They're strong women.They may not wield power in the world.
They may not be rich.
But may be scared.
But they're strong, because they will fight what they believe in. And they know, deep down, their self worth.
I've blogged before about some of my favourite tv female characters, and my favourite female characters in books - so here's a follow up shout out to my favourite women playing strong female characters in movies.
I'm limiting each to 2 film roles - I know they've all done many more I could have used, but these are the ones I liked best.
Sigourney Weaver - Alien (of course). Her character Ripley is powerful and strong. But she rises above 'cardboard cutout' by showing her feminine compassion in her defense and relationship with the little girl in the movie. She cares, she isn't afraid to show it. Win! The other movie I love with her in is Copycat. Her character suffers from crippling agoraphobia - numbs herself against terrible memories with regular shots of whiskey - but when she's needed, she bravely tries to overcome it, to stop a killer. It's not easy, but she tries. Her spirit rises to the challenge. That makes her a strong woman for me.
Katherine Hepburn - Two favourites for me would have to be Rose, in The African Queen, playing against Humphrey Bogart, and Tracey Lord, playing against Cary Grant in The Philadelphia Story. Once again, the characters learn and change when they have to. They show courage.
Jodie Foster - Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs, is one of my favourite characters. And the scared but determined mother in Panic Room was another unforgettable film role.
Susan Sarandon - I love Susan on film. She was great in both Thelma and Louise & Bull Durham.
Lauren Bacall - Her appearance as Slim in To Have and Have Not in 1944, established Lauren as the actress in the noir films of the period. She joined a huge group of strong female leads of the time, including Barbara Stanwyck.
Barbra Streisand - The Way We Were with totally lovely Robert Redford, and What's up, Doc? (who isn't really so much a strong woman, as a quirky one...but she gets what she wants in the end!)
But my favourite of the current crop of 'strong women' actresses, playing true and appealing characters, has got to be Sandra Bullock. So she gets three: Speed, Miss Congeniality, and The Lake House.
And I know I haven't mentioned loads of actresses & films here that I should have, but I ran out of room.
You can berate me through the comments box!