Two things:

  1. I love this quote, Joss Whedon, and all the characters in this picture (with the possible exception of Illyria). They are all “strong female characters,” they all kick ass, and they are all well-written.
  2. This photo only depicts one kind of “strong female character” in the works of Joss Whedon: The kind that comes heavily armed with firearms/magic/battle axes/stakes/ass-kicking skills, etc.

So I’d like to take a moment to mention the other “strong female characters” of the Whedonverse, those whose strength does not necessarily come in the form of ass-kicking abilities, but who are without a doubt strong.

  • Joyce Summers, Buffy’s wonderfully human, flawed, protective, and supportive mother.
  • Kaylee Frye, the genius mechanic who delights in girly dresses, her own sexuality, good food, and getting her hair done.
  • Sierra/Priya, the victim of abuse who is at her core a compassionate, loving pacifist.
  • Winifred Burkle, who survived five years in a hell dimension and can solve any problem with science, optimism, and her enormous brain.
  • Tara MaClay, who was the only one of Buffy’s friends to provide her with support and understanding in her darkest hour, and who stood up to her abusive girlfriend even when it hurt her.
  • Cordelia fucking Chase, who went from privileged brat to loyal friend to self-sacrificing hero.
  • Adele DeWitt, the woman in a position of power who never forgot that her first duty was to protect the Actives under her charge. 
  • Pepper Potts, CEO of Stark Enterprises and the only person who can get the best of Iron Man.
  • Inara Serra, the sex-positive and confident courtesan who was more therapist than “whore” and never once let misogynist insults prevent her from being who she is. 
  • Anya Jenkins, who spoke her mind. Every. Damn. Time.
  • Even Dawn Summers, who wasn’t special, but extraordinary (we all whined at age 15, deal with it). 

One of my favorite things about Whedonverse projects is that they always include a broad spectrum of “strong female characters.” The women of the Whedonverse represent a diverse collection of ways to be strong as a woman, as a person. The ass-kickers were just as strong as the nurturers, and sometimes they even overlapped. Y’know… like real people.

This concludes my blatant fangirling over Whedonverse women.