But the one thing we were really lucky to have was a lot of really amazing, strong, tough, and unique women and girls in our movies and TV shows.
While it may seem like a simple thing to some, it's nice to see these cool girls and women who are capable of fighting for themselves, standing up for what they believe, and going against the stereotypical roles that women are always put in.
We were lucky to have a lot of them too. These were some of the ones that made a big difference in our lives.
1. Dr. Ellie Satler from 'Jurassic Park'
Dr. Ellie Satler is not only a leader in her field, but she's just a generally amazing human being.
Ellie is great because she stands up for herself against all those men, and even though they are in a life-or-death situation, she manages to do everything she needs to survive.
I think one of the best things about Ellie is that she actually shows emotions. The thing is, someone who is strong doesn't need to be an emotionless robot. She's confident enough to show how excited she is, or how scared she is, or even how annoyed she is.
I will never forget the iconic line "We can discuss sexism in survival situations when I get back," right to the old man who got them into this mess in the first place. She's a real hero.
2. Topanga Lawrence from 'Boy Meets World'
I would like someone to try and tell Topanga to do a single thing she didn't want to do. Just try. it will not work.
She was fierce, tough, and so smart. Never once did she let anyone talk down to her or treat her in a way that she didn't want to be treated.
Also, that hair is perfect. Just because you are an amazing feminist doesn't mean you can't have good hair. You can have whatever you want, it's the whole point!
3. Lisa Simpson from 'The Simpsons'
She's not just smarter than all the other Simpson family members, she's also kinder, more open-minded and artistic than them all too.
Sure, she can get a little bit obsessive and full of herself sometimes, but for an 8-year-old, she's doing pretty alright.
4. Clarissa Darling from 'Clarissa Explains It All'
Clarissa is creative, unique, and smart. We didn't have a lot of role models in the tech world, but Clarissa's fascination with computers was a nice way for us ladies to realize that we were allowed to play on computers too.
5. Jesse Spano from 'Saved By The Bell'
Sure, everyone seems to only remember the "I'm so excited" episode, but even that doesn't discount her strength as a character.
She was a politically active feminist who stood up for her beliefs, and while she struggled with some issues she managed to work through it.
6. Matilda Wormwood from 'Matilda'
How many boxes of Cheerios did you stare at to see if you had powers? Because for me, it was a lot.
Matilda was powerful in the obvious super powered way, but also she's so strong. She manages to help her full grown teacher get rid of her evil aunt and also separate herself from her neglectful and abusive parents.
She's stronger at the age of six-and-a-half than a lot of us are in our adult years.
7. Daria Morgendorffer from 'Daria'
Daria is very apathetic, yes, but you know what, she's just reacting to her world. There are so many happy-go-lucky characters, it's kind of nice to see someone who is a little bit less peppy.
We can't all be happy all of the time, so it's sometimes nice to see someone else who isn't all sunshine and daisies.
8. Buffy Summers from 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'
It's pretty clear that she's tougher than most people, but you know what, it's a lot to deal with. She's just a teenager trying to go to school when she ends up having to fight demons all the time.
Honestly that can't be ideal for her, but she keeps on fighting because that's her only option.
9. Elise, Brenda, and Annie from 'The First Wives Club'
This movie is jam-packed with iconic women who have to fight through their anger and despair to find a way to help women.
Sure, at first they set out to get revenge, but by the end they realize that they aren't the only women who are struggling and they put together something amazing.
These women all have their own issues and have to fight through their own inner demons, but together they manage to make it through.
10. Kat Stratford from '10 Things I Hate About You'
Kat is truly unafraid to be herself, even when the whole school (and her family) is basically begging her to change. She doesn't care that people get annoyed with her, because she is too busy living her life to the fullest.
Even though she disagrees with a lot of her sister's choices, when it gets to a certain point she reveals the truth about why she is so worried, and says the thing we all needed to hear at that age:
"I'm a firm believer in doing things for your own reasons, and not someone else's."
Seriously, we all needed that when we were young.
These strong women helped shape us all into who we are today, and we should be grateful that they opened up movies and TV to being more welcoming of strong female characters!
Let's hope we continue getting more and more!
As far as iconic characters go, Rizzo has to be one of the best. Even though she technically came on the scene before the 90s, she is the real hero of Grease and we all know it.
A lot of these shows weren't afraid to get real with us, and that's probably why we liked them so much. Even when they were dealing with insane situations, they were dealing with some real emotions.