Stories about antiheroines
June 29, 2011 1:29 PM   Subscribe

I like anti-heroes. I like female protagonists. I would like books, tv shows, or movies (in that order) that are about anti-heroines.

I'm indifferent to genre for the purposes of this question. I'd like the works to pass the Bechdel test, and in general not make me want to tear my hair out about sexism, racism, etc. Either well-written/acted or well-plotted is sufficient, though of course both is better.

Please no books that involve cats or other pets being killed. (Dying is okay, being killed to show how evil someone is, not.)
posted by jeather to Writing & Language (66 answers total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
Have you read Vanity Fair? Becky Sharp is a great anti-heroine. It's 19th century so obviously will have the values of that time, but it's so much fun.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 1:44 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff.

Note: Monkeys are killed, but they are not pets.
posted by kindall at 1:45 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

It's TV, but you might enjoy Prime suspect.
posted by rjs at 1:51 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Molly Millions in Gibson's Sprawl trilogy?

As far as movies, perhaps The Descent? It's an all female cast and, without going into spoiler territory, I'd say two of the characters might qualify.

I was going to say Rhona Mitra's character in Doomsday (same director), but decided against it. That movie wears its Escape From NY influence on its sleeve so much that it feels like she should be an anti-hero.
posted by brundlefly at 1:56 PM on June 29, 2011

Maybe also the Lynley / Havers novels by Elizabeth George? The female sargeant Havers isn't the sole protagonist but I'd say she would definitely qualify as an anti-heroine (or at least as a flawed but fascinating human being).
posted by rjs at 1:56 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Elektra: Assassin (graphic novel)
posted by mkultra at 1:59 PM on June 29, 2011

Movies: "Jackie Brown" and "Kill Bill" (both volumes), all by Quentin Tarantino. Although I don't remember if they involve cats being killed. And I don't remember if Jackie Brown has Jackie speaking to another woman about something other than a man. And I guess I shouldn't really mention Kill Bill Volume 2, since I've never actually seen it, having hated Volume 1, but I gather that it's like Volume 1 in that it's primarily about an anti-heroine.
posted by Flunkie at 1:59 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have you checked out Deadwood? Calamity Jane is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to anti-heroines for me.
posted by fight or flight at 2:00 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lisbeth Salander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Independent, illegal, uncooperative, and pretty much hates everyone else in the series. Awesome!
posted by DarlingBri at 2:15 PM on June 29, 2011 [5 favorites]

Battle Angel Alita. If you count robot clones of the same original talking about killing each other, it passes the Bechdel test.
posted by mkb at 2:15 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Anti-heroine makes me think of:

Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica (can be as messed up and cruel as any anti-hero at times). You might classify some of the cylon characters as anti-heroines as well.
Irene Adler in Sherlock Holmes
Sonja Blue in the Blue Lady series by Nancy Collins (might be hard to find copies)
Catwoman in the comic series
posted by ninjakins at 2:17 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

You're going to have a hard time avoiding the femme fatale, but some suggestions:

Film and literature

The White Witch, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (the lion dies but - spolier! - is resurrected)
Cruella Deville, 101 Dalmatians
Mrs Danvers, Rebecca
Mrs Coulter, His Dark Materials

(seconding DarlingBri's suggestion of Lisbeth Salander)


Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner) in Body Heat
Bridget Gregory (Linda Florentino) in The Last Seduction
Lilly Dillon (Angelica Huston) in The Grifters
Corky (Gina Gershon) and Violet (Jennifer Tilly) in Bound
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 2:18 PM on June 29, 2011

The Wee Free Men's Tiffany Aching starts as a 9 year old in the trilogy and is an adolescent by the last book. An interesting and fun spin on growing up.
posted by subajestad at 2:22 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Actually, last night I was thinking about how awesome *all* of the female characters in Deadwood are.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 2:24 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

Read George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books and skip everything that isn't about Arya.
posted by The Bellman at 2:26 PM on June 29, 2011 [7 favorites]

