Real Girl Power Real Girl Power
Note: This article was originally published on the now-defunct Talkbacker.com. It might contain some changes (original idea for a Real Girl Power article was... Real Girl Power

Note: This article was originally published on the now-defunct Talkbacker.com. It might contain some changes (original idea for a Real Girl Power article was Stalkeye’s).

Throughout the years the term girl power has been abused. Lots of women proclaimed to be girl power while they were not. It was blasphemy of the highest order and I didn’t like it. I have no use for women who earn money and then claim to be girl power. Earning money is not what makes you girl power, but they can’t get that through their numbskulls.

So how do I define real girl power? Real girl power, to me, means a woman who is confident, genuine, beautiful, modest, loving, doesn’t cry for help from a man, is not a feminist and can defend herself. If the woman is also intelligent and/or sophisticated this is a major plus. So, no, Spice Girls, you are not girl power no matter how many times you proclaimed to be. And don’t get me started on the Kardashians and similar scum.

The first time I encountered girl power is when, as a kid, I saw an episode of the Avengers with John Steed and Mrs Peel on German television. I was fascinated by Mrs Peel, who was not your typical damsel in distress. She had it all, knew martial arts and could shoot a gun. She was not John Steed’s helper; she was his equal!!! It was then that I said that I want to marry a woman like Mrs Peel.

Years later, when I became an adult, I rewatched the Avengers show and was fascinated with Mrs Peel even more. To me she is the godmother of real girl power and to this day nobody surpassed her. There have been various girl power women through the years after Mrs Peel and I want to talk about them for a little bit, because those women inspire and deserve some attention.

The 60s

Honor Blackman

blackman

Honor Blackman might be the first girl power woman ever. She played in the Avengers show before Diana Rigg did, but Diana Rigg redefined the girl power role and that’s why I think Diana is the godmother of girl power. Diana had an edge over Honor Blackman, because she oozed sophistication and a certain classiness. Honor Blackman didn’t ooze it that much, but was a class A woman nonetheless. I love Honor Blackman to death, though, because if she didn’t pave the way in the Avengers there might not have been a Diana Rigg. Another cool fact about Honor Blackman is that she has a black belt in judo. How sexy is that?

The 70s

Angela Mao

angela mao

As far as I know Angela Mao started the girl power Hong Kong movies. I grew up on a few of her movies thanks to re-runs on German television. That was the only way to see those movies. Holland didn’t show Hong Kong movies on television. You were dependant on VHS rental stores and they didn’t carry that many Hong Kong movies. Angela Mao was more skilled than Diana Rigg and it shows in her movies. She fought against man and defeated them. You couldn’t do anything but root for her.

Pam Grier

pam grier

Wonderful Pam Grier. When I first saw her in Nico aka Above The Law I didn’t know she was a Blaxploitation legend. Later on I found out and saw some of her movies like Coffy and Foxy Brown and knew she was girl power all the way. I think she doesn’t get enough respect.

Tamara Dobson

tamara dobson

RIP, Cleopatra Jones. I am not enough of a Blaxploitation expert to determine if Pam or Tamara is the godmother of Blaxploitation. Both of them were girl power all the way. I wish I lived at that era because it must have been awesome. Pimps, cool cars and asskicking women like Pam Grier and Tamara Dobson.

Princess

princess

A cartoon character from Battle Of The Planets, aka Gatchaman? Hell, yeah. Is she the first girl power cartoon character? I don’t know, but she made a lasting impression on me. She was part of the G-Force team and not a dumb damsel in distress. She was brave and could fight. If someone asks me who is the female cartoon character who is girl power Princess is the first female cartoon character I can think of.

The 80s

Michelle Yeoh

michelle yeoh

The 80s saw the coming of Michelle Yeoh. She brought girl power to a whole new level. She was not a trained martial artist, but made it look like she was a martial arts expert and could kick some serious ass. And… to top it all of she did her own stunts. That’s girl power right there. Just getting down and dirty when necessary and not crying about a broken fingernail or something. Michelle Yeoh is called the female Jackie Chan and rightfully so. She earned it. In the 90s Jackie Chan put her in  Police Story 3 Supercop together with him and she upstaged Jackie Chan and Jackie was not too happy about that. This shows how good she really was. In the 90s she also got honered by becoming a Bond Girl in Tomorrow Never Dies, which is Pierce’s Brosnan’s best Bond movie. She was made Bond’s equal in the movie, which I wholeheartedly applauded. She deserved to be Bond’s equal. And everyone knows Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Some might say it is overrated and it might be, but now one can deny Michelle Yeoh was great in it and she put Zhang Ziyi on the map.

