Badass female characters give life to works of literature, film, and art in general. From the outspoken feminists in Jane Austen’s Victorian novels to the modern-day trailblazers in action films, female representation in art, and their empowering messages, has inspired generations of audiences throughout time. Thanks to an infographic published by Playground Equipment, the empowering words spoken by the most influential female characters will continue to be celebrated. Here are 50 Empowering Quotes From Fictional Female Characters!
Note: The quote from The Fault in Our Stars is actually said by Augustus Waters. In addition, some of these quotes are spoken by fictional characters inspired by real-life figures. For example, Margaret Thatcher is a real woman, however the quote included in the infographic is from the fictional character in The Iron Lady who is based on the real-life Thatcher.
Featured Image Via Warner Bros. and Focus Features
Female rage is at the forefront of Gillian Flynn’s novels. Her memorable female protagonists, including Amy Dunne (Gone Girl) and Camille Preaker (Sharp Objects), exemplify the complexities of emotion and behavior as well as how female anger is oppressed by societal gender rules. Through her complex protagonists, Flynn hopes to open the floor about female anger and cease ignoring and minimizing it.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, In Flynn expressed her views towards female anger, why we ignore it, and why we need to let women voice their frustrations.
“I think there’s a deep societal fear of female rage, partly because it hasn’t been experienced a lot,” Flynn toldVanity Fair. “Men—I speak in vast generalities—are often very afraid of what they don’t know how to handle. And they haven’t had to handle female rage a lot, and they think they need to handle it.”
Amy Adams as Camille Preaker in Sharp Objects (2018) | HBO
Flynn also discussed female anger, or lack thereof in regards to the #MeToo movement, a phenomenon which has heavily exposed the gross sexual harassment many women have experienced. According to Flynn, though the movement would be as an appropriate time as ever to voice female anger, many females have been urged to react differently.
But I’ll tell you what concerns me: there’s a lot of shushing going on. I keep doing these panel discussions where I hear women advising that we shouldn’t be angry, that we shouldn’t be approaching this [#MeToo moment] with anger, that we should embrace this moment with care and gentleness. And I think that’s insane.
“There’s a huge place for anger right now—particularly for the many, many women who’ve been violated—and this is a time to be angry. Let’s be very angry. Constructive anger is a very useful tool, and is a very important thing to express.”
A study of over two million books done by Queens College-CUNY recently found that books written by female authors were generally priced 45% lower than books written by male authors.
The study found that book prices tend to de-escalate as genres became more female (books that are typically considered more ‘female’tend to either fall into the ‘romance’category or tend to be female-driven stories primarily involving women. I wish I was making this up.).
Statistically, female authors do tend to dominate the romance field while male authors dominate the sciencefield. So, discounting these genres and just looking at the books by male and female authors in the same genre, the study found that women are still earning about 9% less than men.
And, when discounting big publishing houses and just looking at independent publishers and self-published books, the study found that, although equality is definitely more prevalent, women are still earning 7% less than men. Even when pricing their own works, female authors have been conditioned to believe they should be pricing their books lower than the works of men.
This inequality in the book world isn’t just prevalent when it comes to pricing: this 2015 article onJezebelshows how one woman needed to use a male-pseudonym in order to get her manuscript noticed by literary agents.
Image via Hooded Utilitarian
This isn’t a new technique, though. Female authors have historically been publishing their works under male names since the beginning of time. The Brontë sisters published their works under Currer Bell, Acton Bell, and Ellis Bell after being told “literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life” by poet Robert Southey. Louisa May Alcott went by A.M. Bernard. Nora Roberts went by J.D. Robbs. Joanne Rowling is J.K. Rowling.
Women having to de-feminize their own names in order to be taken seriously within the literary community sounds like insanity. Still, it really doesn’t come as much of a shock.
I, personally, have never read a book written by a female author and thought, “hmmmm, her work is just too womanly for my taste.” Still, I know that I’m definitely someone who tends to veer away from books considered romantic or chick-lit (why does that term still exist?), steering clear of books with bright pink covers and more feminine fonts and, instead heading straight for the books I, for some reason, consider more serious and respectable.
