One of my favorite science fiction authors has a great post up on role models for women. She references a fairy tale she read when she was 13 (and wishes someone could help her remember the title) wherein the heroine, instead of learning she is a princess or being rescued by a knight, uses the character strengths (my term, not hers) of perseverance, capacity to love and be loved, and creativity to achieve thriving. She writes:
"Earth needs women (yes, and men, but we’re talking women here) who take care of the weak and helpless. Earth needs women who don’t whine. Earth needs women who cheerfully shoulder the burden of what needs to be done."