How having a strong female lead is so important in 2018


Ever since the start of cinematography, men have dominated in numbers in terms of leads and characters. Not anymore.

From superhero movies to TV shows, female actors have been extremely less likely to be cast in lead roles than males. Even when women are cast as main characters, they are often not complex or unique, as men are. Many shows may not even pass the Bechdel test, which is the test that must pass one rule: it must have two women talking about something other than a man, and the women must have names.

There are many things that contribute to this argument. Young girls should be able to look up at a woman superhero. Or just an empowering female lead in general, even in TV shows. The Bechdel test also provides insight that many female characters are made to be complementing the males in the production.

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The Bechdel Test

There are many very popular and well-known movies that don’t even come close to passing the Bechdel test. On the other hand, there are many movies that you would never expect to pass, which pass with flying colors. Star Wars does not pass the test, while Mean Girls does.

The test is not perfect, however, for example, The Quiet Place did not pass the test. But the only reason that it didn’t, was because there was minimal dialogue in the film. Characters communicated with each other without speaking verbally.

The Bechdel test is not meant to be a measurement of how sexist or insufferable a movie or show is. But it is meant to shine a light on a topic that is otherwise, rarely spoken about.

The superhero genre

Ever since the release of Wonder Woman in mid-2017, the creation of more female inspired superhero movies have been following suit. Wonder Woman was the first superhero movie which featured a powerful and strong female lead. Many other films included female superheroes, but never was there one that endorsed any of them as a strong main character. At least, not like Wonder Woman did.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. /

Coming in mid-2019 is Captain Marvel The upcoming film is about a woman named Carol Danvers (played by Brie Larson), who becomes one of the galaxy’s most powerful superheroes.

The legacy that the movie and superhero of Wonder Woman has left will not be forgotten. Young girls worldwide love the fact that there are finally powerful women to look up to. Women who can fight for themselves and the people that they care about. Women that they strive to be like as they grow up. Production of female superhero movies will hopefully only continue to multiply.

Television shows with a female lead

The production of TV shows with strong female leads has also increased. Shows feature female superheroes, like Supergirl or Jessica Jones, and even an aspiring political figure like Leslie Knope, in Parks and Recreation.

There are so many to choose from, yet all of them are about diversely unique things.

Orange Is the New Black follows multiple different female leads, telling each of their backstories through each episode, while all characters stay together in the prison.

Orange is the New Black
Photo Credit: Netflix/OITNB /

Scandal follows political negotiator Olivia Pope, who gets down and dirty when it comes to her work… and when it comes to having an affair with the president of the United States.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows the hilarious and hopeful yet tragic life of Kimmy Schmidt. She recovers and moves forward with her life after being held captive in an underground bunker for most of her life.

Jane the Virgin follows Jane Villanueva, the main female lead, but also her mother and grandmother. The series highlights their journeys through life after Jane becomes accidentally artificially inseminated with a stranger’s sperm.

Grace and Frankie follows two female leads (you’ll never guess what their names are!), who decide to put aside their differences and create a new life for themselves after finding out that their husbands have been having an affair with each other for years.

Shows such as these teach young girls that they can be whatever they want to be. And do whatever they want to do.

A female lead is so much more than just a main character. It is a tool to teach young girls, something to encourage girls to be comfortable being themselves.

Next: International Women’s Day: 12 movies and shows you need to watch to celebrate the most amazing women

Do you think that having a strong female lead is important? Who is your favorite female lead? What shows or movies have the best female characters? Let us know in the comments!