Revisiting Queen Latifah

QueenLatifah-219x300When I first met Queen Latifah, I called her “ma’am” and got a lecture.

“Who you calling ma’am? My mother is not around.”

I was mortified. I was a newbie entertainment journalist who scored the dream of talking to one of my heroes. It was in 1999 when Latifah launched her (short-lived) eponymous talk show. I couldn’t figure out what to call her and show both respect and knowledge of her influential career. Do I call her Dana? Ms. Owens? Latifah? The Queen? (For the record, it’s “Latifah.”) I got nervous and fumbled, but quickly redeemed myself by gushing about how I grew up with her TV show, “Living Single,” and most of all was changed by her music. She told me, “You’re all right,” which I so wish she had written on a napkin so I could have framed it and looked to it in moments of self-doubt over all these years.

Listening to her music offers an equal ego boost.

Today she’s a Cover Girl and an Oscar-nominated actress, but when the world first met Queen Latifah, she was nothing short of a feminist revolutionary. Her debut album, “All Hail The Queen,” tackled topics such as black-on-black crime, socialized poverty and pretty much every pertinent feminist issue–from rape to domestic patriarchy–in the iconic single, “Ladies First.” Her flow–on par with LL Cool J and Chuck D–was as penetrating as her message: Look at me, respect me, listen to me–and bow down. The album sold more than 1 million copies. She was 19. 

There were plenty of female pop icons in 1989, but none exhibited the confidence that Latifah oozed. I remember watching her videos, admiring her regal, African clothing and flawless skin and thinking: She is such a badass! I wanted to be Madonna, but I wanted to listen to what Latifah had to say–which was a lot.

Social issues dominated her lyrics, and feminist anthems were a natural. After “Ladies First” came “U.N.I.T.Y.”, which takes on sexism in music lyrics (often those of her peers), sexual harassment, domestic violence, and female misogyny:

I bring wrath to those who disrespect me like a dame/That’s why I’m talking, one day I was walking down the block/ I had my cutoff shorts on right cause it was crazy hot/I walked past these dudes when they passed me/One of ‘em felt my booty, he was nasty/I turned around red, somebody was catching the wrath/Then the little one said (Yeah me bitch) and laughed/Since he was with his boys he tried to break fly/ Huh, I punched him dead in his eye and said “Who you calling a bitch?”

Latifah could compete with the boys of hip-hop but she never pretended to be anything but a woman. She not only sang about female empowerment, but she wrote about being a woman–from the insecurities we sometimes feel to the nirvana of being in love. Sensuality and femininity were always as important to her as strength.

Captivate my soul, hold me/When I’m down I need your love to console me/ Some weakness tells me when the morning comes/ It’s hard for me to try to see you’re not the one/ For the love of you I just might just do most anything – “Give Me Your Love”

Latifah lives her feminism as well. Just two years after her debut album, she became the chief executive of Flavor Unit, which put her in the position to foster young, female musical talent. She built a brand on her image, which was one she never apologized for, despite the fact that she in no way fit the typical celebrity mold. She modeled because it was always a dream of hers. She made jazz records because she always loved the music. She has always been undeniably herself, which is the thing I admire most about her still to this day.

Latifah actually means “delicate and sensitive” in Arabic. But make no mistake, The Queen is all powerful.

Translating Female Pop Stars’ Quotes on Feminism

beyonce-092211-12-187x300The media likes to ask female pop stars about feminism. A lot. In fact, for some reason, young female singers are bombarded with this question so much that it has become its own news category. When someone like Taylor Swift or Beyonce answers the question, “Are you a feminist?”, the Internet blows up with critique. There never seems to be a right answer.

There’s a problem in both the phrasing of the question and also in these women’s comprehension of it. The media, particularly certain feminist blogs, are looking for provocative discourse and celebrities are easy targets. (Feministing subtly calls this an“annoying conversation.”) But it’s more than that. It’s problematic not only because it makes women the targets of scorn by other women, but also overlooks the bigger forces at work behind the entertainment industry that promote a patriarchal business structure and overwhelmingly value female artists for their sexuality rather than their talent.

