Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: On the TV portrayal of the "Strong Woman"


PatriciaTrish and Maggie, you’re both sweathearts, and I always have the cheese covered. Watch out for Rachel, though, she’ll drink all your whisky!

(From Maggie above, please read her whole post, quote block isn’t working for me)
“I want to pose a question: why is it that when there’s a show with a female lead, she is called a STRONG female lead? We don’t say this about men when they carry a show. It’s as though a female being STRONG is something odd and other.”

This is an excellent question, Maggi. What makes a STRONG female lead, with that emphasis cited by the media these days? Is it anytime a woman carries a show, or just when there’s a woman who displays typical masculine traits?

The examples that come to mind are from sci-fi/fantasy shows, so is the concept of a Strong Woman something that is just a fantasy? Is it safer to see a woman kicking ass (and not being a villian or a femme fatale) if it’s couched by super powers (Buffy TVS) or that she’s from a different time (Claire)?

Or is when a woman is shown pursuing a career (The Good Wife, Homeland) and the career is emphasized over finding the perfect man? (Actually Homeland doesn’t work here, I wish they hadn’t gone the romantic route with Brody)

I throw this open to my fellow lovely commentators: What makes a strong female lead?