Everybody loves women who stand up for what's right and aren't afraid to challenge the status quo. Well... they do when we're talking about fictional characters like Lisa Simpson and Daria Morgendorffer. But in the real world, sometimes it can be tough for outspoken women to get by -- especially if they identify as feminists, a term that's STILL treated like a dirty word in some circles.
We grew up watching a lot of really awesome girls and women (and lady squirrels, sometimes) who inspired us to be better and achieve great things. But just as art imitates life, there've been some real flesh and blood people throughout history who exhibit all the same qualities as our favorite cartoon characters -- and some of them, you've probably never heard of before.
Eliza Thornberry — Jane GoodallNickelodeon/Getty Images
Eliza uses magical powers to talk to her chimpanzee best friend Darwin, but Goodall -- who played herself in an episode of "The Wild Thornberrys," believe it or not -- chose to learn about these elusive primates the old fashioned way by studying them meticulously.
Charlotte Pickles — Mary Kay AshNickelodeon/Getty Images
Her name is synonymous with cosmetics for a good reason -- after fighting tooth and nail to get ahead in the business world, Mary Kay decided to write a book advising other women in the field, which instead turned into a business plan for a new company that became one of the biggest makeup producers in America. Workaholic Charlotte's commitment to getting ahead and teaching Angelika how to do it, too, strikes us as pretty similar.
Lisa Simpson — Gloria SteinemFox/Getty Images
A bit obvious? Maybe, but Lisa's outspoken method of discourse reminds us pretty heavily of the iconic second wave feminist.
Penny Proud — Angela DavisDisney/Getty Images
Penny once infamously dressed up as Davis herself while researching the political activist for a school project during an episode of "The Proud Family." But the two have other things in common as well, such as their shared interest in feminism and personal independence -- Davis is a noted critic of the prison-industrial complex and considers herself a modern-day abolitionist.
Reggie Rocket — Margo ObergNickelodeon/Encyclopedia of Surfing
Not only did Oberg grow up in Southern California and begin surfing at the tender age of ten, but she also won surfing championships by the age of twelve. Now, she's considered the first female surfing professor in world history-- Oberg owns a surfing school in Kauai where she teaches the next generation of wave-riders. We can imagine Reggie having the same trajectory (if she weren't fictional).
Daria — Dorothy ParkerMTV/Getty Images
Daria Morgendorffer's deadpan wit is such a vital part of her character that she's been fielding comparisons to Miss Parker since she first appeared on TV in 1997.
Helga Pataki - Sylvia PlathNickelodeon/Wikipedia
Tortured artistic soul? Check. Overwhelming discomfort at traditional gender roles? Check. Tendency to become melodramatic about possible love interest? Super check.
Kim Possible — Virginia HallDisney/Wikipedia
Superhero secret agents like Kim Possible aren't really -- well -- possible. But even if high schoolers can't stop super villains in real life, if your childhood dream is to become a spy, don't let the odds get to you. Virginia Hall, for example, didn't let accidentally shooting off her leg in a hunting expedition stop her from becoming one of the most influential and important spies in World War II.
Sandy Cheeks — Annie OakleyNickelodeon/Getty Images
Sure, Sandy is a squirrel who lives underwater with a talking sponge for a best friend, but she's also a super tough, super smart cowgirl who doesn't let the fact that she's the only girl on her squad stop her from kicking butt. Annie didn't share quite the same hobbies as the rodeo-riding, karate-shopping Bikini Bottom dweller, but she was also one of America's first superstars due to her sharpshooting prowess. We bet they'd totally get along. You know, if Sandy weren't a squirrel.