I’ve considered a number of female characters for this post. After 15 years, why would I share about my teenage idol if numerous other good female characters have been released since, right? But, no. After much research and due consideration, I still take my stand that Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) from 1999’s movie “10 Things I Hate About You” is (and always will be) my favourite female movie character. I mean, there’s just way too many reasons why.
Firstly, she had such an amazingly strong and unique personality. She listens to “Riot Grrrl” music, reads books such as “The Bell Jar”, writes poems, and sketches on her free time. Her personality, interests, and belief system all exist beyond the confines of traditional binary thinking and predetermined standards set by society and refuses to “conform” to what she’s supposed to do.
Indeed, she believed in her own abilities and potential and had her priorities set straight. Knowing her intellect and the huge possibilities that lie ahead, she was determined to continue her education at the liberal arts college of her choice despite the difficulty of doing this back then. Plus, she was never afraid to step on people’s toes as long as she stays true to herself. This extends even to her father and her teacher.
Another one of Kat’s inspirational qualities is her strong will. She lives up to her own expectations and hers alone. Despite how proud she seems, she does try to set an example for her younger sister Bianca (Larisa Oleynik).
For example, while she was complaining about going to a party on the weekend, she explains to Bianca that she doesn’t have to do things for someone else’s reasons or happiness. In Kat’s words, “Bogey’s party is just a lame excuse for all the idiots at our school to drink beer and rub up against each other in hopes of distracting themselves from the pathetic emptiness of their meaningless consumer-driven lives.” Unwilling to conform and settle due to societal norms, she was the first feminist who shed much wisdom about personal ideals, independence, women empowerment, and self-worth to me and her words has definitely resonated through the years.
Even when it comes to dating, I look up to her for being against chauvinistic egoistic and/or narcissistic man who are just so full of themselves. In addition, I like how she often “sneers at the idiocy of teenage social life.” In fact, womanhood should thank for teaching us the art of sarcastic flirting. After all, sarcasm is never complete without a good eye-roll right?
And honestly, with her witty but intimidating lines, how can you even think to rebutt her? I was so tempted to put her for the wittiest script category. But, nah. She deserves this throne a lot more.
In addition, I admire Kat for her stand on sexuality. After being dumped by Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) for refusing to have sex again, Kat takes complete control of her body and resolves to act entirely on her terms. It doesn’t matter that other high schoolers are having sex and think it’s cool — since Kat isn’t ready, she’s sticking to her guns and won’t be swayed by peer pressure. Hands down to that!
Also, it was really awe-inspiring to see Kat let her guards down for Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) who turned out better by being around her. It was sweet and heart-warming to see the “rough-edged outsider” get together with the “unsociable shrew.” It was definitely not a rainbows and butterflies love story but it was honest, real, and true.
Indeed, Kat Stratford was the first fictional feminist I saw who was awesome, witty, clever, got the hot dude, and was just plain inspirational. And because of that, she’s my favourite female movie character of all time. ❤
Okay. That’s all. You can stare at Heath Ledger dancing for a while (yeah. I just had to post this). After which, it’s time for you to check out Cumuloq’s page and read her list of favourite female movie characters. Catch you tmr! 🙂