Hot Best Seller

Tough Girls: Women Warriors and Wonder Women in Popular Culture

Availability: Ready to download

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, 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 variously undercut women's toughness. She 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. Also of interest-- Madcaps, Screwballs, and Con Women: The Female Trickster in American Culture Lori Landay


Compare

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, 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 variously undercut women's toughness. She 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. Also of interest-- Madcaps, Screwballs, and Con Women: The Female Trickster in American Culture Lori Landay

30 review for Tough Girls: Women Warriors and Wonder Women in Popular Culture

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lissa

    I so want to own this book one day. I could re-read it forever.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Okay, I had to give this book 3 stars, even though I didn't really read it. What does that mean? I tried reading the first chapter and I had to stop. My problem with it? It's outdated. It was publishing in 1999 and it doesn't include so many of the great female warriors of today. Am I going to keep asking myself things? Most likely. (Okay, I'll stop). She talks about the female warrior, how, previous to the 2000s, if a woman was also a warrior (or an action hero), she had to sublimate many of her Okay, I had to give this book 3 stars, even though I didn't really read it. What does that mean? I tried reading the first chapter and I had to stop. My problem with it? It's outdated. It was publishing in 1999 and it doesn't include so many of the great female warriors of today. Am I going to keep asking myself things? Most likely. (Okay, I'll stop). She talks about the female warrior, how, previous to the 2000s, if a woman was also a warrior (or an action hero), she had to sublimate many of her feminine qualities and adopt many qualities that are considered typically male. She's completely right. Why did people wonder if Xena was a lesbian? It wasn't because she was attractive and had a female companion (okay, it might have partly been the female companion) but it was also because at the time, Xena wasn't shown as having a permanent male companion (outside of Joxer) AND she was also a Warrior princess. Of COURSE that meant she had to be gay. ... except not. I also agree with her observations that toys for girls revolve around pink, keeping a home and other activities that are considered typically female domain while boy toys are standard building toys or six inch steroid addicted action figures. I find it ridiculous, and would like to include the observation that girls' clothes are ridiculous as well. Young girls do not need booty shorts, thank you very much. ... but I digress. The problem is that because the book was published in 1999 (I don't believe she's written an updated version), she misses out on many of the new female warriors of today. Hell, Angelina Jolie plays 9 out of 10 of them. The female warrior of now has been re-defined. She no longer has to sublimate her femininity or sexuality in order to be tough; in fact, she's tough while using her femininity to her advantage, using the prejudices of others to move ahead more quickly and easily than if she tried to just barrel through. It's no longer the exception for men to find the tough girl attractive or alluring. Why's not sexy about a woman who can not only defend herself but her family? Who's not only able to wield a gun but is damn good at it? And now I'm ranting and I apologize. It's a good idea and it's an interesting statement on societ BUT it is a snapshot of time before our current crop of mainstream media. I wish she would re-look at ther observations and explanations, that she would be willing to look at some of the new imagery. I would be very interested to read what she had to say.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This book cites a wide range of examples of "tough" female characters in popular culture; Inness argues that the "tough girl" became increasingly common and increasingly autonomous since the 1970s. The trends she identified in 1999 have continued (think of Angelina Jolie's career, for instance). But the very breadth of media she surveys here -- from women's magazines to film to comic books -- becomes a liability. She cannot comprehensively cover the history, context and examples of "tough women" This book cites a wide range of examples of "tough" female characters in popular culture; Inness argues that the "tough girl" became increasingly common and increasingly autonomous since the 1970s. The trends she identified in 1999 have continued (think of Angelina Jolie's career, for instance). But the very breadth of media she surveys here -- from women's magazines to film to comic books -- becomes a liability. She cannot comprehensively cover the history, context and examples of "tough women" in all the genres she includes, so there are big gaps. Popular fiction gets only a nod (so why include it at all?). Most incredibly, she neglects to mention the film "G.I. Jane" (1997), the central theme of which is gender and toughness. The best chapter is the one that focuses on a single TV series (Xena: Warrior Princess). Perhaps the book would be better off framed as a series of case studies, or focused more sharply on fantasy/scifi (which dominates, but would leave out sections on Charlie's Angels, Thelma & Louise, Silence of the Lambs...) In general, despite the pedigree of an academic publisher, the analysis does not go deeper than the standard observations of Star Trek's Captain Janeway, Alien's Ellen Ripley, etc. There is not enough cognizance of the intended market for most of these representations, and how that audience shapes representations with its buying power. Most troubling to me is that Inness seems to want women characters to be flat and unidimensional in order to qualify as "tough." She discounts the value of narrative interest in developing a character. And her critiques often fall into the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" category, especially when it comes to these figures' sexuality, physical appearance, and emotional displays.

  4. 4 out of 5

    CJ Guerrero

    Borrrrring. It was hurtful how hard this was to get through, the word TOUGH said way too much. Sure it's in the title, but the repetitive nature in which the author describes each subject was a snore. On top of that, all of the examples do not stand the test of time. Borrrrring. It was hurtful how hard this was to get through, the word TOUGH said way too much. Sure it's in the title, but the repetitive nature in which the author describes each subject was a snore. On top of that, all of the examples do not stand the test of time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    This is a great book for anyone interested in the portrayal of women in mainstream pop culture, particularly in action and science fiction. Inness examines various characteristics that tend to show up in "tough girl" characters and why our culture sees those characteristics as tough. This is a great book for anyone interested in the portrayal of women in mainstream pop culture, particularly in action and science fiction. Inness examines various characteristics that tend to show up in "tough girl" characters and why our culture sees those characteristics as tough.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Knits

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessamyn

  8. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nabs

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ana

  11. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samanthaleigh

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lauryn

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dmgoerisch

  16. 4 out of 5

    Angie

  17. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

  19. 5 out of 5

    Donna Kirk

  20. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leland

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vavia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gaby Machado

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jose

  27. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

  28. 5 out of 5

    Fanie Demeule

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lois

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sugar

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...