the franchise to feature a female protagonist. The story focuses on Heather, a young woman plagued by horrific nightmares and repeatedly approached by a strange woman that states she will "lead them to paradise with blood-stained hands". [[spoiler: She is in fact the third incarnation of [[ApocalypseMaiden Alessa]], and the infant entrusted to Harry Mason at the conclusion of the first game]]. Heather's emotional journey, as she searches for the answers to her dark past and connection to [[BigBad Claudia]] and the Order, is the primary focus of the game. She deals bravely with horrific monsters and environments, but also with her own personal demons from [[spoiler: Alessa's suffering]] as well as her own desire for revenge. Cycles of abuse and revenge are explored, as well as needing to overcome darker impulses and accepting the past to move forward. As a bonus, an alternate costume for Heather transforms her into a MagicalGirl with all the associated ideas of femininity as a source of power. ²* ''VideoGame/SandsOfDestruction'' may place the player in the shoes of Kyrie Illunis, but he's often out-shined by his LoveInterest and SupportingLeader, Morte Asherah. She's the one in charge of directing the team in where they'll go and what they'll kill, and is generally a very tough DarkActionGirl (who [[GirlyBruiser happens to like flashy pink dresses]]). You CantDropTheHero in this game, and it's notable that, while that's ''usually'' Kyrie, there's a chunk where it's Morte [[spoiler:due to him being dead and her seeking to revive him because she just realized that she loves him for more than his useful powers]]. Even when Kyrie manages to grow as a character and Morte decides to turn against some of her OmnicidalManiac ways, it's only so they can become a BattleCouple, not so their roles can be reversed to "traditional" male lead and female support (unlike the later manga adaptation, which is much less feminist-friendly). The game is keen to point out that the reason Kyrie is successful in trying to ScrewDestiny is due to ThePowerOfLove. The Japanese title, translated as ''World Destruction: Guided Wills'', makes the interplay of the two leads clear: Kyrie may be TheHero, but he's not the guy in charge; Morte may be the actual leader and a bit AxCrazy, but she's heavily influenced by Kyrie's AllLovingHero tendencies. Morte's ChildhoodFriend Agan is due to inherit the title of Chief from his mom, and no one comments on it or suggests he needs to hurry up and claim his "proper" role or that she's doing an inferior job; the Bacchitav Caravan is a pretty egalitarian place overall, one of the [[FantasticRacism few locations]] where humans and beastmen of either gender are treated equally (possibly because life on the Sand Sea is tough and they all HadToBeSharp; as long as they're capable of pulling their own weight and contributing to the Sand Tribe, race and gender are pretty immaterial). Rhi'a is treated with great respect as a Dragonkin, in addition to being quite capable as TheGunslinger; the fact that she resembles a fifteen-year-old girl is a moot point. ThatOneBoss, Serpens Rex, is a powerful sorceress, notable for being able to brainwash [[spoiler:Morte]], who later utterly avoids the tricky mental spell used by Noctua Rex (a male owl). The final boss, [[spoiler:the Creator of the world]], is also female. While the overall cast gender ratio is heavily skewed in favor of males, the females who do appear all take an active, important role.²* ''VideoGame/NeverAlone'', a PuzzlePlatformer based on the Iñupiaq legend, ''Kunuuksaayuka''. While the original story featured a young boy, the creators decided to make the lead a young girl named Nuna. WordOfGod explains that [[ they wanted to address]] the distinct lack of positive female characters in video games, and provide an inspirational role model for young girls. ²* ''Videogame/ChildOfLight'', a RolePlayingGame with platforming elements. It stars Aurora, the strong-willed daughter of an Austrian Duke that awakens in the mystical land of Lemuria. The kingdom has fallen into darkness, after the Queen of Night stole the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. To return home, Aurora and her companions must rescue the lights and restore peace to the kingdom. ²* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedSyndicate'' went a long way towards correcting some of the franchise's past mistakes with female characters, but the ''Jack the Ripper'' DLC is much more explicitly feminist than the base game, since it focuses solely on the game's female protagonist Evie Frye (who was somewhat sidelined in the main game) and her quest to [[DistressedDude rescue her brother]] and put an end to Jack. Perhaps the most strikingly empowering part of the DLC is the underlying story arc wherein Evie seeks to help rescue and liberate the prostitutes of London, who have been marginalized and ignored by the chauvinistic Victorian-era. One type of side activity literally involves Evie beating the shit out of a man assaulting a prostitute, capturing him, and parading him through the streets of London to be mocked before receiving a good verbal thrashing from [[HookerWithAHeartOfGold Nellie]].