“The Source of Our Power”: female heroes and restorative collaboration in contemporary television
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KeywordResearch Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Literature
Women in popular culture
Women on television
Gender identity on television
Wonder Woman (Fictitious character) -- History and criticism
Jessica Jones (Fictitious character) -- History and criticism
Buffy, the vampire slayer (Television program) -- History and criticism
Steven Universe (Television program) -- History and criticism
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AbstractBack in the 1940's Wonder Woman stood alone as a symbol of female strength, but now, in the 21st century, our female heroes reflect the reality that women need each other's love and support--as well as that of men--in order to fight back against the forces which seek to oppress us. Strikingly, three out of four of the shows in this study contain at least one instance in which heroes share space in the same literal body in order to perform feats of strength and courage: Garnet is two souls occupying a single body; all the sensates have the ability to share thoughts silently and pilot one another's bodies; and in season 4 of Buffy, the Scoobies perform a spell which imbues Buffy herself with the strengths of all of her friends so they might collectively defeat Adam, that season's "big bad." Notably, Jessica Jones lacks this kind of example, but its themes of abuse and bodily and mental invasion preclude the possibility of this type of intimate space-sharing feeling safe.
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