There are all kinds of women warriors in pop culture: The Wonder Woman Amazon, the Black Widow martial arts expert, the Lara Croft tough-as-nails adventurer. And then there's the including equestrian heroines, like Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001) and Mulan (1998). Numerous factors influenced the design of these characters—like how well they could be turned into merchandise—but it's interesting that both Xena and Mulan address the same issues of feminiity that female heroes have been have been dealing with since Ancient Greece.
A couple of commenters have raised questions about progressiveness in country music. Today, I want to suggest that there are progressive voices, at least in Americana, roots, and alt country music, but those voices are limited. They are almost always white, and usually populist and male. There are a few women in country who arguably identify as feminists. None of these artists are evangelical Christians like some major label country musicians, but faith imagery permeates much of their songwriting. It is often used in visions of a Utopian future, or it takes on a perverse meaning.
Artist Jessie Rose Vala,
based in Portland, Oregon, has a way of mixing utterly beautiful
graphite detail with dark, often mythological narratives. I first saw
her work at Motel Gallery for the exhibition: The Tortuous Veil.
In it, Vala explores the archetypes of the vampire, werewolf, zombie
and shape-shifter, using them as metaphors for our own over
consumption, complacency, mob mentality and environmental degradation.
Other works of Vala include explorations of inner struggle despite the
security and comfort we create for ourselves in something as mundane as
our living room (Future Remnants of Dreamvilles), as well as scenes that mix modern female figures with ancient myths and tropes. (more after the jump)