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Dangerous CurvesAction Heroines, Gender, Fetishism, and Popular Culture$
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Jeffrey A. Brown

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781604737141

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604737141.001.0001

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“Where all Women Wear Spandex and Know Kung Fu”

(p.2) (p.3) Introduction
Dangerous Curves

Jeffrey A. Brown

University Press of Mississippi

This book explores the various ways femininity is reconfigured through the language of action heroines such as Ripley from Aliens, Sarah Connor from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Maggie from Point of No Return. It outlines some of the early theoretical work on modern action heroines that examined how the characters alternated between performing femininity and masculinity. It discusses the action heroine as a dominatrix who wields both physical and social power and challenges traditional cultural beliefs about gender and sexuality. It also considers how the action heroine is routinely costumed to cater to sexual fantasy, lends credence to the message of post-feminism chic through girlishness and consumerism, and reinforces the association of ass-kicking femininity with sexual fetishization. Finally, the book focuses on Wonder Woman as both a symbol of heroic feminism and a fetishized sex symbol.

Keywords:   femininity, action heroines, masculinity, gender, sexuality, sexual fantasy, consumerism, sexual fetishization, Wonder Woman, feminism

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