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The Female Badass in Movies and TV

Throughout history in both movies and television there seems to be a recurring trend that the women badass is somewhat always second fiddle to their action or male counterparts. I think of movies like Underworld and Resident Evil, while both lead characters are both extremely badass and women, in one of the movies they have to be told by a man that they are badass because of a specific reason (their blood is stronger now because of being blessed by the last male heir of a line of vampire killers or because they are a clone of a weaker version of yourself, and were created by a man seeking power and control) However, recently there has been an increase in movies that show women as being rightfully badass without needing men to justify that they are this way. Why is that while there is an increase in women simply being badass because they are by their own rights, is still many interpretations of women’s badassery needing to be justified by men?

  • Some great examples would be the recent Wonder Woman film, CW's Supergirl, and many of the female characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and several in the Black Panther film. These are just some suggestions for you to consider. Great topic! – EmskitheNerd 6 years ago
  • Another point to consider might be how making women invincible badasses is just romanticizing them further-while it means we're no longer infantilizing women by using the virgin/madonna trope, in many ways, making them impossibly invulnerable badasses is just the exchange for one impossibly constructed trope for another. – emmybrett 6 years ago
  • Interesting topic! Your examples make me think of how in a lot of movies, there are a lot of characters who are badass women who are usually the 'sidekick' to the main character, who usually fills this "underdog" role and is usually incompetent and most often are male. A recent example that I saw this happening was the movie version of Ready Player One. I'd really like to see this written about and taken further. :) – volarelejos 6 years ago
  • What measure is a badass woman? What, indeed? Lovely topic. Consider defining "badass" early on as specifically as possible, so readers know what characteristics you're examining or looking for in a potential heroine. – Stephanie M. 6 years ago