Ellen Pompeo Kerry Washington Mireille Enos Viola Davis ABC

In a recent interview with Good Housekeeping, Shonda Rhimes explained why she doesn’t want to raise “nice” daughters.

“I don’t want to have a nice girl,” Rhimes says. “I’d rather have a stubborn girl.”

While we’re sure most parents would say the exact opposite (how fun is stubbornness when it’s time for bed?), Rhimes actually gives a great explanation for why she thinks growing up stubborn as opposed to nice will be better for her daughters in the long run.

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“No one will ever take advantage of them,” she says. “They will always go their own way because they have decided they’re going to.”

Preach it, Shonda.

When you look at Rhimes’ leading ladies on TV right now, it becomes even more apparent that “nice” is not what she prefers to see in women, and “stubborn” is a serious understatement for most of them, so here’s Zap2it’s countdown of Rhimes’ women, by stubbornness.

4. Alice Vaughan


Niceness: 9/10

Alice (Mireille Enos) is an interesting conundrum because she’s nice and approachable, but she can also be pretty ruthless. When push comes to shove though, she is the nicest of the the Shonda ladies, and her sweetness never makes her naive — well, at least not anymore.

Stubbornness: 6/10

We’d actually argue that Alice’s stubbornness starts off low at the beginning of the show and grows exponentially by the Season 1 finale. After getting hoodwinked, she becomes a one-woman wrecking ball, and honestly, it’s a good look for her.

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3. Meredith Grey

mer 4 Shonda Rhimes would rather have a stubborn girl: Ranking her leading ladies

Niceness: 7/10

For all of Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) rough edges, it’s been apparent from day one (over 11 years ago) that she’s got a good heart and a genuine desire to help people heal. Unless you’ve earned her wrath, you’ll likely get a small smile from Meredith the first time you meet her.

Stubbornness: 7/10

Meredith may have started out the series as stubborn as a mule, but through her friendship with Christina (Sandra Oh), her marriage to Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and becoming a mother, she’s learned the art of compromise. She can certainly stick to her guns when she needs to — or when her patient needs her to — but it’s not her first instinct to say “no” anymore.

2. Olivia Pope

giphy6 Shonda Rhimes would rather have a stubborn girl: Ranking her leading ladies

Niceness: 6/10

While we wouldn’t exactly call Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) warm, we’d argue that when she needs to be (and when she can afford to be) she’s a kind and understanding person. She’s just won’t sugarcoat the truth when what you really need is a good, firm kick in the behind.

Stubbornness: 9/10

Have you ever tried telling Olivia Pope what to do or how to do it? Nope, because you probably wouldn’t live to tell the tale. Olivia may have a soft side, but she takes the world on her own terms.

1. Annalise Keating

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Niceness: 4/10

Annalise (Viola Davis) has a soft spot for maybe three people in the world, and if you’re not one of them, you wouldn’t get a kind word out of her if your life depended on it. However, Annalise’s refusal to be the warm, comforting woman people often expect in a leading lady is one of our favorite things about her. She is unapologetically Annalise.

Stubbornness: 10/10

We’re pretty sure the saying “my way or the highway” was created for Annalise. Whether she’s in court, meeting with a client or trying to get away with murder, you can bet she’s masterminding ever single part of her plan.