Cynthia Rothrock

rothrock

I always feel sorry for Cynthia Rothrock. She was a legit martial artist and deserved better than to be in STV movies. To make matters even worse they made her look like a tomboy and act like a tomboy in the United States. The short hair she had to have also made her less feminine. She did become kind of an icon, but imagine what an icon she could have been if they made her more feminine. She also teamed up with Michelle Yeoh in Hong Kong movies a few times and those movies were much better than the American counterparts.

The 90s

Sarah Michelle Gellar

buffy

Some people will probably not agree with me, but Sarah Michelle Gellar used to be girl power. I think she became the first mainstream girl power woman since Diana Rigg. The fighting in the Buffy shows sucked big time, but it was all about the message. She was girl power. She was the female hero protecting the world against all kinds of demon and vampire scum. Of course she had help from various people, but her fighting skills were unmatched.

Lucy Lawless

lucy

Xena, the Warrior Princess. This was a whole new take on girl power. I am surprised it took years to make a show about a warrior woman. I think Xena inspired a lot of women to be strong and brave and determined, and they all have Lucy Lawless to thank for that.

Zhang Ziyi

zhang ziyi

I consider this woman to be the successor of Michelle Yeoh. I didn’t see many of her movies but she already won me over in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

The 2000s

Maggie Q

maggie q

The 2000s saw the emergence of Maggie Q. The Naked Weapon was her breakthrough. Then a few movies followed in which she was the bad girl making life tough for the heroes. But then she got what she finally deserved. Her own tv show Nikita. Unfortunately Nikita is cancelled now but she really came into her own in that show. Her action looked good and crisp and her beauty was amazing. In my opinion Maggie Q did one of the best portrayals of girl power ever. Now that Nikita is over it’s time to spread her girl power in Hollywood again. She deserves it because I think she is quite special.

Jeeja Yanin

yeeya yaninh

Well, JeeJa Yanin took things to a whole new level. I consider her to be a Michelle Yeoh on dope. It’s amazing to see a woman do the stuff she does. I just hope she doesn’t wreck her body in the process. Here is to more JeeJa Yanin movies.

The Bitch Slap women

bitchslap

Of course, these women need to be mentioned. They made the best girl power movie ever. Bitch Slap had it all. The fights in the movie will not be surpassed soon because of their brutality. Are the Bitch Slap women the best girl power women? No, they are not, but they sure made an impact.

So what will the future bring? I don’t know exactly. I know Maggie Q is available for action movies now and Gina Carano is available for action movies, but who else is left? Who will be the next woman who is empowered and becomes a girl power icon. Time will tell.

Author Image

Bop

Bop loves all things creative and inspirational. He is a producer in the making, an athlete, a language expert, an action movie aficionado, an advocate of real girl power, and definitely a snarky smark. He might even surprise you with a thing or 2 about movies and TV.

  • Great list, Bop. I only disagree on two choices: I hate the Buffy series and Gellar. Kristy Swanson was much better. And I think Maggie Q is not that good at all.
    Jeeja Yajin is a great pick. “Chocolate” is one of a kind.

  • CreepyThinMan

    Good article but true “girl power” isn’t about how much ass a woman kicks. It’s like how I FUCKING LOATHE Thelma & Louise because those two fucking morons replicate the worst aspects of male behavior. But your list is missing the most crucial cinematic female protagonist of the last 100 years…..Clarice Starling. In The Silence of the Lambs she is EVERYTHING a woman should aspire to; intelligent and resourceful while her strength is derived from her indomitable will/perseverance/compassion and only resorting to violence when absolutely necessary.

    Compare Jodie Fosters Starling to the way she was written in Thomas Harris’ Hannibal and the film adaptation where she gets into a shootout in the opening before spending the rest of the book being ineffectual and then finally subjugated by Lecter in the climax where she remains passive. In the book it’s even worse because she goes off with Lecter. The best part of the Hannibal novel (I even hate that fucking title and prefer the rumored title “The Morbidity of the Soul”) was the stuff in Florence while Starlings subplot felt like an afterthought only put in so that Harris could make some bank.

    No, The Silence of the Lambs features the best example of “Girl Power” because Clarice Starling doesn’t succeed based upon physical strength, she does so through the power of her mind!!!FACT!!!
    https://youtu.be/kZ6e_U0oz8Q

  • jim83

    What about Uma Thurman’s “The Bride” role from Kill Bill?I know it’s just two movies but still..

