Xena, Buffy, Lara Croft, La Femme Nikita. The women of pop culture are center stage and tougher than ever. Action Chicks is a groundbreaking collection highlighting the heroines who fascinate us. What can they tell us about how popular culture depicts women? Do the characters escape traditional gender role expectations? Or do they adhere to sexual, racial, ethnic, and class stereotypes? The essays in Action Chicks provide a new look at these icons and their relationship to the popular media machine. This is a thought-provoking anthology that is bound to change how we think about gender and toughness.