Glenn Close as Patty Hewes in the tv show Damages fits the antiheroine role to a T. The first 2 seasons are available on Netflix streaming. Highly recommended.
posted by backwords at 2:27 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

The Cage is a fantasy book about an ex-slave and her barbarian girlfriend trying to screw over a guy who sold her into slavery. There is a scene where the barbarian finds her cat dead, but it's not 'Mwahaha look how evil I am, I killed your cat', it's more 'massive battle and the cat took someone out with him'; you don't read about the death as it happens (I'm the same way about cats; the, erm, visual is only across a page and a half and could probably be skipped if a violent death is still not okay). Shortly after that they find a kitten (with wings!), which is kind of funny.

It really, really is a great book. There are a few others in the series as well, which are a lot easier to find these days than when I was trying to get my hands on them; of the series only Lion's Heart and Lion's soul feature male main characters. (There is no cat-death that I can recall in the other novels.)
posted by Heretical at 2:28 PM on June 29, 2011

Bora: Those are villains, not anti-heros. Wasn't there a decent female anti-hero in a recent Banks novel? Who better than you to know?
posted by The Bellman at 2:28 PM on June 29, 2011

I blocked this from my memory of the show, but there is an animal death in Damages that's a "this is how evil I am" thing.
posted by backwords at 2:32 PM on June 29, 2011

China Mieville's [i]The Scar[/i] has a deeply unlikeable female protagonist.
posted by Oktober at 2:36 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, hey, speaking of anti-heroes in Banks novels: what about Iain Banks's novel Inversions? There are two ambiguous woman heroes, quite different from each other.

I also like L Timmel DuChamp's The Red Rose Rages, Bleeding. The protagonist is a prison doctor in a plausible rehabilitative women's prison; there are few male characters; romance is minimal; and the main relationship in the book is between the protagonist and a woman political prisoner, herself an ambiguous figure. I really, really like this novella. Even people who do not like SF would like it, I think, because it's much more a political/adventure novel than pure SF.
posted by Frowner at 2:37 PM on June 29, 2011

Lenie Clarke from Peter Watts' Rifters trilogy is the anti-heroinest anti-heroine I can come up with. Utterly fantastic series, and while Lenie does some things it'd be very difficult to call heroic, her motivations are thoroughly dissected and she's a fantastically memorable, even relatable character.

Bellis in The Scar is wonderfully harsh and unpleasant to everyone around her, and is very much both the heroine and our window into the world. The book doesn't stand or fall on your having read Perdido Street Station, either: apart from a few brief references it largely stands alone.

I'm not sure I'd quite call Janice Shriek from Shriek: An Afterword an anti-heroine, but she is most definitely not a traditional female character, and not entirely a nice or moral person. The novel isn't only her story: it's a history - written by Janice - of her own and her historian brother's lives in the dark-fantastical city of Ambergris, annotated afterwards (often in contradiction to Janice's rather biased version of events) by the brother. It's an outstanding book, but it does benefit from having read one of the stories in City of Saints and Madmen beforehand.

Tank Girl?
posted by emmtee at 2:39 PM on June 29, 2011

Maybe Showtime's Nurse Jackie?
posted by mauvest at 2:40 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm like you in that I mostly enjoy reading about unlikeable characters!

I liked Erin Kelly's The Poison Tree, recommended summer reading by NPR editors. Both central characters are women, and neither of them is particularly sympathetic.
posted by halogen at 2:41 PM on June 29, 2011

China Mieville's [i]The Scar[/i] has a deeply unlikeable female protagonist.

If by "deeply unlikeable" you mean awesome! That's a terrific book. Although it just barely passes the Bechdel test - Bellis talks almost exclusively to men and only in passing to women, but she generally talks about things other than "ooh, a man and his problems!"

I didn't really realize until now how few women characters there are in that book - there's really only Bellis, the Lover and Angevine, and Bellis is the only one who gets a lot of page time. Also, they generally don't talk to each other.