These young women (and they are always young when they get this question for the first time) are not thinking about what it means to be a feminist at the exact moment a reporter points her microphone at them and asks them to identify with something they’re not quite sure of yet. They are not dumb, but perhaps they haven’t yet evolved into their feminist identities. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay, even for someone righteously living like a feminist without knowing it yet.

Beyonce, of course, is front and center in this conversation. Whether she’s taking charge of her own business, hiring an all-female band, talking about the injustices of unequal pay between the sexes, or writing anthems of female empowerment that will be with us for generations, it’s hard to argue against Beyonce as a feminist. She’s a goddamned feminist icon. But, yes, she did once call feminism “bootylisciousness.” And, yes, she did put a “Mrs.” on her latest tour name. And she’s famously avoided the term feminist throughout her otherwise super-feminist career.

A new interview in British Vogue asks Beyonce the feminist question again and this is what she says: “That word can be very extreme… I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality.” She also says she feels more powerful and fearless than ever and goes on to argue a very important issue facing modern feminism today: “Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are?”

There is no one (or right) way to be a feminist. And it’s that misunderstanding that fuels these young women’s misguided answers to the feminist-or-not question. And as more famous ladies avoid the term, more young ones will follow suit. Changing the perception of the label “feminist” and the feminist movement itself (the ambitious goals of this website and our new book, Sexy Feminism) is what we should all work on. If young pop stars are not sure of what the term even means, of course they’re going to avoid it.

But what if they did know? Here’s how their answers to this question might translate:

Beyonce: “[The word feminist] can be very extreme. I guess I am a modern-day feminist.”

Translation: “I am a modern-day feminist!” Hooray, the most powerful woman in pop music identifies with the movement that is still necessary to change the inequities facing women today. This is something to celebrate, not ridicule. Today’s feminism doesn’t look like the feminism of two generations ago because it doesn’t have to.

Taylor Swift: “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.”

Translation: “I grew up the product of two generations of feminism doing hard work so that I don’t feel less than my male peers.” The non-defeatest attitudes of young women today are powerful things. We shouldn’t stomp on them—this is what feminism has been working towards for so long! What’s missing from Swift and her peers is a bit of historical perspective and understanding of their privilege of confidence. If we can make them see feminism as relevant and cool, we can change that.

Katy Perry: “I am not a feminist, but I do believe in the strength of women.”

Translation: “I am at the top of the music game because I worked hard. I believe other women can do this, too. All of us women rule.” Katy has some work to do in the feminist-cred department, but she is in a powerful position in our culture because of feminism. Getting her to see that could change a lot.

There is hope for these young women—and all those on their way up sure to encounter the “feminist?” question. For proof, just look at Lady Gaga. When she first gave an “I’m not a feminist, but…” quote she was in her early twenties and new to the incredible fame that had taken over her life. It took just a few months for her to start talking in feminist terms and identifying with the label. More importantly, she started living it. Gaga is an activist as much as she is a rock star. She’s made it her mission to give voice to the voiceless, particularly young gay, trans, and bi people through her Born This Way Foundation. She talked about the importance of sex education and contraception; and when she posted these photos online, she put herself in the center of the body-hatred dialogue that surrounds all famous women. She did it for the sake of all women. She evolved quickly and purposefully, which is what Beyonce, Taylor, and (hopefully) Katy are doing as well. Let’s let them grow.

Leave Beyonce, Lena, and Rihanna Alone Already

145340717ac002beyoncepeIn the past several months, Beyonce, Lena Dunham, and Rihanna have taken intense heat for the following ills of society:

1. Sexism overall, specifically their own capitulation to sexism by refusing to wear pants, or clothes, at given times in their performing lives. Other problems apparently include their sexiness, their sexuality, and, in the case of Lena, the sexiness of others on screen with her.

2. The fraught history of women taking their husbands’ last names upon marriage.

3. Racism.

4. Violence against women.

5. Promiscuity.

6. General lack of morals and possibly the decline of civilization.

Now, I am the first person willing to overanalyze pop culture, to hold up its artifacts as evidence of social issues or, at minimum, accessible entry points into serious discussion. I do believe that Beyonce’s displays of extreme feminine empowerment, coupled with unapologetic sexuality, are worth noting. I do think Lena Dunham has given us a perspective on young womanhood worth dissecting. I do feel that Rihanna’s public persona — tough, edgy, and sexually voracious — and the parts of her sad private life that have become common knowledge — her abusive relationship with Chris Brown — are a juxtaposition we must process at some level, if only to make sense of them for the young women watching it all.

