Proof Salem is the most feminist show on TV

Apr 3, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Image: WGN

From the amazing costumes to its most bloodcurdling, horrific moments, there are plenty of reasons to get in on Salem. One thing you might not expect from the WGN breakout success, though: the sheer amount of feminism witnessed at every plot turn.

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Girls can be "bad guys," too

SheKnows recently visited the set of Salem where we talked to some of the cast and creators about the show and just how feminist it really is. Cocreator Adam Simon said it was part of their plan all along. "That’s always at the very heart of Salem, which is women and the world of women, the role of women. One of the biggest goals we had from the get-go was to say, 'Great, we have seen some amazing antiheroes in the last decade. But are we allowed to let women be those antiheroes, too?'"

All hail Mary, Queen Witch

Salem Season 1 started right off the bat showcasing strong, powerful women. Even as Mary said goodbye to John Alden, the love of her life, she was never a whimpering puppy. From there, it was only a matter of a few years before she used her marriage to the controlling and puritanical George Sibley to her advantage. Soon enough, she was ruling over all of Salem, though still functioning under the name of her bewitched husband. This season, there's a new man in town and he'll see right through Mary's hold on the town. Will his sexism and inability to see women as leaders be what finally brings Mary to her knees? Probably not.

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Young girls are powerful, too

The power struggle in Salem doesn't just move between Puritans and witches; it happens among the women, too. Mary created a powerful witch when she brought Mercy into the mix, and Season 1 saw the young, tormented girl make a coven of her own — bound and determined to defeat Mary. This season, we'll watch the young Anne Hale come into her own as a witch, as well. Alliances among the women change as often as the direction of the women, but it's not cattiness or any of the other stereotypical drives that see the women go head-to-head, it's the ever-increasing need for power.

And then there's Lucy Lawless

We've already witnessed Lawless as the ultimate feminist icon in Xena: Warrior Princess. In Season 2, she'll come to Salem in the form of Marburg, a witch more powerful than any of the other witches combined. Who will she align with and what will she do once she's ashore? It's too early to tell, but knowing Adams and cocreator Brannon Braga's intentions, we're sure to see women continue to reign supreme.

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