That's right Painkiller Jane is set to air this Saturday, December 10th at 9 (8 o'clock central). Set the TiVo! If you prefer the big screen, then may I recommend Aeon Flux, with none other than the man-eating Monster star, Charlize Theron. Heck, why stop there? Go rent Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Charlie's Angels, The Long Kiss Goodnight, G.I. Jane, Kill Bill or break out your tapes of Alias, Dark Angel, or Zena: Warrior Princess.
Where is this all going? The Media Awareness Network has a Female Action Heroes lesson plan for your 6th to 8th grader that helps "students identify stereotypical images of girls and women as represented by female action heroes." It's full of great activities, like this one:
Make a list of the various positive characteristics your female or male action hero should have. Some examples might be: girls and women leading others, fighting for important causes, showing bravery, caring about their female friends, and being interested in matters other attracting the attention of boys or men. Examples of positive characteristics for boys and men might be taking care of others, finding ways of solving problems other than fighting, and being sensitive and caring.
The role of protector is an aggressive position, in direct conflict with the idea of the feminine as passive. For this reason, male superheroes outnumber female heroes in the comic book realm, because a woman cannot fulfill social expectations and still perform the duties required of a superhero. The women are often relegated to the roles of girlfriend or mother, figures in need of protection and the occasional rescue. Powerpuff Girls neatly sidesteps this uncomfortable dichotomy by purging the citizens of Townsville of any social expectations. Thus the Girls are respected and admired for their role as resident superheroes, while still being adored for being sweet and caring little girls.