Female Superheroes Kick Brains, Not Butts!

Chloe, from Smallville, is a Super-Computer-Girl!

The other day I commented to my spouse that it surprised me our good friend, who is gay (as in, lesbian), likes Superman so much. Assuming the reason I like Superman has more to do with his tights than his personality, it seemed to me that it would be more logical for our friend to like a hot female superhero. How shallow I am! But then it hit me, our friend likes Superman because he’s a hero. He has the best super powers! Who wouldn’t want to fly, run faster than a speeding bullet, have x-ray vision and super hearing, to name just a few of the cool things he can do. Unfortunately, for women, there aren’t many female superhero options.

I realize if you happen to be a huge comic book fan, you can probably name any number of female, kick-butt superheroes. But for the general public, think about it—as a female, what superhero would you want to be?

  • Catwoman? We’d all like to look like her, but was she good or bad, I can’t remember. I would rather be Batman—better toys, more money and an awesome hideout.
  • Wonder Woman? Once again, we’d all like to look like her; but frankly, her outfit looks mighty uncomfortable!

On the other hand, here are just a few of the numerous options for guys.

  • James Bond: Good looks, hot cars, money, toys, travel, and of course, girls.
  • Spider-Man: How fun would it be to swing from building to building!
  • Iron Man: Money, cool toys, power, etc., etc….

In any case, I continued to ponder this and came up with what, I think, is an interesting conclusion. Just as men are different from women, if you want to create a truly kick-butt female superhero, in order for woman to want to be her, she needs to be different than a male superhero. Face it–Wonder Woman and Cat Woman are just wannabe male superheroes, that’s why they don’t cut it.

And after coming to that conclusion I realized there a few female superhero-like characters that, if I could, I would want to be.

Notice who's in front!

My #1 choice: Dr. Temperance Brennan, from the TV show, Bones. Of course she’s good looking, but she’s also smarter than everyone else, admired by all, and extremely successful.

Brilliant and Brave

#2 choice: Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. Though she starts out a bit weak, it’s pretty clear by the second book that Harry and Ron would be total losers without her. Her brilliance saves the day on many occasions. Plus, several books later, she turns out to be hot.

Ahead of her time.

Finally, #3: Nancy Drew! Nancy Drew was smart, brave and like Temperance Brennan, admired by all!

Ah well, here’s my challenge to you: Who is (or would be) your female superhero and why?


7 thoughts on “Female Superheroes Kick Brains, Not Butts!

  1. Rabecca Collin says:

    There’s also Xena and She-Ra.
    I think of Lois Lane as a hero too in her own right. She’s fierce and doesn’t take crap from anyone…especially the Man of Steel.
    In my opinion, while most Superheros fight crime, Superman stands for something. And it has become a cliche…Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Funny, how in Superman Returns, they dropped the “American Way” for “All that stuff.” Smallvilee just says truth and justice. Since when did we lose our American pride? America, is, was, and always will be a great country…not perfect…but it is great. Through the good times, and bad, I will always be proud to be an American.
    Way off topic, there, but Superman/Clark Kent is so much more. Clark Kent often gets overlooked, underestimated, maybe a little bullied by Lois, on the surface he’s nothing special. But when he tears open that shirt, and rockets into the air, he is limitless….unless there’s a chuck of K around. I think Clark Kent represents every person who is overlooked, underappreciated, and underestimated, and Superman represents whats on the inside of that person, that superficial people can’t see.
    I’m 34 years old, and I openly tell people “I believe in Superman like a kid believes in Santa Claus.” Because I believe in the idea that there is a Superman or woman inside of us all.


    • Searcher says:

      I especially like what you said here: “I think Clark Kent represents every person who is overlooked, underappreciated, and underestimated, and Superman represents whats on the inside of that person, that superficial people can’t see.” Good insight!


  2. Melanie says:

    Well, I’m thinking why do women need to emulate men at all? Why superheroes – oh they’re great fun – powerful, exciting, great sources for story. Mmovies & books are full of them right now. But why Harry Potter – male – and not Harriet the Spy? Is the male population in the superhero tradition more significant than the female?

    If I think about a role model or who I’d like to be I come to Galadriel in the fiction realm and a woman and actress like Sally Field who strikes me as extremely feisty. 🙂


  3. Pingback: Wonder Woman and Women in Comic Books
  4. Emily says:

    Any of the women/girls from Harry Potter. Mostly Hermione and luna.
    Katniss Everdeen.
    Hazel Grace (The Fault in Our Stars)
    Lyra (His Dark Materials)
    Krystal from The Casual Vacancy (though she’s not very likeable or particulary GOOD)
    Basically any girl or woman that’s strong.


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