Review by Choice Review
This volume looks at women's aggressive images in comics, film, television, wrestling, video games, female action figures, and science fiction--that is, at contemporary heroines who defy gender stereotypes. One of the strengths of the study lies in its analysis of how contemporary tough-woman images differ from earlier representations of forceful women. The contributors look at how the new styles and behaviors may suggest "a profound shift in the relationship of women to power, sex, and aggression," and they explore various characteristics of women heroines, some contradictory--e.g., how toughness and maternity can go hand in hand. The dynamic of women in powerful feminine community is examined in Xenia: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although the subject of this study is narrow and addresses areas not always encountered in scholarly studies, the book will be valuable for those interested in women's studies, feminism, and popular culture ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. M. R. Grant North Central College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Lights! Camera! Action chicks! Lara Croft, Xena, and Buffy are but a few of the larger-than-life fictional action heroines of today. In this collection of ten essays, scholars address the prevalence and significance of female action stars in a variety of media. Edited by Inness (English, Miami Univ.; The Lesbian Menace), the essays take a look at how recent depictions of women in action films, TV shows, comic books, and video games reflect a changing acceptance of women in traditionally male heroic or tough-guy roles. One intriguing example is the essay by Marilyn Yaquinto, which explores the morphing roles of mob wives and girlfriends from innocent, passive bystanders (e.g., The Godfather movies) to aggressive, sassy partners-in-crime (e.g., The Sopranos). Inness's own essay considers the increasing number of female action figures available in toy stores, which may indicate a change in media stereotypes about women. While many of the essays study well-known figures, some discuss more esoteric characters from short-lived TV shows, which may limit the book's appeal. This highly specialized and scholarly study is suitable for university libraries, especially those with gender and media studies collections.-Donna Marie Smith, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.