Tough girls: women warriors and wonder women in popular culture
Tough girls are everywhere these days. Whether it is Ripley battling a swarm of monsters in the Aliens trilogy or Captain Janeway piloting the starship Voyager through space in the continuing Star Trek saga, women strong in both body and mind have become increasingly popular in the films, television series, advertisements, and comic books of recent decades.In Tough Girls, Sherrie A. Inness explores the changing representations of women in all forms of popular media and what those representations suggest about shifting social mores. She begins her examination of tough women in American popular culture with three popular television shows of the 1960s and '70s -- The Avengers, Charlie's Angels, and The Bionic Woman -- and continues through such contemporary pieces as a recent ad for Calvin Klein jeans and current television series such as The X-Files and Xena: Warrior Princess. Although all these portrayals show women who can take care of themselves in ways that have historically been seen as uniquely male, they also undercut women's toughness in a variety of ways. Inness argues that even some of the strongest depictions of women have perpetuated women's subordinate status, using toughness in complicated ways to break or bend gender stereotypes while simultaneously affirming them.Blending cultural studies, gender studies, and film studies, Inness gives new insight into the kinds of female characters offered to women as role models.
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