Nerd Girls Save The World: 17 Of Pop Culture’s Greatest Female Geeks

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Leslie Winkle (Sara Gilbert) in The Big Bang Theory (Image via CBS)

7. Leslie Winkle (The Big Bang Theory)

Here’s a personal confession: I don’t really like The Big Bang Theory. Too often, it goes for cheap jokes and stereotypes when it really needs something more complex. It can be especially annoying when it comes to female characters. They’re often written as one-dimensionally as on any other sitcom. That said, later seasons have done a better job at beefing up their storylines, if not the quality of their jokes. Anyway, I’m certainly not going to come down on your for enjoying it. But let’s not pretend that it’s a great work of art.

There are a few bright spots, however. As I said, the show has introduced a few female nerds, including Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) and Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz (Mary Rauch). They’re fine, but I’m an especially big fan of a less frequently seen character: Dr. Leslie Winkle.

Leslie Winkle (Sara Gilbert) is an experimental physicist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). She’s often seen using lab equipment to prepare food, such as when she used a helium-neon laser to heat up a cup of instant soup.

Now, I’m not going to argue that she’s a nice character. Leslie Winkle can be manipulative and even, on occasion, pretty shallow. But she also had a deadly dry wit and is, well, brilliant. She’s also unafraid of asking for what she really wants, as when she dates around mostly just to satisfy her libido. Maybe not what you would do, but it’s refreshing to see someone be so frank about it. I get the sense that I’m not supposed to like Leslie Winkle, but I do.