²* ''VideoGame/HorizonZeroDawn'' is about a young woman named Aloy, a badass huntress and warrior in her own right, on a quest of self-discovery that ultimate reveals her to be [[spoiler:TheChosenOne destined to save the new world created by Project Zero Dawn]]. Quite literally [[spoiler:all life in Earth]] ends up resting on her shoulders. The portrayal of strong women in the game however goes far beyond Aloy herself, and extends to female characters like Sona, Petra, Talanah, Vanasha and [[spoiler:Aloy's genetic predecessor and pseudo-"mother", Dr. Elisabet Sobeck, who already saved the world once]]. ''VideoGame/HorizonZeroDawn'' is ultimately a story about not just Aloy but strong women of every type challenging tradition, standing up for themselves and saving and protecting their communities and ultimately [[spoiler:life itself]].²* ''VideoGame/UnchartedTheLostLegacy'', a standalone entry in the franchise and spin-off of ''VideoGame/Uncharted4AThiefsEnd'', stars a duo of strong, complex female protagonists: Chloe Frazer (the PlayerCharacter), an adventurous thief and explorer introduced to the series in ''VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves'' as something of a DistaffCounterpart to protagonist Nathan Drake, and Nadine Ross, a no-nonsense OneWomanArmy mercenary introduced as a supporting antagonist in ''VideoGame/Uncharted4AThiefsEnd''. The game focuses on their partnership and eventual friendship for the entire plot. It's [[ been noted]] that the focus on a positive female relationship in the game is fairly groundbreaking due to women often being relegated to [[TheSmurfettePrinciple singular]] or [[CatFight antagonistic]] roles in video games and entertainment in general, so having two female leads who are partners is a powerful subversion in and of itself.²* ''VideoGame/LifeIsStrange'' is about an 18-year-old high school student named Max Caulfield who has the power to rewind time and she uses this superpower to help others and catch sexual predators. Also, half of the game's main cast are females who have as much prominence as the males.²* ''VideoGame/BeyondTwoSouls'' is the first video game made by Creator/QuanticDream that features a female character as the main protagonist. It stars Jodie Holmes, a young woman who is linked to a poltergeist named Aiden, who is the main source for her PsychicPowers. Throughout the story, she journeys from a troubled woman with an entity stuck in her to a strong CIA operative, and later on, a defected CIA operative.²* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' is a video game trilogy that acts as a ContinuityReboot of the video game, ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', and it stars three main female characters in the party. The main protagonist of the series, Shion Uzuki, is a computer scientist and programmer working for Vector Industries who wields the M.W.S. as her WeaponOfChoice and is a skilled martial artist. KOS-MOS is a SuperPrototype RobotGirl created by her to fight the Gnosis, and she has a lot of weapons in her disposal. MOMO is a 100-Series Realian prototype who is capable of feeling human emotions, and she gains a desire to be human. It also stars female antagonists such as Pelligri, Commander Margulis' second-in-command, and T-elos, an android girl designed to replace KOS-MOS and more emotional than the previous two.²* ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'' and its [[VideoGame/PillarsOfEternityIIDeadfire sequel]] both feature female soldiers, priests, warriors, pirates, politicians, merchants, and scientists. Some of which can join your squad, in addition to playing as female yourself. ²** Pallegina, a female [[TouchedByVorlons godlike]], faces a double-whammy of being regarded as a mutant freak and being the only female in a brotherhood of knights -- the recruiter accepted her because her godlike status makes her sterile, and only [[StayInTheKitchen women who can bear children]] are considered "women" in her country. Nevertheless, she's overcome these challenges in her backstory, and her personal quest in the first game revolves around [[MyCountryRightOrWrong her duties as a soldier]] instead. ²** Grieving Mother, a [[PsychicPowers cipher]] midwife recruitable in the first game, embodies how much the Hollowborn crisis (a malady where children are [[TheSoulless born without souls]]) affects parents, especially mothers, [[AdultFear on a personal level]]. ²** The second game focuses on four factions, two of which are led by women. [[spoiler: And the other two can end up with female replacement leaders who are just as competent and ruthless as their male counterparts.]]²* ''Videogame/BloodstainedRitualOfTheNight'': By deliberate design, Miriam was chosen as the protagonist to capitalize on a demand and need for strong female videogame leads. In addition, this story is wholly ''about'' Miriam, rather than her simply being a passive character in someone else's story or merely being used as a ThirdPersonSeductress. Despite her main goal being tied to a major male character, [[spoiler:this is because ''he'' is the DistressedDude and Miriam is setting out to save him in fulfillment of a promise they made long ago (and even then, it's later revealed that he was just bait and Miriam was the true target all along). The other male characters either act in a supporting role or wind up putting all their hopes in Miriam after their own plans go awry. In addition, the two true villains behind the plot are both women; the TrueFinalBoss they both seek to revive is gendered male, but is more of a demonic force than an actual person, and can only be defeated if you focus fire at the villainess who has fused with him in the fight.]]