The word feminism can seem daunting — the media shows feminists as over the top, angry and misandrists — but the majority of those who identify as feminists simply just stand for the equality of sexes. Strong women are everywhere — here are five incredible characters that take their place on the screen.
1.Viola Hastings, played by Amanda Bynes in "She’s the Man"
A movie springing from Bynes’ golden years of teen comedy, her character Hastings crushes gender roles when she goes under cover as a boy to prove that she is just as good, if not better, at soccer as them. Not only does she kick butt as a soccer player, but she also ends up with Channing Tatum’s character in the end, and if that’s not goals, I don’t know what is.
2. Elle Woods, played by Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde"
It’s about time we reject the notion that the typical “girly-girl” can’t be a feminist as well. Sure, on the outside Woods is ditzy and only applies to law school for a guy, but she shows him up by being super motivated, killing it in school and winning a case using her knowledge of fashion. Woods is what all women should aspire to be.
3. Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher in the "Star Wars" series
This one should be pretty obvious. Leia is the ultimate power heroine. She’s diplomatic, an ace shooter, and can keep up with Han Solo’s witty banter. Not to mention that Fisher is an icon in and of herself, having battled bipolar disorder and substances issues and more recently, shutting down haters who attacked her for her age. Carrie Fisher for President 2016.
4. Matilda Wormwood, played by Mara Wilson in "Matilda"
As a kid who always had her nose in a book, Wormwood was a very real role model for me and many other young girls, I’m sure. She solves her problems by being super smart and rising above hardships, which is a great life lesson in general. And just in case she wasn’t cool enough, she’s so smart that she can move things with her mind. The world needs more strong female characters that encourage reading.
5. Hermione Granger, played by Emma Watson in the "Harry Potter" series
Speaking of girls inspiring others to read, Granger is the epitome of the strong smart female lead. She is constantly the voice of reason to her two, often bumbling, male counterparts. She doesn’t care what other people think of her and is unabashedly vocal in her beliefs. And of course, Watson is a huge voice in real life feminism, having helped launch the United Nation’s HeforShe campaign for gender equality.