©2018 Kari Carlisle
I’ve always disliked movies in which the girl, facing mortal danger, screams or faints, and the man, the hero, comes to her rescue. Fortunately, the last few decades have given us a plethora of amazing female role models who not only can take care of themselves, they are heroes in their own right. With so many to choose from, I am giving you my top five.
I was barely a teen when Alien debuted. My parents took me and my little brother to the theater with the intent to see it. When my parents saw the warning signs, they decided it may be too graphic for my brother, and they made me take him to see Baron von Munchausen. I was so mad, I remember the title of the movie but absolutely nothing about the movie itself. They only reason I forgave my parents is that my mom took me to see Alien the following weekend.
It was terrifying. But I loved it. I loved Ripley. She was afraid, but she was brave. She kicked major alien ass. How she inspires me? Although I don’t usually need to fight off xenomorphs, I am terribly afraid of earwigs. Long story, but I do have an unnatural phobia of the creatures. So whenever I need to dispatch one, I take a deep breath and channel Ripley and blow the sucker out of the airlock (i.e. squish it in a paper towel and throw it away and then take the garbage out just in case).
First, I must say all the women of Firefly are pretty badass, and all are inspirational in their own ways. I’ve picked Zoe for this list for her amazing work-life balance. I love how she can put everything into her work, showing her full dedication to Captain Reynolds without question, and still have a passionate, loving relationship with her husband, Wash, who happens to be the ship’s pilot. Even when the two roles clash, she is able to manage the men in her life with grace.
The amazing thing about Claire is that she takes whatever life throws at her and makes the best of it, turning it into the best thing that ever happened to her. She’s the epitome of the saying, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. She manages to always come out on top, even in complete misery. Accidentally separated from your husband by 200 years and forced to marry another man? Fall in love with him. Forced to go back to first husband? Raise your daughter by second husband and become a doctor. Return to second husband 20 years later to find him remarried? No worries, he doesn’t like her anyway.
Samantha Carter (Stargate SG-1)
Lt. Colonel Carter can travel through wormholes, battle god-like parasitic aliens, and solve impossible, life-threatening problems. And then Sam can put on a dress and be a beautiful, caring, feminine, woman. It’s easy for me to be a “Lt. Colonel” all day, guiding my team, all business. But then, it’s important to be able to leave work at work and become “Sam” when I need to care for my family and spend quality time with my husband.
Sarah Connor (Terminator 2)
In Terminator, Sarah found herself the target of a time-travelling, artificially-intelligent robot seeking to “terminate” the mother of the AI’s enemy leader before he is born. Though she was mainly “victim” in the first movie, the Sarah of T2 becomes exactly the type of woman who could raise a son into a leader of humanity. Yes, she had the benefit of knowledge of future events. But even without knowing what will happen in my future, Sarah inspires me to be the best I can be. She may have been prepping for specific plans that she knew would come to pass, but don’t we all have the opportunity to prepare for our own plans, whatever they may be and whether or not they come to fruition?
I really could go on – Amelia, Uhura, Alice, Leia, Rose, River (both of them), et. al. Tell me about women of sci-fi who have inspired you in the comments…