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 and columnist at Catapult, and assistant editor at Barrelhouse Books. She's the editor of Burn it Down, a critically acclaimed anthology of essays on women's anger from Seal Press; and the author of Negative Space, a reported and illustrated memoir selected by Carmen Maria Machado as a winner of the 2019 Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards, forthcoming in 2021. Lilly's writing has been published by Longreads, The Rumpus, The Washington Post, Glamour, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and more. Find her on Twitter here.