Gina Carano - The New Role Model for American Women?

The new action movie “Haywire” stars the beautiful mixed-martial-arts star, Gina Carano, as a covert operative who is even more formidable than Matt Damon’s character in the highly successful “Bourne” series. Trailer for the film can be viewed at:


Carano is the latest in a trend toward woman who are just as competent or assertive as men – in Carano’s case, she is also more than equal to most men in purely physical terms. And without giving up her femininity. Even more impressive, Carano is down-to-earth, funny, and genuinely likable:


Now, when it comes to male role models, the liberal ideologues who took over Hollywood in the 1960s have done everything possible to feminize the image of the “perfect” American man. Prior to that, the big male roles were played by actors who were indisputably men – Burt Lancaster, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, William Holden, Clark Gable, James Cagney. The list goes on. Many of them were also tough guys in real life. Robert Mitchum once beat the hell out of four drunken thugs who intended to prove that he was a paper tiger.

Up through the 1970s, many of the most prominent male actors were also World War II military combat veterans. Charles Bronson was a ball-turret gunner on a B-17. Lee Marvin (who played a tough-as-nails sergeant in “The Dirty Dozen”) killed his first enemy soldier with a 45 caliber handgun at point blank range – when he was only 17 years old. Small wonder that Marvin’s often roughneck characters had an authentic “edge” to them.

Today, we still have a few real men around. Bruce Willis and Tom Selleck come to mind, and perhaps Daniel Craig (the “new” James Bond). But for the most part, we are inundated with an endless parade of “metro-sexual” wimps. Take the cast of “Friends” – not only is there not a real man in the bunch, the one exception (Joey) is portrayed as a sexist slob. And is there any more pathetic example of Hollywood’s idea of American manhood than Ashton Kutcher?

Even in TV commercials, real men are virtually non-existent, with the typical male depicted as a clueless, poorly dressed, football-obsessed dimwit, incapable of programming a microwave or doing a load of laundry. Meanwhile, the “wife” in the same ad is portrayed as smart, savvy, and more often than not, downright condescending toward her “husband.”

Because while Hollywood was doing everything possible to change the image of American men, they were also hard at work remaking the definition of the ideal woman. And while the types of roles might vary in terms of professions (doctor, lawyer, teacher, cop), with few exceptions they share one fundamental characteristic: they are liberals.

And they make sure that you know it. From their unhesitating belief in “global warming” and “the environment” to their predictably negative attitudes toward guns, religion, and “the rich,” just about every female character on TV can be counted on to spout liberal dogma in every episode. Based on the number of female character who will sanctimoniously declare that they “don’t eat meat” you’d think every other woman in America is a vegetarian, even though surveys indicate that a barely 1% of Americans denote themselves as such.

Some writers even go so far as to have them mouthing overtly partisan political comments, often linked to real-life current events. And whether some “evil corporation” or “religious extremist” group, rest assured that the target of the female character’s ire will be labeled as “right wing” or “conservative.” The message is clear: if you are a hip, modern woman, you are (or should be) a liberal.

But things have started to change. Sure, many of the newer “cop shows” still feature relatively passive male characters paired with strong females. In shows like “The Mentalist” and “Castle” the female lead is the one carrying the gun, while the male “consultant” is not only unarmed, he is more than likely a borderline pacifist.

But the women are now less likely to be so unswervingly liberal. They might express support for the death penalty. They are more likely to view violent criminals as “thugs” and “scumbags” rather than see them as the “unfortunate victims” as liberals typically do.

They also like guns. A lot. The series “Prime Suspect” features a truly tough female lead – played by Maria Bello – who not only talks like a typical male New York detective, she spends more time at the gun range than her masculine colleagues because, as her character says, “I like it here.” She also owns a whole closet full of guns, and in a recent episode hinted to her live-in boyfriend that “I have my eye on a pre-64 Winchester Model 70 – Christmas is coming, you know.”

Sociologically, the affects of this trend are beginning to be seen, and quite clearly. Women, especially younger women, are getting trained in self-defense in ever larger numbers. More and more of them are buying guns, and many are applying for permits to carry them. As a firearm instructor who teaches carry permit classes, I can verify that the percentage of my students who are female has increased dramatically over the last several years.

This is trend is doubtless at least partially connected to the increasingly prevalent images of attractive women on televisions and in the movies who are seen carrying, and perhaps more importantly, enjoying their guns. It is once again becoming cool, hip, and even sexy for women to own guns.

I say “once again” because contrary to liberal mythology, fearing and hating guns was not always some sort of innate female trait. Up until the 1950s, more women participated in shooting (whether hunting, target shooting, or trap and skeet) than engaged in golf! Back then, every little girl knew who Annie Oakley was – Halloween costumes of “Little Sure Shot” were among the most popular, complete with “six-guns” and holsters.

The current phenomenon – “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” – is the first episode of the popular Swedish trilogy, and features a tough, take-no-prisoners female character, who can ride a motorcycle, shoot a gun, and is more than willing to duke it out with bad guys. Both the books and the movies have been so wildly popular with women of all ages, that the original Swedish language film  has already been remade with an all English speaking cast, presumably to expand the audience even further.

Gina Carano’s character in “Haywire” is every bit as feisty as The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo” but she also has the looks, persona, and star power to take the “tough chick” character to an even higher level.  She does all of her own stunts. She choreographs the fight scenes, making them much more realistic than those found in, say, the “Mission Impossible” films. Because unlike most fake female movie heroines, Carano really is capable of kicking the snot out of 99% of the men in America. Or anywhere else, for that matter. While looking glamorous doing it. And it is her authenticity which shines through.

Bruce Lee combined athletic ability with a tremendous screen charisma and was more than a little responsible for the explosion of interest in martial arts that marked the 1970’s and ’80s. Only time will tell just how much of an influence Gina Carano will have, but given the right vehicles, my guess is that her affect could be substantial.

The irony is that ultra-liberal Hollywood may unwittingly be sowing the seeds of a new, and very un-liberal, generation of women.