The line comes from Max in Dark Angel, one of the greatest attempts at a science fiction TV series (though the transition from cyberpunk to fantasy was a little to sudden between seasons one and two). Max is an amazing young woman, but she is genetically modified, so no use as a role model. (And if you ever want to get frustrated, listen to the DVD extras and learn how the producers of this secular debauched show–which I still thought was brilliant–moralize about making sure Max didn’t use guns and that everyone used helmets when riding motorcycles. Ugh).
But the superpowers problem rules out Buffy or Sarah Pazini. You can’t model yourself after a “stick-figure Barbie” (as Gunn would say) who has preternatural strength or a magic weapon. And I worry that the diet of supergirls isn’t going to help real women very much with their male peers. Learning to respect female combat masters could easily lead young men, it seems to me, to despise the actual females they will meet in life.
Of course, the heroines lacking superpowers have also bothered me (i.e. Nikita, Sydney), since their victories don’t seem possible. I recently viewed some gymnasts and have softened on this. Still, I doubt fisticuffs is a useful strategy for most women (and if you think that is sexist, too bad. Your outrage will never come close to mine having to watch Starbuck enter the ring with Apollo and come out alive).
Buuuuuut, listening to a song tonight reminded me of my favorite female hero, one I think would translate well in a more Christian direction (even though that is not at all her stance): Veronica Mars. She was the most believable hero girl I think I have seen. She was perfect. Realistically female–Veronica didn’t repeatedly win punching matches with bigger men, but she defeated them nevertheless with wit and skill.