Strong female character

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Kiki overcomes her self-doubt in order to rescue her friend in Kiki's Delivery Service.

A strong female character is a character in fiction or a person in non-fiction who is important to the work in a beneficial way. The character doesn't actually have to be physically or emotionally strong, she just has to be a meaningful asset to the story in her own right. I view a female character as "strong" if she shows personal growth, copes with her own dilemmas, or is a valuable resource to a team. I do not view a female character as strong if she exists primarily to be another character's goal or when she's used primarily to further another character.

Despite the fact that women make up half the population, writers frequently regulate women to side-kicks, window dressing, damsels in distress, and sometimes they leave them out entirely (like in The Hobbit). Unfortunately, so much media fails to meet this incredibly low bar that it has become a noteworthy trope to see a strong female character, which is why I've added it as a category in my Wiki.

Most video games which feature a playable female character also meet this criteria. However, when the female character is a minor player in a large playable cast, or completely interchangeable in a party of characters, I don't view them as "strong."

I grew up with very few male role-models, viewing most of the older men in my life as bullies rather than mentors. Because of this, most of my role-models during my formative years were strong women which is why I have an affinity for them in media, and the fact that strong women appear so infrequently makes me cherish them even more.


These are works which feature a strong female character that are important to me. For a complete list, see the strong female character category.

Title Released Media Notes
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl 1947-??-?? Biography Anne keeps a stiff upper lip despite the fact that her entire family's lives are constantly in danger.
Anne of Green Gables 1908-??-?? Fiction Anne grows from child to young woman while never giving up her dreams.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. 1970-??-?? Fiction Margaret successfully copes with various coming-of-age problems.
Chrono Trigger 1995-03-11 Video Game Lucca is a genius inventor who overcomes her childhood issues, and Marle is inquisitive and incorrigible.
Contact 1985-??-?? Fiction Ellie the astronomer is instrumental in the first contact with an alien race.
Daria 1997-03-03 TV Series Daria, Jane, and Jodi are each strong young women who mature through the series.
Final Fantasy VI 1994-04-02 Video Game Terra and Celes, and, to a lesser extent, Relm, each overcome various problems.
Funny Girl 2014-11-06 Fiction Barbara leaves home and refuses to be stereotyped out of her dream to become a comedic actress.
The Goats 1990-07-01 Fiction Laura complements Howie and they make a great team of equals to achieve their shared goal.
Gone Home 2013-08-15 Video Game Sam slowly becomes a fleshed-out human being as you uncover and read through her old journals.
Good Omens 1990-05-01 Fiction Anathema Device is a strong character, and, to a lesser extent, Agnes Nutter and War.
The Handmaid's Tale 1985-??-?? Fiction In spite of horrible adversity, Offred doesn't let the bastards grind her down. Moira and Ofglen are both strong as well.
Howl's Moving Castle 2004-09-05 Film Sophie, though only a young woman, gains the wisdom of her cursed geriatric self.
In the Unlikely Event 2015-06-02 Fiction There are several female characters, and they're all multi-dimensional and real.
Kiki's Delivery Service 1989-07-29 Film Kiki grows from an immature child to an independent young woman. Osono and Ursula are pretty strong themselves.
Little House series 1932-??-?? Fiction Throughout the series Laura grows, matures, and becomes an independent woman. Mary, Ma, and Carrie are also strong characters to a lesser extent.
Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity 2008-06-03 Biography Kerry Cohen describes how she fell into and eventually overcame sexual addiction.
Princess Mononoke 1997-07-12 Film Lady Eboshi is probably the deepest character, but San, Moro, and Hii-sama are all important in their own right.
Spirited Away 2001-07-20 Film Chihiro grows from being a selfish brat to a strong caring young woman. Despite being the villain, Yubaba is pretty strong too.
Star Trek: The Next Generation 1987-09-28 TV Series Dr. Beverly Crusher and Commander Deanna Troi are all strong characters throughout the series. Dr. Katherine Pulaski is strong for a season. Guinan is more of a sidekick, but still impressive.
Star Wars series 1977-05-25 Film Princess Leia Organa is a strong character throughout the original trilogy, despite being objectified.
A Wrinkle In Time 1962-??-?? Fiction Meg Murray grows as a character with help from her family and the three old ladies which are also pretty strong.