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Watch: A Supercut of Over 300 Ass-Kicking Women

Watch: A Supercut of Over 300 Ass-Kicking Women

There’s a lot of visceral pleasure to be had in Entertainment Weekly‘s new supercut of “women who kick ass.” First, there’s the title. What does it mean, exactly? If someone “kicks ass,” does that mean they’re vindictive? Don’t take prisoners? Judge with an iron fist? Yep. Or could it mean the individual in question is a trendsetter (hateful word, but accurate)? Or is it just a sexiness thing, the thought being that once a woman reaches a certain level of sex appeal, she can be said to… “kick ass”? Or maybe the “kicking ass” came first? Whose ass, exactly? Everyone’s? One person’s in particular? Sure, it’s a metaphor, but the farther you dig into it, the more elusive it becomes. In any event, the video is wonderful. It’s fun to watch Joan Jett do anything, but singing “I Love Rock’n’Roll” is one of those things. The same goes for Nancy Sinatra and “Bang Bang.” Or Mary Poppins. Or Madonna. The way Jonathan Keogh mixes and matches these images of women in moments of power and electricity is thrilling–two particularly choice moments were watching Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice dancing to “All the Single Ladies” or hearing Maureen Stapleton’s Edith Bunker shout “I ain’t taking no orders,” followed immediately by Ellen DeGeneres saying, “Yes, I’m gay.” But there are many others. These clips have nothing and everything to do with each other–they illustrate a paradigm that has survived and grown through a century of cultural rippling, a paradigm of matriarchy, a paradigm of femininity.

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