Time for another round of Fangirls Around the Web, where we highlight fangirls and their heroines spotted around the web.
In news worthy of dancing Ewoks, ThinkGeek is now selling the Rogue Squadron hoodie tank that sold out at Star Wars Weekends, while Hot Topic offers up an awesome Vader dress. The latest Fangirls of the Day for Year of the Fangirl are: Melodie, Jennifer, Anna, Brittany, Brandie, Elora and Suz, Robin, Lacey, Amanda, Melissa, and Abigail. As always, their stories are inspiring.
One of the toughest things for fangirls is knowing how to draw the line when behavior becomes inappropriate. At his blog Whatever, John Scalzi posted an amazing first-person account from Elise Matthesen about how to report harassment at a convention. She notes that when incidents aren’t reported, they’re not available later to help show a pattern of behavior to justify serious action against the perpetrator. While not everyone will feel comfortable making a report, hopefully her courage and candor will inspire others to do it.
Along unfortunately similar lines, TheMarySue has a good coverage of the recent controversy surrounding a “dating guide” on Kickstarter, including the site’s subsequent apology and $25,000 donation to an anti-sexual-violence organization.
Looking ahead to San Diego Comic-Con in July, Amy Ratcliffe blogs about how to prepare for the convention, from supplies and food to getting ready for all the walking and line-waiting.
IGN shared a first look at footage from Book Two of The Legend of Korra, which is set to debut later this year.
It’s been a busy month on the superhero front. Wired considers the two recent releases from Hyperion featuring She Hulk and Rogue and concludes Marvel Comics Mashes Up Superheroes and Chick Lit — And It Sort of Works.
And Man of Steel has been ramping up the discussion about the future of a Wonder Woman feature. At io9, Charlie Jane Anders explains why I Don’t Want to See Zack Snyder’s Take on Wonder Woman. Author Janine Spendlove titled her blog post about Man of Steel A not so Superman.
Opportunities for women storytellers still appear to be an uphill climb. Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress writes about How Hollywood’s Disinterest In Women Could Waste A Generation Of Outrageously Talented Actresses. TheMarySue reports that The Number of Women Selling Speculative Screenplays in Hollywood Reaches New Low. On the other hand, TheMarySue writes about on an initiative by the European Women’s Audiovisual Network to bring more exposure to the important role women play in the film industry.
There is good news, though, as Deadline reports on Disney’s hiring of Naketha Mattock as vice president for Original Movies on the Disney television channels.
Jennifer Heddle, senior editor at Lucas Books, explains “Why Leia is Awesome,” using Show Not Tell moments from the movies.
And her cunning is shown in a small scene in Jedi that I love: when the Ewoks launch their attack on the Endor moon, and in the ensuing chaos Leia is the one who thinks to take out the guy on top of the AT-ST so it can’t be used against them. And does it in one shot, no less.
Interestingly, the way storytellers depict geeks may keep women and girls from considering STEM careers. Anders at io9 discusses recent research suggesting that stereotypes of geeks and people working STEM careers may be inhibiting women’s interest in computer science. The good news from the study is that participation in one computer science class is enough to change the opinion of young women.
Other careers like astronaut and soldier are opening up to women, and in the future we might see more girls aspire to those careers because they don’t see them as traditionally male. Recently NASA selected eight new astronauts for the space program. Four are women, including a fighter pilot. And NBC News asks Women in combat: Could special ops be the next stop?
Finally, several times at FANgirl I have discussed the negativity that was directed at some of the breakout stories in the late 1990s and early 2000s that featured strong female characters. I observed this specifically within the Star Wars Expanded Universe community in relation to Mara Jade and Jaina Solo, and in a broader context as Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired on television. Running from 1995-2001, Star Trek: Voyager experienced a strong vocal reaction similar to the responses to the characters Mara, Jaina, and Buffy. Voyager created stories about fabulous female characters, including Kathryn Janeway, Seven of Nine, and B’Elanna Torres. Over at RogerEbert.com, Ian Grey praises Voyager as the Trekkiest “Trek” of all.
As we mourn Abrams’ macho Trek obliteration, it’s a good time to revisit Voyager, at once the most Star Trek-ian of accomplishments and the most despised object of fanboy loathing in the franchise’s nearly 50-year history. From 1995-2001, it offered American audiences something never seen before or since: a series whose lead female characters’ agency and authority were the show. It was a rare heavy-hardware science fiction fantasy not built around a strong man, and more audaciously, it didn’t seem to trouble itself over how fans would receive this. On Voyager, female authority was assumed and unquestioned; women conveyed sexual power without shame and anger without guilt. Even more so than Buffy, which debuted two years later, it was the most feminist show in American TV history.
Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She also writes about Star Wars for Random House’s science fiction and fantasy blog Suvudu.com and Star Wars Insider magazine and is a contributor for Her Universe’s Year of the Fangirl. She has recently joined Beyond the Screens podcast as a regular contributor.
In her spare time, Tricia puts the finishing touches on her first novel, Wynde. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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