Part of the delight of Xena: Warrior Princess comes from its campiness – she duels with swordfish, beats thugs with a diaper, flips and spins without a thought for gravity. As she and Gabrielle spar with Santa Claus, Lao Tzu, Julius Caesar, Goliath, Beowulf, Homer, Ulysses, Caligula, Odin, and Genghis Khan, they exist in a historical mish-mash impossible to take seriously…even without the rock music and American slang. Yet hidden within the silly storylines is an immense dose of subversion. Xena rolls her eyes as she seduces warlords in a harem costume and is the first to admit her own leather dress is just as much of a performance. In each historic encounter, Xena takes no credit for revolutionizing history, toppling dictators and saving heroes. As she sneakily saves the day, her unrealistic world underscores an idealized reality – one in which women have always outperformed men.