I have a couple of things to confess tonight. First, I love many books and many movies and way too many TV shows. Second, I love making lists. To-do lists, pro/con lists, and the like (it’s how I keep the hang on my life and free my mind from having to remind myself constantly about things I have to do). However, not usually lists of my favourite things, mostly because I tend to change my mind about them so often and other times I can’t even decide. Also, lately, thinking about grad schools and what I would like to do in the future has led me to think about people I admire. Rather strange jump, but what can I do – my mind sometimes works on its own. Anyway, all these things need to be connected, and they will do just that in the form of a list of fictional female characters that I admire the most from books, movies and TV. I know I know – admiring a fictional character may be dangerous, as fiction is, well, not real and that can lead one to do stupid things. But I think I have a tight enough grip on reality and over my life I’ve been forced to dethrone so many real people I admired. So often I choose fictional heroes, because I can imagine them as I want and they can’t disappoint me. I’ve chosen female characters tonight, because I’m, well, a girl, but finding female role models has always been hard for me for some reason. I could count many intelligent and cool men I admire, both fictional and real, but coming up with admirable women is way more difficult.
Disclaimer: just like pretty much all lists of favourite things that I make this is by no means definitive or final list. I can remember someone I’ve forgotten or change my mind as soon as I’m done writing this.
#10 Margarita (Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakhov)
She was the first fictional woman that ever left an impression to me. Sure, her relationship with her lover may be a little dysfunctional, but I love that for once it’s the woman who saves her loved one, and not the other way around, even though I do love a good save-the-princess story, but I admire and want to be a sort of woman who can fight.
#9 Matty Crompton (Angels and Insects, the movie, but she shouldn’t be that different in the book)
Disregarding some weirdness and stuff, what I find is a great scientific mind and enough courage to pursue it.
#8 Katherine Watson (Mona Lisa Smile, movie).
I always admire a good teacher, also someone working to get to her goal as long as it takes and not afraid to live in an unconventional sort of way.
#7 Elisabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen)
Cliché, I know, but I can’t help it (even though she isn’t my favourite character in the book). I mean, she’s THE Lizzy admired by pretty much every girl who reads Pride and Prejudice. Although, admittedly, she’s prejudiced and somewhat too proud.
#6 Sophie Deveraux (Leverage, TV)
So she’s a criminal, but she’s one of the good guys. She’s excellent at getting people to do what she wants (something I’d like to do sometimes too).
#5 Gillian Foster (Lie To Me, TV)
She’s good at what she does, and how cool is it – seeing so many things just listening and observing people. If it wasn’t for her, the Lightman Group would be working out of a cardboard box. I also love the naive and happy side about her (I have that too and I hope it doesn’t disappear).
#4 Hermione Granger (Harry Potter books, by JK Rowling)
I used to deny my being in so many ways just like her, but coming to think of it – she’s clever, she’s brave, and she’s got a heart even bigger than her brain, which is saying something. And after she works out her thing with sticking to the rules so much, she’s almost too close to perfect.
#3 Trinity (The Matrix movies)
She cracked, well, I don’t know what exactly, but Neo sounded seriously impressed. She’s also courageous. She can jump over buildings. And she looks way cool in black leather.
#2 Irena Adler (from Sherlock Holmes stories, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
The woman outsmarted Sherlock Holmes himself! If I could do that, my life would be complete.
#1 River Song (Doctor Who, TV)
What can I say – the woman is just cool. She has smarts, she has spunk. She can get out of prison. She is an archaeology professor (when I was in fifth grade, I wanted to be an archaeologist, too). She has this mystery thing working really well. She helped the Doctor save the world. And she graffitted the oldest rock in the universe. ‘Nuff said.
Now, who have I forgotten?