Fight Like a Girl

by cowboylands

The Wonder of Linda StirlingHow to follow up the menace of Jack Palance in Shane? Only by providing a cowgirl sexpot, thanks to a Batboy42 comment, which I, with my itchy trigger finger, mistakenly deleted. Bad Bucko. 

The star of Republic’s 1944 Zorro’s Black Whip, Linda Stirling thrilled young boys with her sultry, glamorous derring-do. 

First off, there’s no Zorro. Nope. Nada. Instead we get a plucky heroine who inherits spangly getup from her brother who was killed, and she takes on his persona. it’s top secret, so much so that even when bad guys fight her in hand-to-hand combat they can’t guess she’s a woman. Now that’s equality of the sexes!

It’s pre-statehood for Idaho, and the Black Whip is fighting for the right of the populace to vote for the future of their territory, against the greedy-guts who have a firm grip on the money, power, and therefore future of Idaho. An interesting spin on the typical role of women in Westerns, who also try to persuade their men to fight for the cause of civilization, but are usually armed with tears and wringing of hands, not pistol and bull whip. 

At one point she is nearly unmasked (unmanned?) but government agent Vic assumes the identity of the Black Whip in the knick of time so she can continue in her secret role of manly woman. As Batboy42 says in the lost post*, there is a bit of cross-dressing going on. Woman to man, man to woman to man to woman. To man.

Next time I need to fight like a girl, I’m dressing like her. 


Hammond: Barbara Meredith, she’s the Black Whip!

Baxter: She couldn’t be! The Black Whip’s got to be a man! He’s outshot us, outrode us, and outfought us, stopped at us every turn!

 Chapter Nine, Zorro’s Black Whip: Avalanche


*Lost but not forgotten. Take heart. Abraham Lincoln’s “Lost Speech” in 1856 helped launch the Republican Party and drew the figurative line in the sand between those for and those against slavery. 


Leave a Comment to “Fight Like a Girl”

  1. Linda Stirling donning her dead brother’s “Zorro ” cowboy clothes is quite daring for a woman but her cowboy clothes are too baggy to show her feminine form correctly; she should have tapered the pants leg and same fabric stirrups to the bottom hem of each leg and tucked her stovepipe legged pants into her cowboy boots for a ” Roy Rogers or Gene Autry ” sleek look “.She would have looked fantastically sexy in her cowboy ” drag ” pants.

  2. The tapered look would have left the viewers begging for more, but then she wouldn’t have been the man she was supposed to be. However, the idea is preposterous enough, so I agree–a femmed Stirling would have been better eye candy.

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