I grew up loving sci-fi and superheroes. For the longest time I didn’t know those were things that girls weren’t supposed to like. My mom was also a huge sci-fi fan and she introduced me to Star Trek and gave me plenty of short science fiction stories to read. I remember always being drawn to things that featured aliens, space, or pretty much anything with a supernatural bent.
It wasn’t until I reached my preteen years (now known as “tween”) that I discovered those things were usually associated with boys – at least during my Gen-X upbringing.
Upon attending Emerald City Comicon this year I’ve discovered that the tide is turning. When I attended the show in 2013 a co-worked asked me if it was almost all guys in attendance. No, it wasn’t and the female population at the con only seems to be growing.
What impressed me most was the comfort level younger girls seem to have in expressing their sci-fi fandom. Why is this important? Because being interested in such subject leads people to become interested in science, engineering, writing, and other such professions that girls are often discouraged from – or maybe feel like those professions are not for them. I took electronics in high school and I was the only girl in the class! I hope things have changed since then.
There were plenty of female panelists, also embracing their geek side, at the con. It was pretty cool to see Hayley Atwell talk about her role as Agent Carter in Captain America and the show based on the character. Also in attendance was Marina Sirtis of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alex Kingston of Doctor Who, Julie Benz and Charisma Carpenter of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Jewel Staite and Gina Torres of Firefly, Amanda Tapping of Stargate and Supernatural, and Clare Kramer also of Buffy served as a moderator.
I love the diversity you can find at Comicon. Science fiction has always been a hallmark of acceptance and women are of course a part of that. With diversity comes new ideas that will keep the sci-fi, fantasy, and comic book genres going strong.
You can find more of my coverage of Emerald City Comicon at CinemaLowdown.com
Photo credit: Sherry Lipp