“I’ll Make a Man Out of You”: Strong Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television
Heroic women in science fiction and fantasy television shows have done much to represent strong, successful women in leadership positions. However, these female roles that are viewed as strong and empowered embody many masculine identified traits, maintaining a patriarchal division of gender roles. This paper analyzes strong female characters within nine television shows by deconstructing their stereotypically “masculine” and “feminine” gender specific attributes and cross referencing how they play within and against traditional archetypes.
Employing texts from cultural criticism and feminist theory, I explore how representations of groups in popular culture and mass media messaging uphold structures of power by giving higher value to masculine attributes as observed in patriarchal discourse. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of why it is critical to foster television media that supports feminist ideals and breaks out of traditional oppressive gender binaries in order to promote, encourage and envision a just future society.
- Anita Sarkeesian
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Reblog if you want to smash the patriarchy
oh hell yes.