I was trying to think of a word to describe heroines I like & I think I've found it. Robust. Not physically, necessarily, but character-wise. They take all the crap that gets dealt to them & manage themselves, and their relationships with men (or in at least one case, with women), or with life generally, without a fatal emotional disintegration. Under pressure, they make mistakes, but they bounce back. Or if they fall (as is human) they are able to pull themselves together again, stronger for the experience.
Some of my favourites: Elizabeth Bennett Susan Ivanova Princess Leia Jennifer Garner in Alias and Electra Zoe from Firefly Eowyn Mavin Many-Shaped The Bride Barbara Gordon Ripley Black Canary Saturn Girl Wonder Woman V.I. Warshawski Ororo Munroe (Storm) Willow
So who are your heroines? Do you recognise all of mine? Let me know.