VFM’s Top Bad-Ass Heroines!


With the next instalment of The Hunger Games franchise rearing its shiny head, we welcome back Katniss Everdeen—easily one of the best female heroines of cinema and literature today, and not only because what she can’t do with a bow and arrow is nobody’s business. Katniss is a modern day heroine whose motives doesn’t rely on revenge nor a man; she’s a character whose strong, independent and in no-way sexualised. Plus, she starts a revolution, ‘kay?! Unfortunately, all these factors in this day and age is still pretty fresh in our modern day women. Yes, I’m glaring at you Bella Swan.

The return of Katniss and The Hunger Games has the VFM team thinking about other strong women of our books and screens, whether she’s a classical heroine from a book or controlled by you in a game. So, Venus From Mars proudly presents a specially selected top five bad-ass women who can hold their own in any fight (drum roll, please!):

Willow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Buffy…Willow…Buffy…Willow? Which one deserves a slot? On one hand, we have Buffy; she saved the world countless of times, while having to tackle school, boys, making sure her besties don’t die and being resurrected from the dead…twice! But then we have Willow.

Willow is introduced to us as the typical wallflower who’s in love with her best friend. The reason why she’s one of VFM’s favourite heroines is mainly down to the fact that she had the most character development. Ooo, character development, pretty bad-ass, right? Well, from starting the show as a shy teen who hides behind her curtain-like hair, she turns into a young woman who, as the episodes go on, dates a werewolf, becomes an all-mighty powerful witch, saves the world, then nearly destroys the world, but most importantly, she was a half of one of America’s first lesbian relationships on television when she hooked up with her witchy-lover, Tara. So, is there really any question to why she’s on this list? No, I didn’t think so… CatSmith92

Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind


Let’s face it; who doesn’t love a bad girl? An anti-heroine who challenges all the rules, turns society on its head, thinks and acts outrageously, and can bitchsmack with the best of them?

For me, the first and last word in anti-heroine is Scarlett O’Hara, protagonist of Margret Mitchell’s sweeping epic Gone with the Wind. When we first meet Scarlett, she is a spoilt pretty thing who manipulates men and cares about nothing but her beloved Ashley. When we leave Scarlett, she has grown up. And when I say grown up, I mean she has killed a man, rebuilt her empire almost single handed, has fallen out with the ideologies of her society, delivered a baby during the shelling of Atlanta with no knowledge of midwifery, is an alcoholic, and has defied social conventions time and time again. Oh, and she’s amazing at Maths.

Love her or hate her (and some people really do), Scarlett is driven and doesn’t let anything get in her way. Anything.Scarlett is not only one of the most exciting and well developed anti-heroines; I’d argue that she is one of the best realised characters ever to appear in fiction- male or female. Lassomagicarescarte

Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead


Sit down, shut up and let me tell you all the ways that Carol Peletier from AMC’s The Walking Dead is a total BAMF (Bad Ass MotherF*cker for those not in the know). Can’t avoid it so I have to throw it out there: pre-outbreak Carol lived with her abusive husband Ed and her daughter Sophia (who she somehow managed to shield from the abuse). Despite Ed’s awful personality and existence during the zombie apocalypse, Carol remained a total sweetheart, sharing supplies with others during the outbreak and making sure that her husband did not cause too much violence in the survivors group (which often meant taking care of things that Ed was supposed to be doing).

This is where the spoilers begin: Carol stepped up to the plate and took care of Ed’s body to prevent re-animation. Carol and Daryl (eye candy archer) bond in the search for Sophia. Carol learns medical aide from Hershel and practises delivering babies via C-section on a walker. She also survives a breach without food and water for a couple days. Co-names baby Judith “Lil Asskicker”. Carol’s true BAMF character is revealed when you realise just how far she is willing to go to keep her group safe. She prepares the children for life outside of their safe compound, the education she wishes she had given Sophia. She straight up kills two sick people and burns their bodies to prevent an infection spreading. She risks her life trying to replace the water that she wasted.

Carol is a BAMF pre and post walker, she can get away with calling Daryl ‘Pookie’. You can’t sway me to think anything else. Dothrakimermaid

Beatrix Kiddo, Kill Bill


While Quentin Tarantino doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to representing women on screen (*cough* Django Unchained *cough*), in the character of Beatrix in Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2, he created one of the best classic action heroines of all time. By mixing the hyper-masculine genres of westerns and martial arts films, Tarantino unleashed one of the ultimate female icons of action cinema, showing that it’s not only men who can get their hands dirty with the best of them. Beatrix Kiddo surely has an impressive body count for any action hero, brutally slaying at least 40 members of the Crazy 88 in roughly ten minutes. Moreover, she is forced to battle with some amazing female villains too (Lucy Liu in particular provides the kind of visual bad-assery in O-Ren Ishii that was woefully lacking from her character in the Charlie’s Angels film). 

