Cover Photo: A photo of Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy in the 1997 film Batman and Robin, in a leaf green body suit, sitting in a powerful but seductive pose against a nature-themed backdrop.
Photograph by Warner Bros. Pictures

What Poison Ivy Can Teach Us About Fighting Climate Change

Sure, sometimes she went a little overboard, trying to kill the executives rather than merely destroying their empires . . . but she had the right idea.

Thisis, a monthly column by Lilly Dancyger on women coded as villains in pop culture, the power in their badness, and how they shaped fans for good.

It’s not about whether one march, one protest, one boycott is enough to change everything—it’s about what we lose when we decide ahead of time that it’s not even worth trying.

Truly, Poison Ivy is the hero we need in 2019—full of bold ideas to save the world, and the gall to demand that they’re put into action, no matter how much the powers that be insist it would just be “too hard” to make such big changes. Of course big corporations aren’t going to overhaul the way they produce and ship goods, or switch to more expensive but more eco-friendly products. Coal lobbyists will never throw up their hands and say, “You know what, you’re right, let’s give solar a try.” Someone has to demand change, and refuse to take no for an answer.

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Global Youth Climate Strike

Lilly Dancyger is a Contributing Editor at Catapult and Assistant Books Editor at Barrelhouse. She's also the editor of BURN IT DOWN, an anthology of essays about women's anger, forthcoming from Seal Press. Her personal essays have appeared in Psychology Today, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and more. Her students and private editing clients have published work in prestigious publications, including Rolling Stone, The Guardian, New York Magazine, and Longreads. You can read Lilly’s work here, and follow her on Twitter here.