But we need to make a distinction between starting interesting discussions inspired by these women and blaming them for every issue they evoke. And we need to remember that the end result of these discussions needs to be action on the issues, not against the performers who bring them up.

The crazy amount of Beyonce chatter online over the past few weeks, namely due to her Super Bowl performance and subsequent announcement of her “Mrs. Carter World Tour,” directed an awful lot of its bile right at the brilliant Ms. B. According to her critics, she pranced around too suggestively in too revealing an outfit, and then gave in to further sexist pressures by adopting her husband’s last name for her tour. We already debated these specific issues in another post, but my point today is this: Whether you think Beyonce is demonstrating against sexist pressures is one thing; but you cannot blame the woman for creating those pressures. If anything, she’s a victim here. (Even though we maintain she definitely isn’t, of course.) Oh, and the Mrs. Carter business? She did not invent the tradition of women taking their men’s names.

Now, Lena Dunham. She has taken a lot of criticism, some of it quite sound, for not making her show, Girls, diverse enough. (We’ll refer you to the paragraph above on the sex stuff and the naked stuff, and to this post we wrote about her.) But, you guys: She did not create the entertainment industry that has shut people of color out for its entire history, and she cannot reverse this problem by herself.

Rihanna is a particularly fraught case of victim-blaming, given the history of victim-blaming in cases of domestic violence. But the fact remains: She is a product of our society and her specific environment, not the one who is the problem here. We need to work on the root of the problem — what drives partner violence — not on Rihanna. I maintain that we can still refuse to watch or listen to Chris Brown, and urge others to do the same; he is part of the problem of violence against women.

We get it. It’s much easier to rail against pop stars and writer-actresses than it is to fix sexism, racism, and violence. But at some point we need to start figuring out the hard stuff, and leave the famous ladies alone.

Sexy Feminist: P!nk

official-pnk-photos-300x154In one of her earliest songs, “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” P!nk sang, “I’m tired of being compared to damn Britney Spears/She’s so pretty, that just ain’t me.” We’ll respectfully submit that Ms. Alecia Moore has her own share of attractive physical qualities, and also assure her: Don’t worry, no one’s about to mix you and Ms. Spears up anytime again soon.

P!nk may well be the most outspokenly, unapologetically, and explicitly feminist pop-rocker currently on the charts. While many female pop stars continue to profit from “empowering” images while ducking the “feminist” label — hi, Katy Perry! — P!nk weaves feminism into the fabric of almost everything she does. She shoes off her buff bod when she feels like it, but never in a self-objectifying way. (Somehow, we’re pretty sure she wears whatever she wants and doesn’t care what anyone says about it.) She writes songs about loving sex, hating her husband, loving her husband, and hating superficial starlets. See “Stupid Girls” for quintessential example: “What ever happened to the dreams of a girl president?/She’s dancing in the video next to 50 Cent.”

Call her a mean girl if you’d like — there was a bit of feminist hand-wringing over “Stupid Girls” taking other women down. But P!nk would be the first to embrace the label; she simply says what she’s thinking. And sometimes, we need to call other women out if they’re the ones bringing us down.

If there’s anything girls need to see more of in culture, it’s women who express themselves no matter what — in love, righteous anger, or even misdirected anger. Nobody does that better than P!nk — who gives that quintessentially girly color a much-needed edge.

Feminist History In Song: Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’

In this ongoing feature, we’ll be exploring the stories behind some of our favorite feminist anthems.

cyndi-300x224Cyndi Lauper launched her music career like many wannabes don’t: singing in cover bands. She spent most of the seventies wailing renditions of Led Zeppelin, Bad Company and Jefferson Airplane songs before she was discovered, signed and added to a pop group. Blue Angel had one album.

Lauper’s first solo album, “She’s So Unusual,” spawned five top-10 hits (a first for any female artist) and earned her the Best New Artist Grammy in 1985. The album is packed with empowerment hits such as the gay-rights petition “True Colors” and the masturbation confessional “She Bop.” But it was “Girls” that was released as the first single. It made her an instant superstar.