Although I do think that this is very much Mieville writing a misogynist world. (But still, there ought to be more women, right - we see a lot of bit-part men characters but few bit-part women.)
posted by Frowner at 2:41 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not sure if the women qualify as hard-core anti-heroes, but they are bad-asses and I believe, without specifically dipping back into them, that the spirit of the Bechdel test is at least observed, in that they are not primarily obsessed with talking about, talking to, or "getting" men, and also in that they have friendships and associations with men that do not end up in the sack. So I hereby present, all novels by William Gibson

Cayce Pollard - "Pattern Recognition"

Hollis Henry - "Spook Country" & "Zero History" (I would say read these in that order; not exactly sequels, but SC sets up the characters of ZH, and is chronologically earlier.

There's an earlier book "Idoru" I just read - several female characters who are self-sufficient, some who are villains.
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:46 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

You might try Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. The head of the villainous corporation is a charming-but-incredibly-calculating female executive, and the things we learn as the show goes on about the nominal protagonist push her towards the "anti-hero" camp, as well.
posted by gerryblog at 2:47 PM on June 29, 2011

How about Monza Murcatto in Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold? It's pretty violent but I don't think any animals suffered. Just people.

And I don't know what the bechdel test is so I can't help you there.
posted by interplanetjanet at 2:48 PM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]

Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:48 PM on June 29, 2011

Red Seas Under Red Skies has possibly the most awesome pirate captain ever (she's not *the* hero, and the book's a sequel, so it may not be quite what you're looking for, but man does she ever fit the bill.)

Kelley Armstrong's Exit Strategy is about a female assassin in modern-day America. You may find her a little too sympathetic to be a true anti-hero, but it's definitely along the right lines. (It does pass the Bechdel Test, too - the elderly lesbian con artists are fucking brilliant bit characters.)

I could pick out a couple urban fantasies that more or less fit the bill (Lilith Saintcrow's stuff, for example) but they tend to be a little too romance-genre-influenced to be really either anti- or hero.

I adore Tanya Huff's Valor series, about a female space Marine who is all out of bubblegum and tends to consider officers as obstacles, but she's really more hero than anti.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:50 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Andrew Vachss main protagonists are usually male but has many characters that are strong females.
All are Anti-heros I guess.
The anime Black Lagoon is filled with dangerous women
posted by Iron Rat at 3:19 PM on June 29, 2011

"The Long Kiss Goodnight". Guilty pleasure of mine. Geena Davis character definitely fits the bill.
posted by arha at 3:22 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

My favorite anti-heroine is Izzy Spellman from The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. (And read the sequels too, they actually keep getting better.) She's a detective, but takes it way too far, at least when she's not drinking herself to sleep. She's a lot of fun to hang out with (but I'm really glad she's not my sister).

Have you tried Veronica Mars? The first episode is a bit in-your-face, but settles down quickly after that. The first season is the best. Another detective, but a teen one, with a massive chip on her shoulder, but oh so perky and cute as she's being sarcastic and nasty.

The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie (US)/Becoming Bindy MacKenzie (UK) by Jaclyn Moriarty. It's in a very loosely done series, but will be just fine as a standalone or first read of the series. Bindy is a teenager with no friends and you can tell exactly why, though she can't quite figure out.

I'd also recommend In Plain Sight. It's a TV show about a very acerbic US Marshall protecting witnesses (most of whom are criminals whom she does not particularly like). It's funny and witty.

I'll second Dollhouse as having a lot of characters who live in the gray to black area of morals. If you've never seen it, give yourself a few episodes to get used to the weird concepts/scifi world (5 or 6 should do it).

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was an enjoyable story about pranks, if not quite as awesome as I wanted it to be.

If you don't mind children's books too, I love Cynthia Voigt's Bad Girls books. (Though after the first one the quality varies dramatically in the sequels.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 3:39 PM on June 29, 2011

Black Widow. Maybe not really an anti-heroine. You decide. (Mrs Jones liked it. Me - not so much.)
posted by IndigoJones at 4:41 PM on June 29, 2011

I just finished reading Rose Tremain's Music and Silence and highly recommend it, particularly for the character of King's Consort, Kirsten. My favourite female characters are usually arrogant, selfish and just plain unlikeable; she is all of these and then some.
posted by Wantok at 4:43 PM on June 29, 2011

Seconding The Last Seduction and the Last Kiss Goodnight (though neither one would pass Bechdel, they're still both amazing anti-heroines and I would call them both fairly feminist)

For me, The Opposite of Sex has one of the best screen heroines you can't remotely like but still can't help but root for, and is hysterically funny.

