It’s fair to say that the myth of the cowboy can be a little problematic. Manifest destiny, a West to be “won,” and an uneasy relationship (to say the least) with Native Americans– the narratives don’t hold up as well as they once did, and I’m always a little hesitant to embrace the motif of the “cutesy” cowboy. That said, there’s something about a cowgirl that still resonates. A cowgirl is inherently subversive– breaking the mold simply by existing. So whether it’s still harkening to a frontier written by Wild Bill and Hollywood, there is still something to be said for celebrating ladies doing it for themselves out on the range.
For extra credit: this discussion on the “Women and the Myth of the American West”from the Smithsonian.