I’ll admit that Kiddo is a, shall we say, “complicated” feminist character – many argue that Beatrix is fuelled by a) the knowledge that she gains from her male teachers, b) her relationship to Bill and c) her status as a mother. Hell, she’s even referred to for most of the first film rather ominously as ‘The Bride’. These are all valid criticisms, but ultimately Beatrix’s skill, ability and surprisingly realistic character development comes out fighting. Like Die Hard is the ultimate Christmas movie, so too are Kill Bill Vol 1 & 2 probably some of the best darn mother’s day films you could possibly show your family.

Now, stop arguing with me, before I use the virtual five-point-palm-exploding-heart technique on your WordPress account. IntrinsicallyOdd

Ellen Ripley, Alien Franchise


Ellen Ripley, what is there else to say? She’s one bad-ass bitch. Science fiction as a genre has held home to many strong female characters, but very few have even come close to Ellen Ripley. So, what makes Ripley so cool?

Firstly, despite not being very feminine (she has an assertiveness normally associated with men) she is clearly a female character. She shows a motherly protective nature. For example, in the first film she risks her life going back for the cat and in the second film she risks her life for a child. She is also constantly the voice of common sense.

But what makes this woman stand out is what she accomplishes—not just literally—but also metaphorically. In a literal sense, Ripley (sometimes single handedly) stops Alien reaching earth and eradicating the human race about four times, which is a feat in itself, but also metaphorically Ripley kills rape.

Yes, she kills rape.

Alien is a film, not only about space exploration, but also about a woman fighting off and defeating a creature that symbolizes sexual violence. Rather than just have female characters as victims much like the Lambert character was, Ripley overcomes and defeat this terror.

She is forced to fight not only Alien but also members of her own race as well, who see Alien only as a weapon. She is denied the chance to raise her daughter, is forced to kill herself and she destroys god only knows how many ships in order to kill this creature which is a walking embodiment of rape itself. If that’s not badass enough, really what is? KerrySlater

Fiona Goode, American Horror Story: Coven


This coven doesn’t need a new Supreme. It needs a new rug,” Fiona mutters as she sits back in her chair and lights a cigarette in exhaustion. Her first kill in a while really tuckers her out and yet the next day she throws on the Givenchy and gets right back to business. Since the anthology horror series debuted back in 2011, actress Jessica Lange has been playing tragic and evil women who, if she’s not battling ghosts in a fabulous LA mansion, then she’s beating mental health patients in an 1960’s asylum. In the third season, Coven, Lange played arguably her best character yet as the stupendous and seductive Fiona Goode, Grand Supreme of all witches in New Orleans and one hell of a shit mother! Having sought out youth and beauty to no avail she returns to her old stomping ground to build bridges with her daughter and teach the young witches of Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies how to defend themselves against the return of Salem style executions.

Fiona’s bad ass in very sense of the word. Not only does she posses the powers of telekinesis, resurgence and knocking back a substantial amount of bourbon in one go, but she also fights for what she wants. Yes she may suck the life out of a doctor in order to maintain her ever-dying youth and yes she may slit the throat of any woman in line to take her crown, but Fiona isn’t afraid to take action when she feels necessary. Although her ways are far from the norm, they are put in place to protect her coven and keep it from crumpling into ruin and I think that is pretty bad ass! JamesTaylorrr

Zelda, The Legend of Zelda


Arguably Nintendo’s second biggest flagship, The Legend of Zelda has had strong debates over the feminist issues it presents through its character of the same name–Zelda. On the surface, she is nothing more than an objective marker for the protagonist–or even (like many claim) another damsel in distress trope. But after several hours delving into the many worlds of Hyrule, you will discover the truth. Zelda— or more precisely Sheik– is a complete Badass. For those who haven’t explored The Legend of Zelda series yet, Sheik is Zelda’s bitchin’ alter-ego. Her disguise has manifested itself in all sorts of ways over the years, a ninja style magic user, and even a fucking Pirate Queen! It has been pointed out that while she is out of her disguise and back in her dress, Zelda is always more vulnerable. However, Zelda the princess symbolises times of peace, when in war her alter-ego comes out to play. Sheik is a true warrior, and within the gaming world, she’s a refreshing sight to look back upon, one that doesn’t follow the Japanese gaming conventions of only wearing an ‘armoured bikini’ into battle. Matt Lightbound

Have we missed your bad-ass woman out? Comment, and tell us who and why!

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