Ever noticed that most blockbuster movies with an ensemble cast have exactly one woman in the main crew? She’s usually clad in leather, can drink her weight, kicks bad guys with abandon and has a bit of sexual tension with the leading man. There are exceptions like the Fast and Furious series and, lately at least, The Avengers. But most of the time, discounting damsels in distress or villains, there’s just the one lady. It’s called the Smurfette principle — because there was only one female Smurf among all the Smurfs. This pattern is particularly obvious looking at the posters for some of the biggest action movies of the era. Here are just a few:

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