Fangirls Around the Web: November 18, 2012

Fangirls Around the Web is a recurring series to spotlight fangirls and heroines. So why not start with the big one? Voting has commenced for the People’s Choice Awards, and how about that all-female line up for the “Face of Heroism” category?

Newsweek recently featured Marine and mother Tawanda “Tee” Hanible, who asked to be deployed. These real life stories are becoming the norm – women warriors.

Fiction is following suit, too, with female characters finally suiting up more and more to fight the bad guys. Most recently, it’s word that Pepper Potts is getting her own armor in Iron Man 3. (via Blastr)

Over at, Elizabeth Giorgi breaks down Wreck-It Ralph as a powerful display of “how video games should be.”

In 108 minutes, Wreck-It Ralph accomplishes something the entire video game industry has failed to achieve for more than 30 years: Wreck-It Ralph contains more positive and nuanced female characters than the entire current video game landscape. Three major consoles. Hundreds of major and indie developers. Mobile and handheld gaming. Thousands of writers, programmers and artists. Millions, maybe even billions, in marketing dollars. All schooled by one movie.

This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly features Star Wars on the cover and two articles on the Disney acquisition and Sequel Trilogy announcement. It was great to see Jaina and Mara get not just a mention as possible characters, but even some art, too. The issue’s article on Twilight is also worth reading for its focus on how that franchise changed the model of marketing, proving that female fans’ passion for sharing their favorite stories and enthusiasm for their favorite characters can make them a Force to be reckoned with.

The “Fake Geek Girl” discussions popped up again last week, too. At Comics Alliance, Rachel Ededin offers her insight into why this is a recurring theme in fandom. In dissecting the problem she notes:

And all of this is happening in a community primed to respond aggressively to newcomers, and particularly to female newcomers. Some of that comes out as direct aggression. Some of it comes more subtly, in the form of perpetually challenging or dismissing credentials. Thus, the new stratification of “real” vs. “fake” geeks, where “real” is conveniently identified as the more traditionally male dominated modes of engagement.

Back in the Prequel Trilogy days, women flocked to the Star Wars fandom, and this was exactly the dynamic faced by many female fans online, particularly being challenged as outsiders. Other than the fan fiction community, the discourse on message boards was generally controlled by fans who often measured Star Wars credentials in the ability to cite obscure roleplaying game sources or tick off factoid minutiae. As the Sequel Trilogy gains a following, hopefully the ongoing change in the fandom will tamp down these kinds of “true fan” versus “fake fan” dynamics. It should help that fan fiction and cosplay – the art forms heavily populated by women – are gaining increasing recognition from the official brand side, but they still lag behind areas like fan films and fan art, where many more men than women have broken into getting official work for the franchise, such as Mobi’s maps in The Essential Atlas and the illustration teams for The Essential Guide to Warfare and The Essential Readers Companion.

Speaking of cosplay and fanart, although I’ve long had a soft spot for X-Wing pilot Jaina, the Disney acquisition has already generated some fun new takes on her character. Ellie Hall at Buzzfeed imagined Disney Princess versions of eight female Star Wars characters, inspiring Kay to make one of her own.

And speaking of Disney, tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern is the premiere of Sofia the First on the Disney Channel. Don’t miss Ashley Eckstein as the voice of Mia the bluebird. Also don’t forget that there’s only two days left in the sale on Her Universe products at Fab.

Ellie Hall's Disney Jaina
Kay's Disney Jaina


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 the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to

4 thoughts on “Fangirls Around the Web: November 18, 2012

  • November 18, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks for linking to the Wreck-It Ralph review. That was fantastic.

    • November 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      You’re welcome! Great read that article is.

  • November 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Interesting that you mentioned the EW article on Star Wars, because I picked up that issue today and was dismayed that the cover showed Han and Luke in cool action poses while Leia was simply standing there in the gold bikini. I made a couple posts about it on my tumblr here:

    While it’s awesome that Jaina and Mara got more than just a mention in the article, I have to say I was pretty disappointed by the fact that Leia continues to be defined by a skimpy outfit (that she wears for not even a third of a movie) instead of the numerous awesome character traits she possess.. Do you have any thoughts on this?

    • November 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      If you look at the Editor’s Notes they toyed with just using Slave Leia as the cover. It wouldn’t have flown well in today’s climate where women would speak out (and I think they knew that).

      Edit: Just checked out your Tumblr and you were on that point about the cover!

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