And then there's Heathers, which I probably wouldn't have made it through high school without. Though to be fair, the heroine never intended to kill anyone.
posted by Mchelly at 4:49 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

And for books, if you like older novels, Trollope's The Eustace Diamonds and Wharton's The Custom of the Country are fantastic.
posted by Mchelly at 4:53 PM on June 29, 2011

Nancy Botwin on Weeds
posted by The Gooch at 5:03 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I disagree with the person who said Lilith Saintcrow's heroines are too 'romance-novel influenced' to be anti-heroines. Especially with the Jill Kismet series, it's mostly about the kicking ass, really, and it's dark and twisted as all get-out. I also don't think you can break up 'anti-hero' into 'anti' and 'hero', that is to say, don't go looking for the 'hero' in 'anti-hero' unless you want to discount huge swaths of modern anti-hero literature, especially in the comic-book department. Something else to consider is that 'anti-hero' in modern times is a genre-based and largely comics world-based concept, so any recommendation of a 'bad girl' in a TV show/book is just that: a bad girl, not an anti-heroine. Not sure which way you mean it, but a badass bitch or 'bad girl' isn't automatically an anti-heroine anymore than some random asshole is an anti-hero.

I think Aeon Flux, Jill Kismet and Faith (from Buffy) qualify squarely, as does Emma Frost in the X-Men universe. Tank Girl-- I think-- doesn't. She's badass but not tormented. Bitchy females in movies like 'Heathers' don't either-- they're just bitchy/misunderstood/etc. Well, the definition is up to you, of course, as it may still interest you as entertainment. The White Witch in 'Narnia' is just evil-- that is, simply the antagonist. Being a strong female antagonist doesn't make you an anti-heroine, it just makes you the loser.

YMMV, of course.
posted by reenka at 5:43 PM on June 29, 2011

Female protagonists! The protagonist part is important. I'll accept one of two protagonists, but too many sort of dilutes what I am looking for. Not cool female characters who are antiheroic or antiheroicish but are secondary characters. I really enjoy Scott Lynch's books, and China Mieville's (I haven't yet read Embassytown), but they are very far from having female protagonists (or in equal numbers, for Mieville).

I have seen Dollhouse, Veronica Mars, Heathers, Damages (which all more or less are what I am looking for); I have read the Lisbeth Salander books (maybe) the Lynley books (not, because Havers doesn't strike me as an antihero at all, and she's at best a secondary protagonist). Minette Walters has written a few that might count, and some of Carol O'Connell's books, maybe.

There are a bunch here I will look into, but I would love more ideas.
posted by jeather at 5:43 PM on June 29, 2011

How about the graphic novels of Posy Simmonds - Tamara Drewe and Gemma Bovery? While the plots are relationship-heavy, both books have moments that push them into passing the Bechdel Test (I think. I haven't read them since I purchased them for the library.).
posted by gargoyle93 at 5:55 PM on June 29, 2011

Anime? How about Noir? It's about two young women who work as assassins.

I won't link to the Wikipedia page about it because it's loaded with spoilers. At the beginning, Mireille Bouquet lives alone in Paris, and makes her living as a hit(wo)man. She books her jobs through the internet, and none of her clients know her real identity. One day she receives an email from a Japanese girl named Kirika that says, "Take a pilgramage to the past with me." It included a sound file, and when Mireille listened to it, she was rocked back on her heels. It was a recording of a piece of music that Mireille knew well.

So she travels to Japan and investigates Kirika. Kirika doesn't seem to have any past at all. Mireille finally gets Kirika alone, in an empty construction site, but before they can start to talk they're attacked by a group of men who start shooting immediately. Mireille is always armed, and fights back, but Kirika also turns out to be armed, and she's even better than Mireille. In pretty short order the two of them are the only ones left standing.

