Femme Fatalities

Representations of Strong Women in the Media

From sadistic torturess Ilsa in Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS to synthespians and consumerist teen witches. From Hollywood mainstream to avant-garde and exploitation. From feminist critical theory to postfeminist provocative aesthetics. This anthology brings together twelve essays on the representation of strong women in film, television and computer games. During the nineties strong women moved to the fore in media fictions. In cinema, television series and computer games we find heroines in leading roles that used to be occupied by men. Female doctors run their own medical drama series, women star in action and suspense computer games, they kick ass, fight vampires and become elite soldiers in Hollywood movies. The success of strong women is beyond discussion; we find them everywhere from Xena: Warrior Princess to Baise-Moi and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. However, the representation of strong women raises complex questions related to gender and genre, identity and identification, pleasure and violence. Do these heroines appeal to women at all? If so, what pleasures do they offer? Are they consumerist products in a patriarchal culture? Are they action heroines submitting to the traditional aesthetics of the pin-up and the narrative subplots of rape, prostitution and domestication through romance? Or is it possible to kidnap a male fantasy and turn it into a feminist icon for a new postfeminist generation? The articles in this anthology do not provide simple answers. Instead, they find new meanings arising out of the gaps between consumer culture and gender politics, between silicone breasts and subversive audience reactions.


Babes, Bitches, Dominatrixes and Teen Witches

Anne Gjelsvik
Rikke Schubart

I. New Media and Postfeminist Aesthetics

Baise-moi and Feminism’s Filmic Intercourse with the Aesthetics of Pornography

Wencke Mühleisen

Over and over again. The Representation of Women in Contemporary Cinema

Ingrid Lindell

Lara Croft, Between a Feminist Icon and Male Fantasy

Maja Mikula

Run, Lara, Run! The Impact of Computer Games om Cinema´s Action Heroine

Kim Walden

II. Genre Fictions

Soldiers´ Stories. Woman and Military Masculinities in Courage under Fire

Yvonne Tasker

Iconic Eye Candy. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Designer Peer Pressure for Teens

Deneka C. MacDonald

Dark Comedies and Dark Ladies. The New Femme Fatale

Karma Waltonen

A Woman´s Gotta Do What a Woman´s Gotta Do

Anne Gjelsvik

Must-see Medicine Woman Breaking Borders of Genre and Gender in ER

Mervi Pantti

III. From the Margins

Hold It! Use It! Abuse It! Ilsa She-Wolf of the SS and Male Castration

Rikke Schubart

Xena: Warrior Princess Out of the Closet? A Melodramatic Reading of the Show by Latin American and Spanish Lesbian and Gay Fans

Walter Alesci

Sustaining the Definitive Bitch from Hell. The Politics of Dolores Claiborne within a Feminist Genealogy

Sharon Lin Tay

The Authors

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250,00 kr
25,00 EUR