Strong, Sexy, Just As Deadly: An Audience Reception Analysis of the Action Heroine in Nikita

Strong, Sexy, Just As Deadly: An Audience Reception Analysis of the Action Heroine in Nikita


Abstract

Men have long since dominated the action genre, leaving women as mere side characters and weak damsels in distress in need of rescue. The advent of the female action hero challenges the notion that the female is the weaker sex. The increase of action heroines in television series suggests that there is notable change in the values and ideas held by the population, particularly in their perceptions towards gender roles.

To give substance to this change, audiences’ views on the action heroine in the television series Nikita were evaluated. Using the theory of gender performativity, this study aimed to determine the audiences’ notions of gender and their attitudes towards traditional gender roles.

The study discovered that audiences are aware of existing gender roles and stereotypes accorded to men and women, and that they believe that the difference between man and woman should end with their biological dissimilarities. They believed that Nikita’s ability to perform both masculinity and femininity is only normal because gender should be treated as a flexible aspect of a person. The emergence of female heroes in the action genre was viewed as a positive change towards equality of the sexes.


Alemania, Honey Hazel N. (2015). Strong, Sexy, Just as Deadly: An Audience Reception Analysis of the Action Heroine in Nikita. Unpublished undergraduate thesis. University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication.


Key Words: Nikita, Action Heroine, Gender roles, Performativity, Gender Equality

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