Back at Kirika's house, they come to an understanding. They will work together, and try to figure out the connection between them. (I won't go into specifics, but the music in that sound file proves that there is one.) Once they've done so, Mireille promises to kill Kirika (because she knows too much about Mireille), and Kirika agrees.

It proceeds from there. The overall plot is about what they learn, and how, and what consequences it has for them both. It is extremely well written; there are no filler episodes at all.

Available (in about six weeks) on DVD, both dubbed and subbed, but you should go with the subbed version. The original Japanese voice acting was outstanding.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:42 PM on June 29, 2011

Smilla's Sense Of Snow. The book and the movie were both wonderful and under-appreciated.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 7:20 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Liar by Justine Larbalestier. It's YA, but the female protagonist/narrator is genuinely antiheroic, it passes the Bechdel test, and it's just a fantastic book.
posted by creepygirl at 7:52 PM on June 29, 2011

Mistborn. (Branden Sanderson trilogy)

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. (Stieg Larsson trilogy)
posted by J. Wilson at 8:13 PM on June 29, 2011

Battlestar Galactica has been mentioned above. I feel I should mention it again.
posted by troublesome at 8:40 PM on June 29, 2011

Jaye from the show Wonderfalls
posted by littlesq at 9:24 PM on June 29, 2011

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and The Robber Bride both have very different female villains. The Handmaid's Tale is very, very dated, but I still enjoy it.

As for anime, Silent Mobius and Bubblegum Crisis 2040 feature mostly female casts fighting demons and/or robots in a Blade Runner-esque future. They are both older shows and not as fanservicey as some.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:35 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lisbeth Salandar is definitely an awesome anti-hero. The Swedish movies are also quite good and true to the book. Who knows what the American versions will be like.

Oh yes and if you haven't seen Kill Bill, those are definitely a pair to watch. Uma Thurman is just great.
posted by radioamy at 10:00 PM on June 29, 2011

To Die For. Both the book and the movie are good. My favorite Nicole Kidman role.

Damage. Again, one of those rare cases where both the book and movie are really good.

Seconding Body Heat.

Notes on a Scandal. Judi Dench and Kate Blanchett.

All About Eve. Crackling dialogue and the great Bette Davis. Lots of great actors in supporting roles too.

Roz Russell in Gypsy.

Jane Fonda in Klute.

Not every one of these manages to pass the Bechdel test, but they all have great actresses playing strong, compelling, complicated characters.
posted by marsha56 at 10:20 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Get your little mitts on some Daria episodes! Cynical sarcastic antiheroine in glasses and combat boots deadpanning her way through high school. It looks like has five seasons online.
posted by sestaaak at 12:14 AM on June 30, 2011

I'll agree with others on the Battlestar Galactica Sarbuck, but know they are talking about the reboot, not the original. Bit of a difference between the two, you see.
posted by Heretical at 12:26 AM on June 30, 2011

Starbuck. My T key seems to be on vacation.
posted by Heretical at 12:31 AM on June 30, 2011

I'd highly recommend Engrenages, screened in English under the name Spiral (with subtitles). It's a very good police drama in mini-series format; Captain Laurie Berthaud is very much an anti-hero (getting more anti over the first three seasons) and a strong recurring female antagonist in Jos├ęphine Karlsson.

The whole show is very good, and, as well as the actual drama, provides a lot of comment of sexism, xenophobia, class, and race in France. Really enjoyed all three seasons.

I will note that it can be quite gory (autopsies, corpses); it also has some moments of strong misogyny, but as part of the behaviour of some characters, rather than being misogynistic in and of itself.
posted by rodgerd at 1:06 AM on June 30, 2011

Captain Estar Goes To Heaven?
posted by TheKM at 4:34 AM on June 30, 2011

Alias -- not the TV show, but the comic series about Jessica Jones, the foulmouthed ex-superheroine who works as a private detective. If you're at all familiar with Marvel comics (or have seen some of the movies, especially Spider-Man) you'll recognize a lot of the cameos and secondary characters, but prior knowledge isn't at all necessary. Lots of great interaction between Jess and the other female characters, but the stories are pretty dark and some of them deal with rape and gendered violence, and the aftermath thereof.

