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The Heroine in Fantasy: A Reconstruction of Femininity, or Misguided Gendered Embodiment?

Using several examples of fantasy in media, this discussion aims to analyse how the heroine reconstructs the notion of aggression as a gendered stereotype, one that is commonly attributed to being solely masculine and patriarchal. By examining Martha McCaughey’s article “The Fighting Spirit” (1998), we can see that the binaries of masculine/feminine attributes towards violence have been realigned, giving women a sense of empowerment and redefining aggression as being feminine. However, this sense of female empowerment also has its setbacks, which will be discussed using Lydia Morrish’s article on the dangers of watering down the meaning of “empowerment” for commercial purposes.




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