Surely little girls can't like pink THAT much...
By Jenny Donoghue
...When I was a kid my favorite color was orange. Or stripey.
This week the topic of strong female lead characters in cartoons came up mid-friendly chat. I was disappointed to realize I couldn't think of many. Not from my own childhood, nor from the meager offerings of present day.
While the non-bundance of kickass females didn't stop little girl Donoghue from aspiring to do all the cool things the male cartoons did, and while I bet most kids don't yet register gender on a conscious level, young girls (and boys) are going to get bombarded with so much subliminal shitty gender stereotyping in their lives, it wouldn't hurt to give them a strong foundation of examples of gender-equal awesomeness.
Besides, the boys shouldn't get to have all the fun.
Below are the badass lady cartoon characters I could think of. There were so few I quickly started in on live action children's TV. Even that was a challenge. If you have specialist cartoon knowledge/think of any I've left out, leave them in the comments!
Mulan. Nobody puts Mulan in a corner.
Animaniacs. Although she was part of a trio, this girl was a firecracker.
The Mighty B. If it's created by Amy Poehler, you know it's not only going to be super awesome but also pro-feminist in the most fun way. Poehler is doing great things for young girls with both this show AND her inspiring Charlie Rose show for young girls, Smart Girls At The Party. The show "celebrates extraordinary individuals who are changing the world by being themselves." Thank God for Amy Poehler.
Ashley Spinelli from Recess. She actively defies the obnoxious girl stereotypes in her namesake episode. Gretchen from Recess was also smart, capable and awesome.
Fun fact! She was voiced by Pamela Adlon, of Louie.
Gaia from Captain Planet. Epitomy of Lady Power.
Kim Possible. Ass-kicking girl superhero! Yes please!
Miss Piggy (Muppet Babies version!) Event though she wears all pink, she doesn't take no shit. This gem was from back in my day. Good times. If it weren't for these guys kid-me wouldn't have gotten out of bed on a Saturday morning.
As Told By Ginger. She was a bit older, more of a young tween. But still a cool girl.
Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus! So many of the females on this list are redheaded...coincidence?
The Worst Witch. She's live action, but homegirl was the original Harry Potter.
Wizadora. Not a cartoon, but British quirky lady for kids.
A Little Princess. NOT A CARTOON EITHER, I KNOW. But what a lovely role model for girls. If only these kind of princesses were forced down girls' throats instead of that pink sparkly tiara crap. I CRY EVERY TIME.
 Though I will admit I'm not super well versed in today's menu of children's TV.
 I think this is a good and healthy thing for a 24 year old.
 Good for you! I'm genuinely impressed.
JENNY DONOGHUE Made in Wales, matured in NY. Currently living in London. Like some kind of delicious weird mid-Atlantic cheese. Actor, sometimes writer, all-times human. www.jennydonoghue.com
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