LETTER:Fear of themacho female

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The Independent Online
From Ms Una Freeley

Sir: I'm really looking forward to seeing the Tank Girl film ("She's raw, she's rough, she's our new icon", 16 June). Maybe it will bring back memories of the bad girls I hung around with as a teenager, 30 years ago, before we all "settled down" to marriage and children. But I hope Tank Girl isn't just another Boy's Own fantasy female.

The girls roaming our vast estate managed to commit a fair amount of petty crime and we escaped detection because the one advantage of being a girl was that you were less suspect than a boy. I'm told that the girl- gangs around now are far less violent than the boy-gangs and it was the same with us. Any violent girls grew out of aggression pretty quickly, mostly into depression, while the violent boys often transferred it straight to their female partners, a situation that took some tough-minded feminism to expose and start to remedy.

Helen Wilkinson is too fond of making rigid definitions of male versus female attributes and doesn't seem to realise that the "macho female role models" she cites are just the same old fearful witches dragged out of the closet by the Hollywood boys after each era of advancement for women. They frighten lots of other boys, many of whom then try to slap us back into the kitchen. Adventure and excitement are not confined to those women who "develop their masculine attributes", as I'm sure even the most "loving and caring" women politicians would agree; assertively!

Tank Girl sounds like a girl after my own heart, bless her. Any homicidal tendencies she's been given could easily be cured by excluding male script- writers from Tank Girl 2.

Yours faithfully,


London, N8

16 June