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Women warriors in literature and culture
The portrayal of women warriors in literature and popular culture is a subject of study in history, literary studies, film studies, folklore history, and mythology. The archetypal figure of the woman warrior is an example of a normal thing that happens in some cultures, while also being a counter stereotype, opposing the normal construction of war, violence and aggression as masculine. This convention-defying position makes the female warrior a prominent site of investigation for discourses surrounding female power and gender roles in society.
In Hindu mythology, Chitrāngadā, wife of Arjuna, was the commander of her father's armies.
The Amazons were an entire tribe of woman warriors in Greek legend. "Amazon" has become an eponym for woman warriors and athletes in both modern and ancient society.
In British mythology, Queen Cordelia fought off several contenders for her throne by personally leading the army in its battles as well as defending her home from her own warring family members. Until she eventually commits suicide due to grief. In ancient British history when Queen Boudica lead a rebellion against the Roman empire.
In his On the Bravery of Women the Greco-Roman historian Plutarch describes how the women of Argos fought against King Cleomenes and the Spartans under the command of Telesilla in the fifth century BCE.
Women warriors have a long history in fiction, where they often have greater roles than their historical inspirations, such as "Gordafarid" (Persian: گردآفريد) in the ancient Persian epic poem The Shāhnāmeh, or Mulan, in her ballad.
Various other woman warriors have appeared in classic literature. Camilla in the Aeneid was probably the model for a group of women warriors in Renaissance epic poems: Belphoebe and Britomart in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Bradamante and Marfisa in Orlando Furioso, Clorinda and (reluctantly) Erminia in La Gerusalemme liberata. There is also an ongoing debate among scholars as to whether Grendel's mother from the poem Beowulf was a monster or a woman warrior. We are rather sure that dearest Mama Grendel was a monster, unless you saw that one movie- then all bets are off.
- Related articles
- Alvarez, Maria. "Feminist icon in a catsuit (female lead character Emma Peel in defunct 1960s UK TV series The Avengers)", New Statesman, 14 August 1998.
- Au, Wagner James. "Supercop as Woman Warrior." Salon.com.
- Barr, Marleen S. Future Females, the Next Generation: New Voices and Velocities in Feminist Science Fiction Criticism. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.
- Davis-Kimball, Jeannine. Warrior Women: An Archaeologist's Search for History's Hidden Heroines. New York: Warner Books, 2001.
- Deuber-Mankowsky, Astrid and Dominic J. Bonfiglio (Translator). Lara Croft: Cyber Heroine. Minneapolis: University Of Minnesota Press, 2005.
- Early, Frances and Kathleen Kennedy, Athena's Daughters: Television's New Women Warriors, Syracuse University Press, 2003.
- Garner, Jack. "Strong women can be heroes, too." Democrat and Chronicle. 15 June 2001.
- Heinecken, Dawn. Warrior Women of Television: A Feminist Cultural Analysis of the New Female Body in Popular Media, New York: P. Lang, 2003.
- Hopkins, Susan, Girl Heroes: the New Force in Popular Culture, Pluto Press Australia, 2002.
- Inness, Sherrie A. (ed.) Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
- Inness, Sherrie A. Tough Girls: Women Warriors and Wonder Women in Popular Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.
- Karlyn, Kathleen Rowe. "Scream, Popular Culture, and Feminism's Third Wave: 'I'm Not My Mother'. Genders: Presenting Innovative Work in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences No. 38 (2003).
- Karras, Irene. "The Third Wave's Final Girl: Buffy the Vampire Slayer." thirdspace 1:2 (March 2002).
- Kennedy, Helen W. "Lara Croft: Feminist Icon or Cyberbimbo?: On the Limits of Textual Analysis". Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research. 2:2 (December, 2002).
- Kim, L. S. "Making women warriors: a transnational reading of Asian female action heroes in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media. No. 48, Winter, 2006.
Kingston, Maxine Hong. The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. New York: Vintage, 1975.
- Magoulick, Mary. "Frustrating Female Heroism: Mixed Messages in Xena, Nikita, and Buffy." The Journal of Popular Culture, Volume 39 Issue 5 (October 2006).
Mainon, Dominique. The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women on Screen. Pompton Plains, N.J. : Limelight Editions, 2006.
McDougall, Sophia (August 15, 2013) "I hate Strong Female Characters ." The New Statesman. (Retrieved 8-24-13.)
- Osgerby, Bill, Anna Gough-Yates, and Marianne Wells. Action TV: Tough-Guys, Smooth Operators and Foxy Chicks. London: Routledge, 2001.
- Rowland, Robin. "Warrior queens and blind critics." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 31 July 2004.
- Spicuzza, Mary. "Butt-Kicking Babes." AlterNet. 27 March 2001.
- Tasker, Yvonne. Action and Adventure Cinema. New York: Routledge, 2004.
- Tasker, Yvonne.Working Girls: Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture. London: Routledge 1998
- Tasker, Yvonne.Spectacular Bodies: Gender, Genre, and the Action Cinema. London and New York: Routledge, 1993.
- Trickey, Helyn. "Girls with Gauntlets." Turner Network Television.
- Ventura, Michael. "Warrior Women." Psychology Today. Nov/Dec 1998. 31 (6).
- SJW, Monsterus "Everything offends them." Life in 2016-current
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