Shonda Rhimes Is Really Over The ‘Strong Female Characters’ Label

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The great Shonda Rhimes is at it again. The woman who gave us Meredith Grey, Olivia Pope, Addison Walsh, Miranda Bailey, President Mellie Grant and Annalise Keating (to name a few) wants you to stop calling them “strong female characters” because guess what? They aren’t. They are just women because all women are strong so they don’t need the superlative. “Okay.Entertainment industry, time to stop using the phrases ‘Smart Strong Women’ and ‘Strong Female Leads,’” Rhimes tweeted on Thursday. “There are no Dumb Weak Women. A smart strong woman is just a WOMAN. Also? ‘Women’ are not a TV trend — we’re half the planet.”

Shonda you are so good! And totally right. I won’t lie. I have written about the “strong women trend” on TV and I am ashamed because Rhimes has actually created a world of smart women AKA women just getting through it, one episode at a time. Yes, on average, they deal with a lot more than most of us like plane crashes, terrorism, plagues, murder, their extremely attractive exes working directly next to them, spies, infidelity, the President being all up in their grill, etc., but at the end of the day Rhimes just writes about women.

We never write about “strong male leads” because it is just assumed. Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain pointed this out when she Tweeted back at Rhimes. She wrote, “Yes to this. I’m always told I play ‘strong women.’ Lets please use the phrase ‘well-written women’ in its place ALL WOMEN ARE STRONG WOMEN.”

So let’s give this a try. I am so excited for the new Grey’s Anatomy spinoff, Station 19, (the trailer was just released) because it looks like it has some great well-written women in it. I am also excited about the Murphy Brown reboot because the plot centers on a woman and that’s all. Pretty good start, right?

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