On television these days, there are no shortage of complex, interesting, and imperfect female characters. Take Liz Lemon on “30 Rock,” Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation,” Jessica Day on “New Girl,” and Mindy Lahiri on “The Mindy Project.” We no longer have to cry for women to be portrayed as human — the golden age of television has flawed women in droves. But these women are so flawed as to lose another kind of character: the role model. How can we possibly look up to women who are mentally unstable, victims of emotional or even physical abuse, or people who inflict harm on others? Today, in an era that is making the discussion of feminism new again,it is surprising how many women we idolize on television still allow themselves to be subservient to men, at times dangerously so. As viewers, how are we to reconcile the two extremes?
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