Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology is a book by Jennifer K. Stuller.
In Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors, Jennifer K. Stuller looks at the history of modern superwomen, starting with Wonder Woman and ending with Buffy, Max Guevara and The Bride. She takes a look at the commonalities between their stories and the development superwomen in general went through, as well as pointing out the sexism that’s still very prevalent.
Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors is a quick, entertaining read. It’s also insightful, especially if you haven’t thought much about the topic yet, making it basically the perfect book for people who would like to get into feminist popculture analysis.
I really liked reading Ink-Stained Amazons. Stuller writes with a very nice sense of humor and a rather easy-going style, so you barely notice that you’re reading non-fiction. Granted, it also means that the text is probably not the most scientific, but I didn’t mind that at all. She works with many anecdotes, which makes the reading easier and definitely more entertaining, but sometimes I would have liked a more theoretic outline. (But that’s probably just me, I like it when things are boiled down to abstract concepts.)
I had already encountered many of the things Stuller describes, especially the more modern shows and phenomenon. I’m a pop-culture addict after all, so I had already seen and read much, knew stuff like Women in Refrigerators etc. But I am not so well-versed when it comes to the older things and Stuller puts the whole superwomen development into historic context, which works very well.
Other things I hadn’t noticed that much before. Especially the prevalence of single fathers/male mentors and the lack of mothers/female mentors for female heroes. Of course, once it’s been pointed out it’s completely obvious, but sometimes the things that stare you right in the face are the ones that are hardest to see.
Anyway, it is clear that Stuller is passionate about her subject and it’s a passion that’s easily transferred to the reader. I started writing lists of things she mentioned that I should definitely watch (or re-watch) and read – and it’s a long list. But I’m happy to get to it.
Summarising: If you’re interested in pop-culture, read it. If you’re interested in feminism, read it. If you’re interested in both, you’ve hit the jackpot.