Words by Emily Nardini
If you know me, you know I love adult animation. As soon as I seen the latest feminist cartoon sensation, Tuca & Bertie, I think I told every female I know in this world to watch it. So, being a 90’s girl flower power baby, I know we have some of the strongest female leads in animation. All I’m saying is I’d rather watch Daria (whose morals line up with feminists) on Now TV over Love Island any night. Too many girls from old to new, Penny Proud (The Proud Family) to Tina Belcher (Bob’s Burgers) have bossed the TV showing young me/present me what I yearned to be all along/what I am – a young girl with a dream grown into a woman with a vision. Want to learn the basic rules of feminism? Take a blast to the past and identify with the real cool girls with kind hearts, fierce minds and brave spirits. Here are UV’s fav fem-tastic cartoon characters!
Charlotte Pickles (Rugrats)
I remember watching Rugrats when I was just a sprout myself, so Charlotte Pickles was essentially the first fem cartoon character to grace her presence in my young fem life! Charlotte is a strong-willed and assertive woman. She makes it very clear through out the show that she wants her daughter Angelica to be the same when she’s older and even at her young age – independent and accomplished. Charlotte Pickles, The Fem Mama!
Helga G. Pataki (Hey Arnold!)
Loved Hey Arnold! growing up, felt so relatable to the kids you went to school with especially at the time I lived in the States. A true reflection of 90’s childhood. Anyways, Helga is one misunderstood tomboy. With a bossy but soft side, this tough fem girl definitely had the back of girls more than people may remember. She loved a girls vs. boys challenge and I’ll never forget the episode where she conformed to girls pressures of wearing face masks to get rid of wrinkles but before it hit her young skin…her womanly rant “we’re 9 years old!” came to light giving the other girls realisation to be what they want to be and do what they want to do. Go Helga!
Lisa Simpson (The Simpsons)
Lisa Simpson, the smartest little girl you probably know. Lisa is such a feminist, she even has her own page on IG filled with all her memorable fem quotes (@feminist.lisa). You know Lisa for her passionate intellect self and liberal political stance. She’s basically the modern girl today being vegetarian and a strong environmentalist, so she was schooling us. She set the fem bar high with her ‘Lisa vs. Malibu Barbie’ debate of making her f you ‘Lisa Lionheart’ doll and when you pulled her string she proclaimed – “trust in yourself and you can achieve anything!” Wise thoughts turned into wise words from a wise Lisa!
Daria Morgendorffer (Daria)
Saving the best sarcasm queen of millennials for the last! With her own unique view of the world, she sees things that no one else picks up on. She endears everyone around her with her no bs comedic comments. I also had no idea originally Daria was in Beavis and Butt-Head and that the anti social gem was so likeable, she got her own show (girl boss!) The beauty of Daria is that she isn’t the only feminist on the show…there’s Jane Lane (biting wit aspiring artist), Jodie Landon (prestigious young brain), Quinn Morgendorffer (teen goddess that males worship the ground she walks on giving nothing to the opposite sex in return) and Helen Morgendorffer (Daria’s Mum driven to be the best in a male dominated work environment for her girls). With Daria in the 90’s being one of MTV’s highest rated shows, on June 13th 2019, MTV announced a new Daria spin-off series, Jodie with actress Tracee Ellis Ross starring as the ‘knowledge is power’ character, as well as executive producing. The show is the first in a series of spin-offs planned by the network based on the Daria franchise, so I hope to see Daria really soon – fingers crossed. Until then, as soon as it rocks the TV, I can’t wait for the arrival of Jodie!