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!