Female heroes

Jodie Foster chewing gum
Image from listal
Nowadays we need female heroes. In films, which are the dominant element in our popular culture now, the male heroics of stars such as Schwarzenegger and Stallone have become a parody of the concept of heroism. We have to turn to female heroes, portrayed by actresses like Jodie Foster and Meg Ryan, if we want images of heroism that are credible and moving.
We need heroes, in fact and fiction, to serve as models of courage. After the Second World War there were many such people because nearly everybody had some connection with death and danger. Yet, in the 1960s something started to happen to the image of the male hero. In the James Bond films, Agent 007 is arrogant, invincible, fearless and unbelievable. This tendency increased in the films of the early 1970s: ‘Dirty Harry’ (Clint Eastwood) is habitually violent and frequently ignores the law. Since then, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis have become even less human.
In the world of these films women are usually victims. They are there to be attacked, intimidated, raped, murdered or sometimes rescued by the good guy. Yet, more and more recent films (like The Silence of the Lambs) focus on a female hero, which is generally more intelligent and real than the hero in the macho-man productions.

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