Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Women's Studies

Major Professor

Marilyn Myerson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kathryn Weedman Arthur, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Frances Auld, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sara Crawley, Ph.D.


Feminism, Second wave, Third wave, Gender, Femininity


This paper explores how the "warrior woman" trope in western culture, as portrayed in late 20th century science fiction/fantasy and speculative television, reflects heteronormative/heterosexist discourses of femininity in American culture. First, I will examine feminine discourse in American culture, especially in the late 20th century. Then I will discuss how the tenets of second and third wave feminism influenced western paradigms of "the ideal female" and impacted pop culture by producing "warrior women" who both reflected and challenged heteronormative ideas and feminist principles. By examining several television shows produced in the United States and Great Britain from the late 1960s to 2007, I hope to show how the warrior woman trope has grown and changed under the influence of feminism and 20th century values.