TV and film turning to young girls for its new action stars

FILE - In this May 25, 2017 file photo, Gal Gadot arrives at the world premiere of "Wonder Woman" in Los Angeles. Scattered plans among Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas to host women-only screenings of the upcoming "Wonder Woman" movie have produced both support and some grumbling about gender discrimination. The movie opens June 2 based on the DC Comics character. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Girls may not run the world, but they are the newest action heroes onscreen.

The new movie “Okja,” available on Netflix Wednesday, is the latest mainstream action film with a pre-teen female protagonist. Other recent examples include the film “Logan” and the sci-fi series “Stranger Things.”

Experts say it’s more than just the “Wonder Woman” effect inspiring these new action hero girls.

University of Notre Dame professor Mary Celeste Kearney says fictional characters are a reflection of the gender politics of different historical moments and thinks the new crop of young heroes may be inspired by a desire to see more real-life female leaders.

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