Thank the powers that be for fantasy and sci-fi, which has been quietly offering women strong role models for decades now. My superheroes don't have figures that make Barbie feel fat, and they don't play second fiddle to their male counterparts. They get the job done, unconcerned about being called "bitch" or "masculine" or "ball buster." As I think about my growing up, and being allowed to watch movies like Alien and Aliens, and the Star Wars movies, and even Star Trek (which became less sexist with time), I see how I learned how to be an assertive, powerful woman. I didn't need Wonder Woman or Batgirl. I had Ellen Ripley and Eowyn.
One of my earliest memories, in fact, is watching the cartoon Lord of the Rings, and being blown away by Eowyn's battlefield gender reveal. That moment awoke something in my heart: not only could a woman be strong and powerful, but in fact, her gender could be an asset. ONLY a woman could have killed the Witch King.
|Ripley: disobeying orders and killing aliens whenever she wakes from hypersleep. And oh, yes, recovering from the loss of her own daughter by saving an innocent girl from the alien queen.|
|Captain Janeway, one of the best captains in Star Trek. Tough as nails, capable of making the hard decisions, and oh yeah, kicking Borg ass when necessary.|
|Starbuck: It's not just men who can be awesome pilots and total assholes. Self-destructive but never apologetic for her gender.|
|Maleficent, who in the end found true love to be that between a mother and daughter, not a man and a woman. Oh, and capable of ruling her own realm and mustering an army without any help, male, female, human or fairy.|
|Olivia Dunham: strong, feminine, smart, in BOTH worlds.|
|Twist on the classic: the princess does the rescuing!|