This past Sunday was International Women’s Day (and also, my birthday which is almost as important). So for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we’re going to celebrate women. I realize that there’s absolutely no way to make a comprehensive list of awesome women and awesome female moments and relationships with just ten measly entries, so take this list as a jumping off point. This is a mere smattering of great characters and great shows, but it’s ten moments that have stuck with me: ten moments of women standing up for themselves, of women supporting other women, of women fighting for their families, and of women loving themselves. Enjoy the clips.
1. Agent Carter, Peggy gets interrogated by the SSR
From its first episode, Agent Carter has been a series determined to challenge misogyny and sexism, and it hasn’t shied away from showcasing it and calling out even those men we think of as the good guys. Suspected of being a double agent, Peggy is hauled into the offices of the SSR for an interrogation, and even when the male agents’ tactics turn to smearing her name and accusing her of having an affair with Howard Stark, Peggy refuses to bow to them.
2. Arrow, Laurel asks Sara for forgiveness
Laurel has become a pretty polarizing character, but she’s one I’m rooting for. Sara returning from the dead was no easy thing for Laurel to deal with, and maybe she didn’t deal with it so gracefully at first. But I love this moment of reconciliation between, one of truth and vulnerability on Laurel’s part, asking her sister to be a part of her life again.
3. Chuck, Sarah Walker is a badass
Really, I don’t have a ton to say about this. This is just one of many examples of women kicking ass and taking names. Sarah Walker will take none of your shit.
4. Glee, Marley and Unique sing “One Last Kiss”
Marley and Unique were my favorite female friendship on Glee. They only had a season and a half together, but in that time they were nothing but loving and supportive. I always felt that female friendships was one of areas where Glee struggled, but not when it came to these two. And this was such a cute introduction to that friendship. You can see the support, see the give and take. They’re just happy to be girls and be friends.
5. Grey’s Anatomy, Christina and Meredith say goodbye
Another wonderful example of friendship. Cristina will always, always be Meredith’s person. They are each other’s rock, each other’s one true love. They know each other probably better than they even know themselves. And most importantly, they tell each other what they need to hear. Even when it’s not always what the other one wants to hear. Even when it hurts.
6. Orange is the New Black, Suzanne asks Piper a question
This moment hit me hard. To be honest, it’s become a way to gauge other people’s personalities (whether you refer to her as Crazy Eyes or Suzanne). I just love this moment: the vulnerability, the depth of feeling Suzanne puts into the question. Piper can be a pretty polarizing character, but I think this was a turning point for her, a moment of understanding. It’s just a small, quick moment of connection between two women. And I think it’s really moving.
7. Parks and Recreation, Ann and Leslie
All I have to say about this is I have a firm belief that everyone in the wold deserves a best friend who loves them as much as Leslie Knope love Ann Perkins.
8. Shameless, Fiona stands up for her family
Fiona Gallagher is the heart and soul of the Gallagher family. What she has done for them, what she has sacrificed, is immeasurable. She will do anything for them. Yes, she has not always been perfect. She has made mistakes and looked the other way and struggled with her own demons. But when it comes down to it, her family will always come first and she will go to bat for them against anyone. Even their own mother.
Warning: this video contains some graphic language
9. Spartacus, Naevia takes revenge against Ashur
This moment was incredible. Small, delicate Naevia, who was beaten and broken and violated at the hands of Ashur, took up sword against him and let no man fight in her stead. I cried when I watched this the first time. Her raw pain and anger coupled with her determination and strength was so powerful. This was the moment she became a warrior. And what I liked best about this moment was how unskilled she still was. A couple weeks of training from Crixus was nothing compared to Ashur, who used to be a gladiator. And you can see he feels the same way. He could have easily bested her if he actually tried. But he didn’t even try. It was unfathomable to him that a woman, something so weak and helpless, could ever best him. And that was his undoing. Underestimating her.
Warning: this video is extremely graphic, both in language and violence
10. The West Wing, CJ Cregg defends the women of Qumar
CJ Cregg was a phenomenal character. She was funny, she was brilliant, she was messy, she was feminine. She was an Amazonian goddess among lesser men. And she was wonderful with the way she made sure the voices of Josh and Toby and anyone else never drowned out the voices of women.
So there you go. Just ten of the thousands of incredible stories we tell about women.