Stories about Women who are Fighting Sexual Predators
September 14, 2015 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Hey Brilliant People, happy Monday! I'm looking for film, tv, novel, play, etc. examples of women heros who are fighting against sexual predators especially ones who are doing it in secret? Like super heros! Can anyone think of a character like that? Thanks so much!
posted by sunnyblues48 to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

The first three episodes of "The Bletchley Circle" relates the story of former codebreakers tracking down a rapist/serial killer. They're not doing it in secret, per se, but they are doing it unofficially (since the authorities aren't especially interested in listening to them.)
posted by buxtonbluecat at 11:08 AM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

Not sure if it's what you are looking for, but Lisbeth Salander of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" has a pretty brutal takedown of her own rapist.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 11:11 AM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Was going to recommend "The Bletchley Circle" too! In addition to the first season mentioned above, the last two episodes of the second season deal with the ladies trying to break up a sex trafficking ring.
posted by damayanti at 11:26 AM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's just a taste of what you're looking for but Catwoman in Batman Returns pops her superpower cherry by preventing a sexual assault (but then goes all victim blamey because that is a movie that kind of tries to be feminist but has serious issues with what exactly that means).
posted by sparklemotion at 11:26 AM on September 14, 2015

Tura Satana learned martial arts, and later found and beat up each person who sexually assaulted her when she was a 10-year-old girl. She was a rape survivor, a model, and lived a pretty interesting life. Being a survivor of sexual violence enacted by a bunch of men prompted her to make some changes:
[Satana] tells how this prompted her to learn martial arts, such as aikido and karate. Over the next 15 years, she tracked down each rapist and exacted revenge.[4] "I made a vow to myself that I would someday, somehow get even with all of them," she said years later. "They never knew who I was until I told them."[4] Around this time, she formed a gang, "the Angeles", with Italian, Jewish, and Polish girls from her neighborhood.[5] In an interview with Psychotronic Video,[where?] she said, "We had leather motorcycle jackets, jeans and boots...and we kicked butt." Because of frequent delinquency, she was sent to reform school.[2] When she was 13, her parents arranged her marriage to 17-year-old John Satana in Hernando, Mississippi, which lasted nine months.[2]
In Satana's words, "You can still be feminine and have balls."

She starred in the 1965 U.S. of North American's exploitation film, "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!"

There's also the UK-based real-life drama crime show titled "The Detectives." Some pretty cool women with the Serious Sexual Offenses Unit (or SSOU) in Manchester are hunting down arsehats who are suspected of sexual violence.
posted by simulacra at 11:30 AM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Whistleblower (2010) has Rachel Weisz starring as a real life US cop, Kathryn Bolkovac, who became a UN peacekeeper in Bosnia and uncovering a ring of people traffickers. Its pretty good. Even the story of getting the film made is pretty interesting, and it led to a commitment from the UN Secretary General to take action.
posted by biffa at 11:38 AM on September 14, 2015

Teeth is a black comedy about a teenager who comes to terms with both her sexuality and her extra set of teeth. It's a bit more revenge fantasy than superhero, but I enjoyed it a lot.
posted by politikitty at 11:40 AM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

In the same vein as Teeth, there is Hard Candy, a psychological thriller about a man grooming and taking a 14 year old to his house for plans which do not work out in his favour.

If you're looking for inspirational this is probably not really it.
posted by biffa at 12:08 PM on September 14, 2015

Sally Field in An Eye for an Eye. Her daughter is raped and murdered and she goes vigilante against the perp, who is a serial rapist.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:25 PM on September 14, 2015

I loved the novel Boring Girls, which is about two young women who form a metal band and start doing just that.
posted by mermaidcafe at 1:28 PM on September 14, 2015

How about a nice murder ballad?
posted by dr. boludo at 1:58 PM on September 14, 2015

I wasn’t preparing to survive another attack, but rather to execute one.

Discussion on the blue. The article in question is about a real life woman's preparation to testify against her rapist in court. IIRC, the trial was not about him raping her but concerned him raping someone else and she was there in support of making that case. She had to testify twice, as the first trial ended in a mistrial (again: IIRC).
posted by Michele in California at 2:20 PM on September 14, 2015

Not sure if this is too literal as far as "fighting" goes, but there's a memorable and pivotal scene in Friday Night Lights where Tyra physically fights off a man who assaults and attempts to rape her.
posted by telegraph at 2:35 PM on September 14, 2015

The Fall is an excellent example of this, as well as being just generally excellent.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:38 PM on September 14, 2015

Bandit Queen is a based-on-a-true-story Indian film about Phoolan Devi. It's not short of sexual predators, or fighting... It's pretty raw / brutal IIRC.
posted by ZipRibbons at 2:40 PM on September 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you want a lighter take, I enjoyed the Lesbian Assassins series by Audrey Faye.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:54 PM on September 14, 2015

This is only a partial match: Top of the Lake.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 3:35 PM on September 14, 2015

Real-life example: Diana, Hunter of Bus Drivers
posted by sleepingcbw at 5:02 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

I was looking for the title of an Aussie film from the 80's-( Shame - warning-appropriate, but a possible downer) but I got pointed to this book on Googlebooks, hope it helps: Rape-Revenge Films, a Critical Study.
posted by JulesER at 5:36 PM on September 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Americans has an amazing central character who was raped as a teenager and confronts her rapist in the one of the first episodes. Her rape is a pretty major part of her history and is dealt with very well.

And yeah, Hard Candy fits the bill pretty well.
posted by armadillo1224 at 6:29 PM on September 14, 2015

This made me think of the movie Foxfire, "The story of five teenage girls who form an unlikely bond after beating up a teacher who has sexually harassed them. They build a solid friendship but their wild ways begin to get out of control". It's based on a book which I haven't read but also fits your criteria and may be better than the movie, which wouldn't be hard to do.
posted by kassila at 6:52 PM on September 14, 2015

Best answer: There's always Hothead Paisan. But she's definitely not doing it in secret.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:21 PM on September 14, 2015

Dirty Weekend by Helen Zahavi. Was also made into a movie.
posted by misfish at 12:04 AM on September 15, 2015

The Accused (1988): "After a young woman suffers a brutal rape in a bar one night, a prosecutor assists in bringing the perpetrators to justice, including the ones who encouraged and cheered on the attack." This was quite a high profile film at its time of release and gets a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.

There was a fairly similar film in the last decade but I can't remember the title.
posted by biffa at 2:05 AM on September 15, 2015

Following my recommendation of The Whistleblower above, there was a story in today's Guardian about on-going problems with the UN preventing (or not) peacekeeping troops from taking part in rape. It linked to other stories about individuals who have tried to whistleblow in this area.
posted by biffa at 4:47 AM on September 17, 2015

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