²* Arguably, ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'' and ''VideoGame/Splatoon2'' fit under this mold well. While characters of either gender can be played, the main ones used in all the promotions are female; and lending to the TotallyRadical 90's aesthetic, they've got a lot of sass to go with their firepower. The story has a strong focus on their "idol" characters and their relationships with each other, and they're all different from one another: Callie is bright and peppy, Marie is cool and sardonic, Pearl is both a brash foulmouth ''and'' a SpoiledSweet, and Marina is shy and tech-savvy. [[spoiler:They also help your player character in story mode, with a lot of your progress not being possible without their skills.]] Fashion plays heavily into game mechanics, with styles from all over the gender spectrum available to mix and match to your liking. The few male characters in the story are typically support (Cap'n Cuttlefish, Sheldon), unimportant (Judd and Lil' Judd), or actively antagonistic (DJ Octavio, [[spoiler:Commander Tartar]]), but in spirit of the trope, the girls are on equal footing with them, give or take the Judds.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Web Comics]]²* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfGynostar'' is explicitly feminist. One of the antagonists is a housewife who wants to turn all women on Earth into housewives. Another one is a teenage boy whose superpower is making the MaleGaze come true, changing himself into a muscled abnormity and all women into thin and nevertheless big-breasted bimbos. ²* ''Webcomic/AwfulHospital'''s protagonist is a mother TrappedInAnotherWorld, searching for her ailing son. For a time, she is the UnfazedEveryman in a party with a grandmotherly [[MegaMicrobes bacterium]] [[TheMedic medic]], a swashbuckling fungus {{princess|InRags}}, and a [[BigCreepyCrawlies maggot]] [[LadyOfBlackMagic sorceress]].²* ''Webcomic/GrrlPower'' is pretty much ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin - a comic about those with super powers, and the majority of the prominent characters are women.²* ''WebComic/MagickChicks'' is an ongoing UrbanFantasy which is set at an OneGenderSchool for [[DemonSlaying monster hunters in training]].²** The series is actually a SpinOff for the Hellrune Coven, [[BlondeBrunetteRedhead a witch trio]] who were expelled from [[WebComic/EerieCuties Charybdis Heights]] and transferred to Artemis Academy. Melissa is the Coven's leader and is eventually revealed to be [[spoiler: half witch/half MagicalGirl]].²** The academy's [[AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil student council]] consists of the 7 most powerful students at the school, which includes: Callista, the captain of the school's Archery Club, who's ImprobableAimingSkills have earned her the nickname [[RedBaron "Deadeye Archer"]]. Tandy is captain of the [[{{ninja}} Ninja Club]], and [[StudentCouncilPresident their president]], Faith Abbot, is [[SuperpowerLottery the most powerful]] [[PsychicPowers esper]] in its history.²* ''Webcomic/{{Namesake}}'' has Emma, a female protagonist that is [[YouCantFightFate thrown into a pre-written story]] where she's expected to fulfill a role, yet still constantly makes her own decisions and can actually be quite bossy in order to make things work out and [[PromotionToParent return to her sister about whom she cares deeply]]. The comic has more female than male characters altogether, and most of them show to have qualities such as being the ActionGirl, mature and well-informed, strong-willed and / or magically gifted, and they handle situations pretty well without male guidance. The BigBad is a man and both cunning and powerful, but he's often in the background, while his minions are for the larger part an AmazonBrigade (including a trans woman) with only a few male co-workers and are far more active.²* ''[[ Priya's Shakti]]'' is an independent comic produced in an effort to address sexual assault and Rape Culture in India. The story follows Priya, a young woman that is cast out of her home and community after being assaulted. The Goddess [[Myth/HinduMythology Parvati]] incarnates into the young woman in answer to her prayers, but finds that humanity continues to shun and abuse Priya. This enrages Shiva, who curses mankind until his wife intervenes to save them. Blessed with the Goddess' power, Priya journeys to fight for dignity and compassion, bringing hope to the world once more. The series includes special codes that unlock "Augmented Reality" content, featuring the stories of real survivors.²* ''Webcomic/DraconiaChronicles'', if you can get past the fact that half the characters are nudists and the other half are {{Nubile Savage}}s, and all of them except the kids and two male characters are MsFanservice in their own way. 99% of the cast are strong independent women, as the story is about two matriarchal civilizations locked in a ForeverWar.²* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' is a Webcomic featuring a female protagonist and a fairly even distribution of male to female supporting and minor characters, which are almost always shown to be on par with their male counterparts. Both male and female characters are the subject of heroism, captivity, villainy, general badassery, and fanservice in approximately equal ratios.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Web Original]]²* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' is an action-oriented series focused on an AcademyOfAdventure where students train to become [[HunterOfMonsters Hunters or Huntresses]]. The cast are all loosely based on various {{Fairy Tale|Motifs}}s, with Literature/LittleRedRidingHood starring as [[SinisterScythe scythe-wielding]] Ruby, Literature/{{Snow White|AndTheSevenDwarfs}} as LadyOfWar Weiss, Literature/{{Goldilocks}} as CuteBruiser Yang, and Literature/{{Beauty|AndTheBeast}} as {{Ninja}} Blake. The cast primarily consists of women, all capable warriors in their own right and respected as equals by their male peers. It also features references to warrior women from mythology, in the forms of [[TheAce Pyrrha]] Nikos (Amazons) and [[GirlyBruiser Nora]] Valkyrie. According to WordOfGod, they intentionally avoided panty shots even when the heroines are jumping and flipping around in short skirts.²* ''Literature/{{Mirrorworld}}'' by Scraggle is a story about Vita Lynere, a young teen who becomes trapped in the bizarre world of Inoptica, in a twisted sort of ''Alice in Wonderland'' take off. What sets it apart is the story becomes about Vita, her struggles and character, as she grapples with both the terrible situations she's been thrust into, as well as her anxiety over her life back on earth, culminating in how Vita develops and bonds with the residents of Inoptica, particularly her [[CoolBigSis sisterly relationship]] with the young 'Day Vamp Wigavat, and it doesn't hurt that the story includes a number of other complex and capable female characters as well.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Western Animation]]²* ''WesternAnimation/DCSuperHeroGirls'' is spearheaded by Creator/LaurenFaust, a name you'll see much of as this section continues. As the title suggests, it follows six heroines from DC Comics [[HighSchoolAU reimagined as high school students]]. They have wildly different personalities, but have a common drive to serve their city and consistently support each other, a reflection of Faust's "there's no 'wrong' way to be a girl" philosophy. Apart from MonsterOfTheWeek situations, the majority of the villains are also female, and nearly every episode passes UsefulNotes/TheBechdelTest. Consider the show's TitleDrop moment: after the heroines have saved the city, a group of preteen girls cheer, amazed to see a group of super hero girls.²* ''WesternAnimation/{{Disenchantment}}'': The story focus on a RebelliousPrincess ActionGirl Bean, who defies the roles of medieval society to upper class women while [[ComingOfAgeStory finding herself]]. Bean is also a main female character who is notably less sexualized than usual, being fairly average looking, lacking any curvy silhouette and preferring an efficient, simple and practical tunic/pants/boots outfit. ²* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' shows that feminist works can find a wide audience. While the franchise has always been aimed at girls, and creator Creator/LaurenFaust created the cast as a way to remove generic "niceness" from the characterization of girls and avoid the problems inherent in TheChick[[note]] (she described one of the major themes as being ''how many different ways there are to be a girl'')[[/note]] , the show is written to be enjoyed equally [[ParentalBonus by parents]] and kids alike, and succeeds beautifully. It may be the only Western girls' cartoon that has inspired raiding threads on Website/FourChan. ²* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', the sequel to ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', exploits its predecessor's CashCowFranchise credentials, to be more "girl power"-oriented by dint of taking the risk of basing a children's action show around a female protagonist. It worked out. The boy viewers didn't care that the main character was a girl because they knew she was awesome. The original series had six recurring female characters with distinctive stories, and a few episodes with explicit feminist themes.²** Cemented in the final season. Multiple women of all ages - particularly Korra, Su, Lin, and the series' first female BigBad, Kuvira - are the ones to drive the plot, with the male characters taking a supporting role. Asami becomes TheLancer to Korra [[spoiler: and the two even have a RelationshipUpgrade]].²* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls''. The entire series is based around cute, five-year-old little girls being badass and their femininity, or lack of, is not shown as a [[RealWomenNeverWearDresses bad thing]]. The series encountered controversy over an episode featuring a StrawFeminist villain, Femme Fatale. She stole only Susan B. Anthony coins, and convinced the girls that men were their enemies -- leading the girls to let her go and begin acting hostile towards the guys in their life. Ms. Bellum, Mrs. Keane, and a female police officer pulled the girls aside, teaching them about equality and helping expose Femme Fatale as a hypocrite who injured female officers during her crimes and didn't know anything about Susan B. Anthony's role in history. Some felt the episode mocked Feminism, while others praised the focus on equality and learning about historical figures. [[WordOfGod Lauren Faust herself mentions she feels the topic wasn't handled well in the episode]].²* Similar to the original comic book being a MagicalGirl series created by westerners, the animated adaptation of ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' is essentially a western MagicalGirl series.²* ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'' paved the way for many of the above shows, being a spin-off of ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'' created to appeal to a female audience. The titular heroine is the long-lost sister of He-Man, and gains a magical sword that grants her the same superhuman powers he possesses. She is every bit her brother's physical equal that uses brains ''and'' brawn to save the day. The cast is [[WorldOfActionGirls primarily female]], with many involved in the [[LaResistance Great Rebellion]] battling to free Etheria from the tyrant, Hordak. Unlike its sibling series, the Rebellion is at a constant disadvantage and must overcome through a combination of martial strength, intelligence, and inspiring the oppressed citizens to stand up for themselves. Like many MagicalGirl series, typical elements of femininity are celebrated as sources of strength and physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength are all treated as equally important traits. The generation that grew up with She-Ra went on to be the audience of other major series, such as [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] and [[Series/XenaWarriorPrincess Xena]].²* ''WesternAnimation/SheRaAndThePrincessesOfPower'' reboots the iconic 1980s series, carrying its feminist message to a new generation. The series is noteworthy for re-imaging the cast with practical costumes and a variety of body types and racial characteristics. Instead of simply being a title, the titular Princesses are defined by their powerful magical abilities. ²* ''WesternAnimation/RainbowBrite'', with its BadassAdorable heroine and numerous MagicalGirl elements that celebrate traditionally feminine aspects as sources of strength. Even before gaining her color-based magical powers and CoolHorse, Wisp was brave and determined, as well as quick-thinking. As Rainbow Brite, she's loved by all of Rainbowland and saves the universe alongside JerkWithAHeartOfGold Krys in the DarkerAndEdgier movie. ²* ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'' features Sam, Alex, and Clover -- three {{Ordinary High School Student}}s who happen to be super-spies that regularly save the world. Their high-tech gadgets are often things like makeup or accessories, turning the feminine into powerful tools that help take down villains or escape various dangers. Typical teenaged drama about romance, cute boys, fashion, and dealing with the resident AlphaBitch are combined with James Bond-styled action and heroics. WordOfGod admits to being inspired by the anime ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'', another series about female spies. ²* ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'' is an anime-inspired MagicalGirl show set in Paris, France. WordOfGod states it's intended to be this trope, with a heroine that inspires young girls. ²* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' is a ground-breaking series for its LGBT representation, predominantly feminine cast, and complete dismantling of traditional gender roles. The series presents a young male hero that is following his late mother's legacy, and defined by his emotional depth and desire to resolve conflicts through open communication and empathy instead of violence. The Crystal Gems are a group of feminine-presenting aliens with diverse body types and unique personalities, all working together to defend Steven as his caretakers and protect the earth from invasion. There is a prominent lesbian couple, who share an on-screen kiss and further broke ground by getting their own wedding episode. As the bond between Steven and Connie develops, she becomes a skilled ActionGirl that wields his mother's sword while Steven uses her shield as a BarrierWarrior. The series encourages children to be themselves, breaking down stereotypical roles and toxic ideas about masculinity '''and''' femininity. It teaches girls to be confident and love themselves, while presenting them with an incredibly diverse range of women to look up to. It also actively teaches young boys that kindness, empathy, emotional vulnerability, and "feminine" behaviors or looks are not shameful or weak. The series presents a boy that has worn makeup and dresses, who cries openly, who tries to befriend his enemies, and looks to women as protectors as an inspirational figure. ²[[/folder]]²----


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