If this is, as it is, a real English example,

I wanted to know what role his women played in persuading him that he was this incredible he-man.

can this

I wanted to know what role her men played in persuading hers that she was this incredible she-woman.

be proper, too?

If she-woman is not proper, can anyone suggest a word that, in that phrase, would be more suitable?

  • 1
    He-man means "a strong, virile man". Would its supposed counterpart mean "a strong, virile(?!) woman" or "a woman who conforms to feminine stereotypes in the same way that a he-man conforms to the masculine stereotypes of strength and virility"?
    – user1635
    Jan 4, 2014 at 17:22
  • @RahulNarain Is the opposite of a “strong manly man” a “weak girly girl”, “strong manly girl”, “weak manly girl”, “strong girly man”, “weak manly man”, “weak girly man”, or a “strong girly girl”?
    – tchrist
    Jan 4, 2014 at 17:31
  • 1
    "She-woman" as an expression exists! M-W defines it as "a woman abundantly endowed with obviously or pronouncedly feminine qualities". But I would have said a she-woman is someone who was a bit butch looking.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 4, 2014 at 18:38
  • 3
    If you'd grown up in the 80s, you'd know that the counterpart to He-Man was She-Ra. >_>
    – starwed
    Jan 4, 2014 at 21:49

4 Answers 4


I do not believe "she-woman" is going to be widely understood, and I believe you want "incredibly" not "incredible". The expression he-man is an idiom; the closest idiom I can think of is too "girly-girl" (incredibly is a bit awkward there) or just incredibly "feminine".


The important issue here is that he-man is an idiomatic expression. Often, idioms simply don't have a reasonable counterpart! As such, she-woman is a very awkward expression.

You may want to consider rewording your phrase, perhaps describing directly her virility and femininity, or comparing her to a traditional image of a woman --- perhaps you could call her Venus.


As noted, he-man is an idiom, and I dare say a caricature. Those of us who grew up before feminism might remember this He-man Club from Little Rascals (or Spanky and Our Gang)

Alfalfa and Spanky, the originators. See what a *he-man* Alfalfa is? (He's a cutie-pie!

So, a caricature is what you're looking for in the opposite. You might want Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter: She can do anything!

or a Goddess

enter image description here

But please be assured that no woman who grew up in the 70s would be flattered by being asked what role her men played in persuading hers that she was this incredible XX, unless it is in a Playboy Bunny interview.

The role her man played in persuading her that she was this incredible XX was that he did not impart to her his Y chromosome.


I always considered "he-man" to be a reference to He-Man, defender of Eternia and the secrets of Castle Grayskull from the evil Skeletor.


(image found from a Google image search for He-Man)

In using a similar reference to women, I'd probably call her a "Wonder Woman", or a "She-Ra", if you're looking to stay "in-universe", as mentioned by starwed.

It's possible that this usage will depend on the listener's age and knowledge of characters originating from comic books and cartoons, but Wonder Woman is pretty widely known.

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