  • KilliK

    all said and done, in the end of the day, pussy is the true power of the women. look at all those chicks above. sure, they are badass, know martial arts and how to use weapons. But, they are hot, they are sexy, they are easy on the eye. And men love pussy. And women know that. And they can use it to hook them, control them and manipulate them. Those chicks above can accomplish more with their pussy than with their kung fu and guns.

    Pussy is the ultimate power in the universe. That’s why if God exists, she must be a woman. Because she gave that power to women.

  • KilliK

    Pussy over matter, more like it.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Damn, those Bitch Slap women are…attractive.

  • That final fight in Bitch Slap is all kinds of epic. More of that is needed in movies and TV shows.

  • CoolHandJuke

    I’d eat Pam grier’s ass so good…

  • CreepyThinMan

    THE POWER OF CUNT COMPELS YOU!!!FACT!!!

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  • Bop

    I am not a big fan of Thurman and not a big fan of the Kill Bill movies.

  • Bop

    Buffy was a hit or a miss show. Some seasons were great and some weren’t.

  • Stalkeye

    Excellent revised version, Bro-Meng!

    And I’m glad to see Pam Grier make the cut. She is a very strong Woman who went trough so many struggles in real life as well as fiction. Coffy is no doubt, my favorite Pam Film. Badass, sexy as Fuck and the undisputed Queen of Blaxploitation Cinema!

    “This is the end of your Motherfucking life you rotten Dopepusher”!

    Thanks for the Shoutout, B!

    And yes, Pricess AKA Jun the Swan kicks Ass, too!

  • Stalkeye

    I loved the first one. It was QT’s closet version of a Comicbook Movie.

  • Stalkeye

    “It’s like how I FUCKING LOATHE Thelma & Louise because those two fucking morons replicate the worst aspects of male behavior.

    Well, that Rapist did have it coming. So there’s that.

  • Stalkeye

    Chocolate was excellent! I need to revisit that Movie some day.

  • Stalkeye

    Ah, if only…

  • belly up

    Fantastic! Jennifer Lawrence and Carrie Fisher would be pretty decent additions to this list. Granted, I do have a bias for Leia. 🙂

    http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11111/111118857/3873868-6605615289-Jenni.jpg

  • Holy shit! Those are really great!!!

  • Tarmac492.1

    Pam is also in my fave Tarantino film. Was quite good in it and was an absolutely realistic strong woman character. Nice funbags, too.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Kristy Swanson helped me through some lonely teenage nights. About the time my mother made me do my own laundry.

  • Tarmac492.1

    That middle chick in the bitch slap picture might be one of the hottest chicks I have ever seen. Why have I not watched this movie???

  • Tarmac492.1

    I dig Bop’s lists because they dont have the usual choices and this is welcomed by me.

  • Tarmac492.1

    She is not that hot and I wished there was some other person in the lead of those two movies. QT loves her though and she is a good actress, I think.

  • CreepyThinMan

    I love the use of color. I wish more movie posters would look like that!!!FACT!!!

  • Tarmac492.1

    Cynthia Rothrock owned those HBO Thursday and Friday night actioners in the late 80’s early 90’s. Jeff Speakman, where art thou?

  • Tarmac492.1

    I dug CR short, tomboy hair. Looks good on her.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Not much I can say about Lucy Lawless except where is my special sock?

  • Tarmac492.1

    Solondz is some good shit bro. wrong thread.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Too bad there wasn’t a blaxploitation rip-off of Alien. That would’ve been cool. Richard Roundtree as Dallas and Pam as Ripley. Of course, Parker would be played by the one white man on the crew and WY (aka “the Man”) would be a corporation of evil old white men who send the “expendable” crew of soul brothers and sisters to recover the alien. Sid Haig would play the treacherous android, Ash (the Uncle Tom).

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    She’s in the remake of Friday the 13th also, and oils up her plastic fantastic assets in the opening sequence.

  • Dr. Geiszler, Kaijuologist

    Misguided.

  • KilliK

    the cow? LOL. Milla Jovovich deserves more than her to be in this list.

    https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5187/5637248756_0529f81cc0_b.jpg

  • Stalkeye

    [email protected] being the Uncle Tom.
    I’m loving the premise already! (What are you, that LV-426 guy? 😛

  • Stalkeye

    Great choices!

  • Stalkeye

    “Cow”? You know you would Hit it! Stop being hypocritical and unlike Mila, at least J-Law can act…well, the Hunger Games was boring.

    Mila can’t do Shit aside from those Dumb Resident Evil Movies…what, Three Musketeers? Ultraviolet???