Lauper initially didn’t want to have anything to do with the song. It was written by the male rock artist, Robert Hazard, and she wasn’t sure a song written by a man would send the right message. She was also determined to write her own material, something the record labels were always pushing her away from. But then she got to thinking how she could make the message her own. She told Time, “When I was told ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ would be an anthem, I thought about how it really could be an anthem.”

The song became a rallying cry for women in the ’80s to express their independence and individuality—be that through fashion, sexual expression or rebellion. It also set the tone for a new breed of female pop star: the sexy rabble-rouser. Madonna owes her entire early career image to Lauper. In fact, it’s an influence she can’t seem to shake. Recently, music critics have mused on whether Madonna is just rewriting Lauper’s material.

There’s room enough in feminist song for both of these icons. Though Lauper definitely took a more deliberate stance on what her songs say about women. In the book, I Want My MTV, she explained: “I wanted ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ to be an anthem for women around the world—and I mean all women—and a sustaining message that we are powerful human beings. I made sure that when a woman saw the video, she would see herself represented, whether she was thin or heavy, glamorous or not, and whatever race she was.”

The video for “Girls”, which won the first-ever Best Female Video prize at the 1984 VMAs, featured a multicultural cast of Lauperized women—teased, sideways hair, neon eye shadow, et. al.—singing the hook alongside the star.

Since its release, the song has been used in countless movies and TV shows (Clueless, Boys on the Side) as an example of female empowerment. It even got its own eponymous movie in 1985 starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt and Shannen Doherty.

Part of the power of “Girls” lies in the fact that the rebellion it champions doesn’t include running off with a bad boy. Instead, these girls get their kicks on their own. It was a powerful statement at the time—still is: Some boys take a beautiful girl/and hide her away from the rest of the world/I want to be the one to walk in the sun/Oh girls they want to have fun.

Feminist History in Song: Lesley Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’

In this ongoing feature, we’ll be exploring the stories behind some of our favorite feminist anthems.

Lesley-Gore-16606845-1-402-300x300At just 17, Lesley Gore was a fairly typical girl singer for the ’60s, with coiffed hair and tasteful ’50s/early ’60s dresses and her sweet mega-hit “It’s My Party.” But her 1964 smash “You Don’t Own Me” was shockingly progressive for its time. Hell, its lyrics still sound relevant today. (Alas.)

So relevant, in fact, that just last year, it became the song of the war against the War on Women, with a fabulous video full of women-on-the-street and celebs lip-syncing its message to, ostensibly Mitt Romney and the Republican party — complete with intro from Ms. Gore herself (looking as hip as ever as she intoned, “I’m Lesley Gore, and I approved this message”). They held signs bearing such messages as, “My body is not a battleground,” and, “Get your rosaries off my ovaries.” Prominent feminists such as Lena Dunham, Carrie Brownstein, and Tavi Gevinson were among the participants. Gore, now 66, ended the video with her own message: “It’s hard for me to believe but we’re still fighting for the same things we were then. Yes, ladies, we’ve got to come together and get out there and vote and protect our bodies. They’re ours. Please vote.”

Because its message has held up so well over the years (again, alas), it’s been covered by a particularly wide variety of artists: Dusty Springfield, cello rock group Rasputina, Joan Jett, the Blow Monkeys, Jack Killed Jill, Filipino singer Jeanne Young, Swedish singer Marianne Kock, Japanese singer Mieko Hirota. Diane Keaton, Bette Midler, and Goldie Hawn sung it in The First Wives Club. Nicole Scherzinger performed it on The Sing-Off. Eminem sampled it. NFL Women’s Wear used it in a commercial.

Why so popular? Perhaps its the simplicity of the lyrics, which make Gore’s feelings as clear as possible to her 1960s man: “You don’t own me/I’m not just one of your many toys … I’m young and I love to be young/I’m free and I love to be free/To live my life the way I want/to say and do whatever I please.”

Feminist History in Song: Beyonce’s ‘If I Were a Boy’

In this new feature, we’ll be exploring the stories behind some of our favorite feminist anthems.

