There are so many great discussions going on today for International Women’s Day, on Twitter (#internationalwomensday, #IWD), on Blogs (check out my friend Ashly’s & Janni’s), all over the Internet. I wish I had time for a more thought-out post, but this one will have to do!

I spent this past weekend in Seattle, at Emerald City Comicon*, so pop culture and science fiction are on the top of my mind today – although to be fair, it’s usually not far from the top.

I love science fiction for many reasons, but the main one is the stories it can tell. Science fiction isn’t bound by the regular rules of drama or comedy on television, though it can tell those stories too. What is unique about science fiction is its ability to separate the stories from their present context. It is a medium that allows exploration of important and timely topics through a lens that makes people think about issues in a different way than they may have when faced with it in the news.

One of the things I particularly love about this genre is the way that women can be presented, as warriors, as captains, as people of authority, as equals. I think of the women who write or help create brilliant science fiction (or science fiction adjacent stories) – Jane Espensen (Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Torchwood), Maurissa Tacheroen (Doctor Horrible, Dollhouse), Felicia Day (The Guild, DragonAge Redemption), Anne Cofell Saunders (Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Smallville), Carla Robinson (Battlestar Galactica).

And what the fans do with the material that has been created.

For the past 4 years I have attended the Can’t Stop The Serenity Screening, which is planned every year in Vancouver by the BC Browncoats (It’s a worldwide event: last year in 52 cities, across 5 countries). Every year they screen Joss Whedon’s film Serenity, and all proceeds go to the charity Equality Now. When I think of science fiction, I also think of Joss Whedon’s characters – Buffy, Willow, River, Zoe, Kaylee, Inara, Echo, Caroline, Adele DeWitt, and so many more – who break from the traditional female character role, and act like people, who have their own strengths (or super-strengths) and remind everyone around them that women can do anything. And I think of this video.

What do you think of when you think of International Women’s Day?

*I’m going to post about this soon!


7 thoughts on “International Women’s Day

  1. I completely and heartily agree about scifi being wonderful for the ability to look at the world and our many issues through a different lense. I love seeing strong women in scifi…and for some reason it happens more often in fantastical, fictional universes than in stories set right here at home.

    International Women’s Day. I know, thanks to the internet, but I feel like it’s getting press elsewhere (a girl I know in Uganda has the day off at her school so she and her classmates can learn about women’s issues), and not at home. I work with all women, everyday, and no one seems to be aware it’s even going on. This is tragic, but is a symptom of a larger problem of apathy in the American (and to some extent, the western world’s) culture.

    I think we like to pretend that there aren’t equality issues for women. I think as a culture, we like to forget that in some places in the world, being a woman places you in dangerous, damning situations on a daily basis. I know most of the people I’m around everyday, my coworkers, our clients, etc, don’t want to think about the human rights issues that are still very real. It’s something that has to change, and it’s something that I think it is valuable to continue discussing. I’m grateful for a day to kind of push it to the forefront.

    Keep being your amazing self. I look forward to your ECCC post!

    1. It’s such an important day, and I agree, mostly saw information about it online. Seems like something we should focus on offline as well!

  2. International Women’s Day passed me by in Bali! And I guess it was yesterday all over the world, now. It’s incredible that women’s issues are exposed and explored and extrapolated on the world over, but there are so many disheartening antifeminist events and ideas that keep being recycled. I hope that positive outcomes can arise from this day!

  3. Thanks for linking to my blog post about #IWD. I think this post about sci-fi is totally appropriate to the celebration of #IWD. Although I did not know the female writers behind the script I too remember feeling empowered from the witches on the show Charmed. They kicked ass and looked damned good doing it. I also loved the show Xena: Warrior Princess. Those were the women I rushed home to watch after school.

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