Jenny Sparks from The Authority (or at least the initial 12-issue Ellis/Hitch run thereof) is another great comics anti-heroine. Ensemble cast, but Jenny's the team leader and has Bechdel-passing interaction with the other female characters. It's pretty violent (it's a superhero series without the usual handwaving of physical damage), and there are moments of misogyny and racism which are treated as such.

Susan Sto-Helit of Discworld starts out as a somewhat unconventional teenage protagonist and slowly develops into a very unconventional heroine, if not quite an anti-heroine per se. Pratchett refers to her as a "Goth Mary Poppins," which is pretty accurate. She appears in Soul Music, Hogfather, and Thief of Time, which form a narrative sequence but work well as standalones. Soul Music is actually the sequel to Mort, but she doesn't appear there and it's really not necessary to read it first -- I'm not sure I'd even recommend that, since Pratchett's earlier novels aren't as strong as his later books. There's also been an animated adaptation of Soul Music which I haven't seen, and a Sky One live action version of Hogfather, which I have and enjoyed.
posted by bettafish at 6:25 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Jackie Brown is really criminally underrated.

You could also look at the entire Alien franchise to-date as one long anti-heroine origin story.
posted by mkultra at 7:19 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've just finished reading The Crimson Petal and the White, where the heroine, Sugar, a prostitute in Victorian London, is described in reviews as a mix of Becky Sharp and Scarlett O'Hara. Like those two, Sugar is a great anti-heroine, and the book itself is excellent. I'd definitely recommend it. (The BBC just did a 4 part adaptation as well which seems to have been well received; I haven't seen it as I live overseas.)
posted by mudkicker at 7:27 AM on June 30, 2011

Sons of Anarchy (TV show). The mother Gemma is the best anti-heroine ever. Tough, sexy, dangerous to anyone that threatens her loved ones.
posted by pippin at 7:30 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's not technically a "book" but you could try reading Ibsen's (play) Hedda Gabler. Says Wikipedia: "Depending on the interpretation, Hedda may be portrayed as an idealistic heroine fighting society, a victim of circumstance, a prototypical feminist, or a manipulative villain." At any rate, she's dynamic and definitely the protagonist.
posted by cranberrymonger at 9:10 AM on June 30, 2011

I haven't seen the film version of Notes on a Scandal, but the book certainly fits your bill. The narrator's agenda is both intriguing, maddening and touching.
posted by mippy at 9:43 AM on June 30, 2011

Nthing Gemma from Sons of Anarchy. She is the biggest anti-hero whose gender is a huge part of it I can think of in recent culture. So bad and so good as time goes on.
posted by ifjuly at 9:48 AM on June 30, 2011

Seconding Monza Murcatto in Abercrombie's Best Served Cold, although, alas, I'm not sure if it passes the Bechdel test. I just Googled a review that says it does, but which offers no details and it's been long enough that I don't remember.

Murcatto isn't the only POV character in the book, but it's her need for revenge after betrayal (professional, not personal) that drives the plot.
posted by telophase at 9:54 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Hunger Games series. Katniss Everdeen kicks serious ass.
posted by widdershins at 10:07 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Sada Abe character in In the Realm of the Senses. The mother in Toni Morrison's Beloved. And the kind of character Mary Timony played around with on Helium's Pirate Prude and Dirt of Luck albums--a woman who goes crazy or does monstrous things after a lifetime of being repressed and oppressed because of their gender--you know, like the woman charged in the short story "A Jury of Her Peers" etc. Has a long presence in emerging feminist literature from the last few centuries.
posted by ifjuly at 10:28 AM on June 30, 2011

Mad Money is not as bad as they say
posted by IndigoJones at 5:46 PM on July 3, 2011

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