T_In_Park-228x300Beyonce is a great songwriter, seemingly able to spin out a girl-power anthem on demand: “Single Ladies,” “Survivor,” “Independent Women,” “Run the World (Girls),” “Bootylicious.” She has appeared to struggle more with her sensitive side in songwriting, despite her protestations that she’s
not Sasha Fierce in her everyday life. “Irreplaceable” slows things down and tells you she’s a little hurt by love gone wrong, but she can’t help doing a great, empowered woman scorned and giving us a kiss-off for the ages: “To the left, to the left.”Beyonce has famously talked about how she has a stage persona she evokes to become the monster-diva she needs to be for concerts — Sasha Fierce. For most of us, Beyonce herself is our Sasha Fierce. A few years ago, my sister and I resolved at New Year’s time to always think, “What would Beyonce do?” Since then we’ve both found relationships with fantastic men; she started her own boudoir photography business, and I have two passion-project books coming out this year. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I’ve been watching Bey’s “I Am …” concert tour video on demand lately just to up my inspiration factor, and it never lets me down.

That all changed with “If I Were a Boy.” This 2008 ballad softened her vocal delivery and showed a new vulnerability even as it still catalogued double-standards still present in our everyday lives: “If I were a boy … I’d put myself first/And make the rules as I go/’Cause I’d know that she’d be faithful/Waiting for me to come home.”

Of course, what may have gotten lost in fans’ swooning over this new kind of song for Bey — and the undeniably satisfying video in which she and a guy switch roles for a day, she playing a cheating cop and he mooning for her back home — is that Beyonce did not write this song. Which is standard practice in the music business, but an interesting departure for the singer. And, as it turns out, it also included some intrigue and rivalry.

The song was actually written by a singer-songwriter named BC Jean. You can imagine her singing “If I Were a Boy,” with her soft-guitar-rock vibe. In addition to the song going into the big murky pot of song choices that many artists pluck from for recordings, Jean also recorded her own version. Beyonce, however, fell in love with it, recorded it, and decided to release it as a single. That’s when Jean first heard about Bey’s version, and she was not pleased. Bey’s version, of course, went platinum, and even inspired Reba McEntire to do her own cover.

Beyonce told MTV News she chose the song as a deliberate departure: “I had to try it, because I remember Aretha Franklin said a great singer can sing anything and make it her own.” But Jean vented to fans on her MySpace page: ”I have been reading some of these comments and to set the record straight from the horse’s mouth – IF I WERE A BOY is my song; YES, I wrote this song; It is my story; a painful one, and the song is very dear to me.” Eventually, however, she struck a deal with Beyonce’s manager/father, Matthew Knowles, that seemed to make everyone happy. She now proudly claims the writing credit for the hit on her website.

Beyonce, meanwhile, garnered particular acclaim for her version. Billboard said her vocals were “breathtaking, exquisitely emotive, mournful, and mature.” The LA Times raved,  ”This isn’t just another breakup song; it’s an elegy for female empowerment, Beyoncé’s admission that no amount of money, fame or skill can solve the basic inequity between her man’s heart and her own.”

5 Feminist TV Shows to Watch This Fall

In case you haven’t noticed, things are going relatively well in the feminist-TV realm. No longer are we forced to call a show “feminist” just because it has a lady crimesolver at its center! Nor because there is a lady who is funny in it, or even because there is a lady who runs the whole damn show! Here’s to hoping “peak vagina,” as one disgruntled male producer called the trend, lasts forever. Because, really, we’re more like at normal vagina, which is to say, close to 50 percent. Huge progress, yes, but also known as closer to equality.

Now. Onto our favorite shows for this fall (so far), new and old:

The Good Wife: This show is so damn good, isn’t it?

804_1_0_prm-emmys2012_1024x640-300x187Homeland: This homeland-security drama is poised for a breakout season on the Downton Abbey level. It stars Claire Danes as, essentially, Kiefer Sutherland in 24. Yep, that’s pretty much all you need to know.

The Mindy Project: You knew this would be here. Creator/star Mindy Kaling, formerly Kelly of The Office, is a revelation here as an OB/GYN who’s got her career act together but is still working on her personal life. She combines killing it at work while still being super-girly (her character worships romantic comedies) while still making fun of all of the above (she knows romantic comedies are silly, but still). Yeah, hers is the latest in a string of female-driven comedies being compared to The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The fact that hers is created by and starring a woman of color shows we’ve made at least a little progress since the ’70s.