  • Stalkeye

    I discovered them from one of my Twit followers and right away those posters reminded me of the re-imagined stuff that I mentioned within a previous article of mine.

    http://thesupernaughts.com/movies/sci-fi/my-favorite-retro-sci-fihorror-movie-posters/

  • Bop

    Easy, Tarmac, easy. 🙂

  • Bop

    Thanks, mang.

  • Bop

    So did you already watch the movie?

  • Bop

    I miss those styles of movies posters.

  • Bop

    Pam Grier definitely belongs on the list.

  • Bop

    You are putting it mildly when you say she is not that hot.
    And to think she played Mrs Peel in the Avengers remake. What a nightmare.

  • electrictomatoes

    nice there must be an alternative universe where that film exists.

  • electrictomatoes

    haha yeh. i guess it was made just too late into it for there be one made.

  • Stalkeye

    Pam Grier was one of the very first Action Heroines of Cinema and paved the way for other Women in usually Male driven roles.
    How Richard Pryor let her go like that is a sign that the Guy was on some serious Drugs!!!!

  • Stalkeye

    XD

  • Bop

    Pryor let her go? What an idiot.

  • belly up

    Lynda Carter!

  • CreepyThinMan

    KilliK likes Mila because she’s got small tits and is built like a boy!!!FACT!!!

  • CreepyThinMan

    They remind me of old Atari cartridges. They always had amazingly elaborate artwork for those games. Kinda like how video box cover art was soo fucking great back then unlike the photoshopped shit of today!!!FACT!!!

  • Stalkeye

    I guess that explains his fascination for that “Hacktress”.

  • Tarmac492.1

    that was also an awful movie.

  • Tarmac492.1

    not yet. sadly

  • Stalkeye

    After watching that Movie, Mercenaries she kinda resembles my Mother-in-Law.

    http://i.imgur.com/FQ5kDOe.jpg

    Is that a good thing or not? (Depends.LOL)

  • Stalkeye
  • Stalkeye

    And I would like to go there one day. (0=

  • Stalkeye

    Agreed! And ironically, it was this Box cover art that caught my Eye and after playing the game, I was more into the hobby ever since.

    http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/9/93770/2362059-nes_metalgear.jpg

    Thanks, Cameron er, “Konami”!

  • Tarmac492.1

    Gonna stay away from this convo mang. Lol!!!

  • Tarmac492.1

    To my everlasting shame, I forgot about Milla.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Lawrence was amazing in the great Indie Winter’s Bone, for which she was nominated for the Oscar. A much more nuanced and challenging performance than the feel good comedy/drama Silver Lining’s Playbook(not that she was bad in that, but that movie was Terms of Endearment-lite). Fuck you Oscars!!!!

  • Tarmac492.1

    Milla was actually very good in Dummy–an entertaining little comedy with her and Adrien Brody.

  • Tarmac492.1

    So true about the Atari Cartridges.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Pryor got lots of ass, though, didnt he?

  • KilliK

    and Milla can sing. she has her own band. and she is not shy of showing her flesh. The only reason we got nudes of the Cow, was because she didnt know how to write a secure password. LOL.

  • Stalkeye

  • Stalkeye

    OK, you got me on that.

  • Stalkeye

    Oh, Fuck yeah! I

  • Stalkeye

    Never saw it, meng.

  • Stalkeye

    Bradly, Lawrence and Dinro killed in that Movie.
    I kinda dug it for the lighthearted romance between two eccentric Fucks.

  • Stalkeye

    Just jokes! XD
    I was waiting to hear your response afterwards.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Probably forgettable but still pretty fun. Was on Netflix, not sure of its status now.

  • belly up

    Props!

  • Zed

    Spoiler: in that universe, the third one is still terrible.

  • KilliK’s mother

    I’ve weilded my weapon against countless men.

  • Lisa 39

    I love it! Great job bop!

  • Bop

    Thank you, Lisa.

  • Lisa 39

    You’re welcome 🙂

    Do you write regularly at this site?

  • Stalkeye

    No special sock for her I guess?

  • Tarmac492.1

    No she was in the mix. Not in the hey day, but she made it there.

  • Bop

    What are you waiting for, mang? 🙂

  • Bop

    I used to write some stuff irregularly on talkbacker.com. Now I write here irregularly.
    You can click the following link for more of my articles.

    http://thesupernaughts.com/category/columns/bop-drop/

  • Lisa 39

    Todd mentioned supernaughts not to long ago but I really haven’t had time to check it out, but I’ll definitely go check out your articles, thank you 🙂