America’s Quest for Female Heroes. NOT the same thing as a “lead” or protagonist who is simply the focus of a story A hero and her/his story embodies the values of a society. What is a hero?. Definitions of Hero. Sacrifice self for the greater good
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NOT the same thing as a “lead” or protagonist who is simply the focus of a story
A hero and her/his story embodies the values of a societyWhat is a hero?
We are born simply the focus of a story
We resist this
We have parents, teachers, and other mentors
We set out to achieve goals
We face great obstacles
We must face and control our own weaknesses
At the end, we ‘return’ with our own family, and start the process again.The “hero’s journey” is the story of life
But they didn’t; they just charged in with Xena who was originally just a male hero in a woman’s body
TV show attracted a large audience
The character of Xena was modified during the show
First show 1995Trying to find a female heroic archetype
But was Gabrielle a buddy/sidekick? originally just a male hero in a woman’s body
Or a mentor?
Or a co-lead?
Or a lover?The buddy/sidekick motif
A “realistic” modern setting: High School originally just a male hero in a woman’s body
Metaphors for teen issues
Buffy is the sole hero, but surrounded by a group of friendsAnd then cameBuffy
Two sides of Angel originally just a male hero in a woman’s body
Accepting Buffy for herself
Unable to accept a weaker role in the relationshipHow should a girl act? Buffy’s boyfriends
Female friends are even more important. Female heroes are not loners. But since they’re flakey, there’s almost always a smart, nerdy friend
The older sage or teacher remains fairly true to type although sex and even species may vary. S/he tends to stick around longer for female heroes though.