And, if I want things to change and equality to rise, I’m going to have to look at my own faults and flaws first. So, I’m going to take a vow to recognize my own discriminations and cut them at the roots. I’ll step out of my comfort zone and not be so quick to deem any authors work less serious than another’s.
Gender bias plagues almost every facet of society. Even the world of children’s picture books is riddled with casual sexism. Data gathered by The Observer, along with with market research company Nielsen, confirms this through in-depth analysis of the 100 most popular children’s picture books of 2017. The research yielded the following information.
The majority are dominated by male characters, often in stereotypically masculine roles, while female characters are missing from a fifth of the books ranked.
The 2017 bestseller list includes The Gruffalo, Guess How Much I Love You, and Dear Zoo, in which all the animals are referred to by a male pronoun, as are the characters in recently published bestsellers You Can’t Take An Elephant on the Bus, The Lion Inside, Supertato, The Day The Crayons Came Home, The Lost Words, The Koala Who Could and There’s A Monster in Your Book–none of which contain any female characters.
The lead characters were 50% more likely to be male than female, and villains were eight times more likely to be male.
The antagonist in Peppa and Her Golden Boots is a duck who steals Peppa’s golden boots and brings them to the moon, which is excellent villainous behavior. She is the only independent female villain featured in any of the surveyed books.
Speaking characters were 50% more likely to be male.
Male characters outnumbered female characters in nearly half the stories making up the top 100. On average, there were three male characters for every two females, though occasionally this ratio was much more drastic. For example, Mr Men in London, published in 2015, for example, features thirteen male characters and two female.
Children’s laureate Lauren Child, author and illustrator of the Charlie and Lola books has said:
The research doesn’t surprise me. We see it in film and TV as well. But it gives out a message about how society sees you. If boys get the starring roles in books – both as the good and bad protagonists – and girls are the sidekicks, it confirms that’s how the world is and how it should be. It’s very hard to feel equal then.
40% of gendered characters were human–the rest were an assortment of animals, objects, and plants. Gender bias was even more of an issue amongst the non-human characters, who were 73% more likely to be male.
Male animals were more likely to be large, powerful, or predatory creatures such as bears or tigers, while female animals tended to be “smaller and more vulnerable creatures such as birds, cats, and insects.”
In the surveyed texts, female adults were more often than not shown in caregiving roles, with twice as many female teachers than males. Mothers were present twice as often as fathers, with lone fathers appearing in just four books.
Nick Sharratt, bestselling children’s author and illustrator, said, “Authors and illustrators have fantastic opportunities to break down stereotypes. We need to tackle these issues and at the moment it seems not enough is being done.”
It’s not all bad news though. Julia Donaldson’s The Detective Dog was the #1 bestseller last year, and features a female canine protagonist with a male sidekick. More of this please!
January is coming, which signals the closing of one year and the start of another. And boy, what a crazy year it has been. Naturally, we’ve taken the good with the bad, but we’ve also taken the unexpected. Merriam-Webster Dictionary has found the perfect word to capture the year.
According to the L.A. Times, Merriam-Webster chose “feminism” to be their word of the year for 2017. The rise of this word was brought on by the Women’s March in January, along with the tidal wave of sexual assault allegations that have created a surge of power for women.
Image Via ABC News
When you Google ‘feminism’ you get: the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. However, Merriam-Webster has seen a spike of searches on that word, a 70% spike to be specific. An editor from the dictionary explains their process of deciding:
No one word can ever encapsulate all the news, events or stories of a given year. But when we look back at the past twelve months and combine an analysis of words that have been looked up much more frequently than during the previous year along with instances of intense spikes of interest because of news events, we see that one word stands out in both categories.
Image Via Youtube
Plus, with a rise in female TV shows and movie characters, I’m pretty sure pop culture helped bring feminism to a new height.
Dictionary.com recently named ‘complicit’ as their word of the year, but Merriam-Webster had a few other top contenders. “Dotard” (an elderly person who’s slightly senile), “syzygy” (an alignment or opposition of planets), and “gyro” (yes, the Greek sandwich) are some of the runner ups. Total solar eclipse anyone? Some of the others were “recuse,” “gaffe,” “federalism,” “empathy,” and “hurricane.”
I know it’s been a wild year and I have no idea what 2018 will bring, but I will say this: good choice, Merriam-Webster.