Fangirls Around the Web: December 13, 2012

This week’s edition of Fangirls Around the Web kicks off with a pair of real-world media reports. CBS News shared a fascinating account about Elizabeth McIntosh, a female journalist at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. Her report, deemed too graphic and upsetting in its truthfulness, was never published at the time. Now, at age 97, McIntosh got to see the Washington Post publish it for the first time on December 7, 2012.

NBC News reported on Hillary Clinton’s remarks at Ireland’s Dublin City University. In particular, the Secretary of State emphasized the importance of human rights for women in male-dominated countries, and the many struggles still remaining for women’s and girls’ equality around the world.

In the U.S. entertainment industry, more positive steps are occurring all the time. In The Hollywood Reporter, Pamela McClintock’s article “How DreamWorks Animation Became One of Hollywood’s Most Female-Driven Studios” shares the great strides the company has made not only in creating a family-friendly work environment, but also in reaping its dividends – its upper managements is now mostly women. And the Daily Record reports that Brenda Chapman will be returning to DreamWorks in January, having completed her consulting work for Lucasfilm.

New York Times film critic A.O. Scott wrote an analysis of “Hollywood’s Year of Heroine Worship” in 2012, including not just The Hunger Games, Brave, and Snow White and the Huntsman, but other less-prominent films, as well. Here’s to hoping the trend continues in 2013 and beyond.

Last week’s episode of Fringe, a show with a good track record of strong female characters, introduced another fascinating one, a sort of “oracle” who moves Olivia along her path in the fight against the Observers. Jill Scott discusses how she tackled the role. (via

Stefanie Cohen’s article in The Wall Street Journal is called: “Why Women Writers Still Take Men’s Names.” Too many times over the past four or five years, we’ve seen the prevailing thinking debunked – whether that women won’t buy Star Wars clothes or a female action hero can’t carry a leading role. The Hunger Games was science fiction packaged as Young Adult. Harry Potter was packaged as fantasy. Having a man’s name on a romance novel, on any novel, never stopped me from picking it up; in fact, my absolute favorite romance novelist is a man. As labels become less restrictive and books aren’t discovered on shelves in the specific section of the store but rather on the virtual shelves of ebookstores, where they can appear under any number of genre, gender will matter less.

Last week Gail Simone posted on her Tumblr to reiterate that change takes time:

Dear, Gail do you think there will ever be a stand alone female superhero flick that doesn’t have the same problems like Catwoman?


Listen, that floodgate is open. The water is just a trickle now, but you can’t put that water back.

Each success with female leads knocks out a couple dinosaurs in comics, film, and television.

DO NOT EXPECT INSTANT RESULTS. That won’t happen. But Hunger Games, Buffy, these things DO make a difference.

Unfortunately, this week brought word that Gail had been fired by DC Comics as the writer of the New 52’s Batgirl. Bleeding Cool compiled some of the reaction from her comics industry peers. And I think Katrina Hill’s tweet sums up the reaction of many who took the plunge with the New 52.



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