Women warriors in literature and culture
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Folklore and mythology
In British mythology, Queen Cordelia fought off several contenders for her throne by personally leading the army in its battles.
In his On the Bravery of Women the Greco-Roman historian Plutarch describes how the women of Argos fought against King Cleomenes and the Spartans under the command of Telesilla in the fifth century BCE.
Women warriors have a long history in fiction, where they often have greater roles than their historical inspirations, such as "Gordafarid" (Persian: گردآفريد) in the ancient Persian epic poem The Shāhnāmeh.
Various other woman warriors have appeared in classic literature: Belphoebe and Britomart in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Bradamante and Marfisa in Orlando Furioso, and Camilla in the Aeneid. There is also an ongoing debate among scholars as to whether Grendel's mother from the poem Beowulf was a monster or a woman warrior.
Professor Sherrie Inness in Tough Girls: Women Warriors and Wonder Women in Popular Culture and Frances Early and Kathleen Kennedy in Athena’s Daughters: Television’s New Women Warriors, for example, focus on figures such as Xena, from the television series Xena: Warrior Princess or Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (who inspired the academic field Buffy Studies). In the introduction to their text, Early and Kennedy discuss what they describe as a link between the image of women warriors and girl power.
- List of women warriors in folklore
- Women in warfare and the military in the 19th century
- Women in warfare and the military in the ancient era
- Women in warfare and the military in the early modern era
- Women in warfare and the military in the medieval era
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- Alvarez, Maria. "Feminist icon in a catsuit (female lead character Emma Peel in defunct 1960s UK TV series The Avengers)", New Statesman, 14 August 1998.
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- Tasker, Yvonne. Action and Adventure Cinema. New York: Routledge, 2004.
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- Tough Girls: Women Warriors and Wonder Women in Popular Culture
- Athena’s Daughters: Television’s New Women Warriors
- Book review