2015, Year of the Badass Woman?

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As it’s most commonly used, badass implies both toughness and disaffectedness. It’s rare to look at someone whose chief qualities are measured thoughtfulness and open emotionality and declare her a total badass.

Ijeoma Oluo, Naomi Yang, Eudora Welty—these women are creative and powerful and assertive, yes, but should we call them “badass”? Over at the Guardian, Hermione Hoby (and Ann Friedman, quoted above) make the case that the word “badass” connotes “the retrograde idea of gun-toting, bullying ass-kicking being the only kind of power women celebrate.”


You can find Charley Locke's journalism on WIRED, tweets @CHARLEY_LOCKE, and drawings on her parents' fridge. You can also sometimes spot Charley imperiously making book recommendations while managing the McSweeney's Pop-Up Shops. More from this author →