Replacing Julia Sugarbaker

The death of Dixie Carter this weekend hit me hard.  I am one of a generation who grew up watching Designing Women (along with Murphy Brown) on Monday nights; so in a mere one-hour block of television, I had at my disposal an entire basketball team of female icons to emulate and to adore.  And it wasn't just the Monday night block of opinionated working gals.  I had Clair Huxtable and Elise Keaton and the Golden Girls.  I even had Roseanne and Rebecca Howe and Diane Chambers, who, for all their obvious idiosyncrasies, were still women who knew what they wanted and went after it.  They ruled their households or pursued higher education or worked hard to excel at their jobs (even if sometimes they chased men merely for their earning potential).

When I started writing this, I was fully prepared to go all "get off my lawn" in my advanced age and rib on the current crop of TV heroines.  But, despite not having an obvious "perfect" woman in both career and family life to emulate like Mrs. Clair Huxtable, esq., we have a group of women who, despite their flaws, each embody different aspects of what it means (to me, anyway) to be a strong woman.  Some of them are total career women.  Some identify first with being wives and mothers.  All of them are where they are in their lives because of conscious choices they made.  Maybe they don't all deliver speeches underscored by swelling orchestras about how Suzanne twirled her baton and lit Georgia on fire; but amidst a TV lineup filled with Snookies and Kardashians and Hugh Hefner's former nursemaids, here are a few women I'd be happy to have my own daughter look up to.  
Or, you know, they could just go and rent Designing Women on Netflix.
Who am I missing on this list?  Leave me your thoughts in the comments.

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