Charlie’s Angels : An example of a controversial feminism

Imagine your life as a woman working in a world driven by men. You are a secret agent working in a fast-paced, dangerous industry. In current time this would be seen as no big deal. In the past; however, women didn’t have the chance working in a man’s world.  Once the 1970s television started gearing towards the Liberation Movement, we see the incline in women power. Charlie’s Angels was the first television show to depict women in a role only men would have been seen before. “In the decade of the feminist movement, Charlie’s Angels was the first detective series to feature three female leads.” (Gale, 2012)

“Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the police academy. And they were each assigned very hazardous duties but I took them all away from all that and now they work for me. My name is Charlie.” – Those were the famous words that started each episode for 5 seasons. (Charlie’s Angel, n.d.)

This high crime and drama series starred three sexy women actresses: Farah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith. These girls were otherwise known as the original Charlie’s Angels. Kate Jackson starred as Sabrina Duncan, Farah starred as Jill Munroe, Jaclyn Smith starred as Kelly Garrett, and John Forsythe was the voice of their boss, Charles “Charlie” Townsend.  (Weiner, 1992)

“Charlie’s Angels’ demonstrated that girls could grow up to be women who controlled their own destinies without looking like we just mowed the lawn and scrubbed the floor.” (Westerfield, 2009) This show allowed women to be viewed as powerful, sexy, and independent; however, many feminist critics saw this show as non-feminism.

My Perspective: I wanted to highlight this show as a part of feminism because it was viewed as a negative aspect of feminism and a positive aspect. From my point-of-view, I see this show as a way of feminism to a degree. It showcased these women through success, power, and owning a man’s job. The critics believed this show was anti-feminist because it showcased these sexy women in an unrealistic way. (Westerfield, 2009) Their idea of this perfect figure, beautiful hair, and great fashion was too Barbie-like for a feminist.

I can see the point to those critics, but feel the idea of a strong, independent, and career focused woman was the main message from this show. I believe it was a show of feminism.

About the actresses: Farrah Fawcett was an American actress and star of Charlie’s Angels for the first season. Fawcett was a sex symbol and an international pop culture icon. She died of cancer in 2009. (Farrah Fawcett, n.d.)





Kate Jackson is an actress, director, and producer. She is best known for her role as Sabrina Duncan in Charlie’s Angels. She has been nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. (Kate Jackson, n.d.)






Jaclyn Smith is an actress and businesswoman. She is best known for her role as an angel in Charlie’s Angels. She was the only original angel through all 5 seasons of the show. (Jaclyn Smith, n.d.)







Charlie’s Angels. (n.d.). Retrieved November 6, 2012, from

Farrah Fawcett (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from

Gale, T. (2012, September 26). Best of Farrah Fawcett. Pop Culture Tales. Retrieved November 6, 2012, from

Jaclyn Smith (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from

Kate Jackson (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from

Weiner, E. (1992). The TV guide TV book: 40 years of the all-time greatest. New York, NY: HarperPerennial.

Westerfield, L. (2009, June 25). Farrah Fawcett: an American feminist icon – Kansas City Literature | Retrieved November 6, 2012, from


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