Feminist Quest Heroine: Female Superheroines and Deconstruction of Male Heroism


  • Thanong Aupitak MA




feminist superheroes, hegemonic masculinity, hegemonic femininity, heroism


Hero's narratives have long been significantly shaped by male heroism to construct a certain perception towards gender by imposing hegemonic masculinity onto a male hero and hegemonic femininity on a female in order to establish a perpetual linkage between masculinity and superiority, simultaneously marginalizing female characters and their values by limiting their roles into being damsels in distress waiting to be rescued by a male hero and later becoming a reward of his success. Nevertheless, it has become prominent that various materials, especially movies, in the twenty-first century American popular culture have adopted a different model to portray a narrative of heroism by infusing it with the concept of Feminist Quest Heroine, a theory foregrounded by Svenja Hohenstein that highlights the re-modification of male-dominated narrative of heroism into a feminist one. The narrative no longer cherishes the superiority of masculinity but now addresses the feminine aspects instead. In order to rework the narrative, the concept points out to four different but inter-related approaches: the empowerment of femininity, reworking gendered bodies, power of connections, and a critique of patriarchal power. The adoption of the approaches result in a more empowering heroine who is able to subvert traditional aspects embedded with a conventional narrative of heroism.


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How to Cite

Aupitak, T. (2023). Feminist Quest Heroine: Female Superheroines and Deconstruction of Male Heroism. REDEN. Revista Española De Estudios Norteamericanos, 5(1), 109–127. https://doi.org/10.37536/reden.2023.5.2153



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