Suburgatory: This ABC sitcom snuck up on us last season, and we’re totally hooked now. The main reason: The sparkly Jane Levy as sardonic Manhattan-to-suburbs transplant Tessa Altman. Other reasons: Cheryl Hines as a sweet mother figure in the body of a Real Housewife, Jeremy Sisto (lightening up, finally!) as Tessa’s dad George, and our girl-crush Alicia Silverstone as George’s crunchy girlfriend. We love how Tessa is an alterna-girl who isn’t really an outcast, but isn’t all that interested in popularity, either. She just is, which makes her one of the best teen heroines we’ve seen in a long time.

Up All Night/Guys With Kids: Something old and something new in the men-as-participatory-fathers comedy genre. (Please, let this become a genre!) Neither of these approaches the transcendence of Louie, which also happens to be about a dude who cares about being a dad, but as the next level down, and the next level down (respectively), they are solid. If you’re going to watch one of these, choose NBC’s Up All Night, which is hilarious whether or not you have kids, thanks to the brilliance of the writing and the cast — Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, and Maya Rudolph. Arnett’s stay-at-home dad stays at home like it’s a totally normal thing to do, though also deals with the adjustments that go along with being the primary child-rearer. Guys With Kids, a new NBC comedy combines the idea of men who are fathers with the buddy-comedy genre and comes from producer Jimmy Fallon. It’s a down-the-middle sitcom in the tradition of ABC Family and TV Land, which is in the tradition of retro ’80s hits, but it’s cute. And it makes kids the center of the three main bro characters’ lives, which is both realistic and progressive.

Feminist or Not?: ‘The Hunger Games’

There’s no doubt that The Hunger Games is helping prove to the world the power of women. This film, based on a book by a female author, and revered with cultlike obsession by millions of women around the world, just set box office records previously reserved for boy wizards and a sinking cruise ship. But is The Hunger Games, and its bow-and-arrow-wielding heroine, Katniss Everdeen, a pro-woman feminist powerhouse or another example of oversexualized, uberviolent excess? We have mixed emotions about the whole thing, so here are the two sides. What do you think?


Katniss Everdeen is a badass. The Hunger Games is often compared to Twilight because both are female-targeted fantasy fiction, written by a woman with a female lead character. ButKatniss is no Bella Swan. Rather than moping and brooding after an aloof, abusive guy, er, vampire, Katniss is a little more focused on saving the world. She’s the hero of the story not because she’s a woman but because she’s brave, loyal, determined and human. She fights for good, stands up to evil and the focus of her character is that she’s a warrior, rather than a sex object (we say a big thank-you that Jennifer Lawrence’s breasts weren’t forced to be a supporting character like so many other action ladies’ have been—yeah, like, all of them.) One feminist blogger even noted that the gender of this character could be exchanged without changing the story at all. That’s pretty revolutionary.

Maybe Not…

While it’s a major score for feminism that we can now, hopefully, move beyond the vapid co-dependence of boy-crazy Twilight characters, this new brand of female hero—Katniss Everdeen inHunger Games and Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo before her—takes badass perhaps a bit too far. The gore and guts in the former and sexual violence in the latter are akin to something we might see in the latest torture-porn flick. That’s not to say women-targeted action adventures can’t and shouldn’t include fighting, swordplay, blood and conflict. Girls like this stuff too.

But perhaps The Hunger Games walks a little too closely to the line of exploitation. Our hero, Katniss, is a pretty girl in peril (Hollywood loves those), literally fighting for her life. The titillation there is the threat of her death, which she narrowly escapes, not without scars, on more than one occasion. Wars need fighting and women leading the way is imagery I hope we see more of in entertainment. But perhaps we can find a way to project this without also adding to the overabundance of violent, abusive depictions of women.

Dora, Miss Piggy, and More: Feminist Icons from Kid Culture


Well before the Spice Girls were running around yelling about “Girl Power,” feminism was a part of kid culture. So many of us have always wanted to be like some of the smart, independent, adventurous female characters from our youth. And while there is always room for more feminist characters, here are some of our favorite feminist icons in kid culture, past and present.
What feminist characters from your childhood inspired you? Tell us in the comments below!