What makes a super-woman?

On the last meeting at the library discussion club we decided on the topic for next meeting being “superwomen”. You can treat this as my way to ponder on what is “superwoman” and who could be called that. A hero from the science fiction and fantasy works. This could also be a way to discuss this topic with you.

The library discussion would be only about books/comics, but in this post I also refer to TV series and films.


I’m not into superheroes, and I find it dull talking about DC/Marvel etc.

If you remember, I had a lecture on Indian superheroes and Indonesian comics. From there, I’d like to mention just a few.

  • Shakti, Indian heroine. Ordinary housewife became Kali’s incarnation, Shakti, after she realised her husband was killing off her daughters. She helps women in need.
  • Devi, Indian heroine. An  incarnation of an “artificially made” Devi (Goddess) who fought fallen god, Bala. Always fighting in a new body, in various times through history. Currently, a modern Indian girl.
  • Sri Asih, Indonesian heroine. Indonesian version of Wonder Woman, born in 1953.
  • Valentine, new Indonesian heroine. Her only “power” is knowledge of martial arts, no superpowers. She still fights crimes. It just happened, that from an actress in the film, fighting set-up-for-the-film-crimes in the city, she became a real crime-fighter. 😉


Mothers, especially those with career, taking care of home and children, can and should be called superheroes (superwomen). Remember #worldtoughestjob?

The most profound example is probably Madge from the Christmas special of Doctor WhoThe Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe. She saves her own children, her thought-to-be-dead husband and the whole planet’s inhabitants (wood people). Because she is a woman, a mother. Without her, Doctor wouldn’t be able to save the wood people.


  • Doctor Helen Magnus, Sanctuary. Leader and creator of the Sanctuary, a scientist back from the Victorian era living for over 150 years. An independent thinker, who will drop off the connections to stay true to her aim.
  • Sam Carter, Stargate series. great scientist, mechanic, soldier and still “human”. She’s tough, not the Terminator-like tough. If I remember correctly series, she’s the ever-highest-ranked human woman in Stargate series. All thanks to her own skills. Both Helen Magnus and Sam Carter were portrayed by Amanda Tapping.

Other Women

  • If I recall correctly, all the ladies (Companions) from new Doctor Who saved the world. Worlds. Without superpowers. Doesn’t matter if it was a doctor (Martha Jones), a temp worker (Donna) or somebody else. Well, my superwoman, most loved heroine is River Song.
  • Rydra Wong, poet from Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany. Her super-power (telepathy) helped her become the voice of the people, because she could put their ideas into words, exactly how they would like to say that.

Well, for me super-woman is just super-human, lady, who crosses some kind of boundaries. What is your opinion? Who would you call a super-woman?


6 thoughts on “What makes a super-woman?”

  1. Well, I’d call my wife a super-woman. She’s a mother, a Disabled Army Vet, and is currently in the battle for her life vs. breast cancer. I once wrote a graphic novel script based on her life. And because her name means “bee” in Greek, I turned her character into The Honeybee (she’s got a deadly sting).

  2. I hadn’t heard of any superheroes from India or Indonesia so it was interesting to learn something about them. I can’t think of anyone to add to the list but I agree that a superwoman can be any ordinary woman who pushes boundaries or does something extraordinary. I might even prefer that definition to the standard superheroes with superpowers.

    1. I should have put Pakistani’s Burka Avenger too. I haven’t seen any episode yet.
      I find standard superheroes with superpowers boring. I liked the idea behind “Company of Heroes” (Korean comic) where superheroes were paid for helping people but it was so dull and cliché in the end. That reminded me I forgot the ladies from Turbulence by Indian writer Samit Basu. I think I’ll have to edit the post. 😀

      1. True, standards superheros can be very boring, there’s just too many of them and they quickly turn to cliches. I like some superheroes though, but I’ve never been a huge fan. Well, going back to edit is always acceptable 🙂 Sometimes I forget half of what I had initially planned to write.

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