Werewolves, mothers and femmes fatales: Girl power movies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This dissertation analyses a collection of contemporary girl power movies and places these texts within an historical generic context. In "Pleasures and Problems of the ‘Angry Girl,’" Kimberley Roberts defines the phenomenon of girl power as "a structure of beliefs and a set of consumer practices that centre on the individual teenage girl's power to effect change in her universe" (217-8). Roberts outlines that the "heroines of the girl power era of the 1990s are 'pissed off and ready to do something about it'" and that "they are fighters who combat the forces against them, unapologetically and often violently" (217). Since Roberts's analysis of girl power in Freeway, there has been little academic discussion on the phenomenon in Hollywood products. While the idea that "women's films" exhibit the potential for social criticism is not new, there is yet to be a substantial project that explores female characters and their "combat" with the "forces against them" in recently released film products. Roberts's definition of girl power can be applied to a series of films produced during the mid to late nineties and first few years of the new millennium. Many films produced during this timeframe depict strong female protagonists who fight the forces of patriarchal culture "unapologetically and often violently."