You know I love a good swordswoman, but it occurs to me while watching Queen Seondeok (see new category!) that women hold it down in other ways in wuxia and the historical genre period. So here’s to the Bad Girls!!!
First, the bad bad girls. People think that men rule the world. Please. Even within the royal families where you would think women are on lockdown, women are not to be trifled with. Yeah, you got bad swordsmen (see Legend of the Condor Heroes), but there is a special brand of sass when royal women get into the act. I used to think that the chick from The Handsome Siblings was hands down the most cold-blooded woman who never wielded a sword. She is willing to take ANYBODY out. If her mother was in this drama, she would have sold her down the river and made sure she was dead by the time she got there. She works her way up from nobody to Empress over the course of the series, and she absolutely will not stop! Close to her is the chick from The Legendary Warrior. Working from the inside, she manages to keep our hero from his destiny rather effectively, from manipulating court officials, her own husband, framing people for murder, etc. She does get hers in the end in a rather delicious way, tho!
This was all before I started watching Queen Seondeok. Who needs a sword? Mishil is OFF THE CHAIN! Men just accept it: we can’t beat you. She is sneaky, conniving, bold, not afraid to get her hands dirty, your hands dirty, anybody hands dirty. Don’t be a family member, you are not safe either if you don’t fit into the plan. She is a worthy villain.
Now for the good bad girls! Some of my favorites are in The Young Warriors (Mama Yang and crew–they got armour!). The sisters-in-law make swords, heal disease, beat you down, cook really well, etc. But once again, I have a new hero thanks to Queen Seondeok: the Wonhwa! Why didn’t anybody ever tell me about the WOMAN who leads this elite group of MALE warriors? I totally need my own hwarang! Applications are being accepted. Deokman and Cheonmyeong work the royal system to get the job done. They are smart, savvy and bold, and they are not afraid. Yay!