The Big Bang Theory is currently the most popular TV show on Thursday nights—and it's the only sitcom that tosses Schrödinger’s Cat into casual conversation. During its seven seasons, the show has grown from revolving around the tired tribulations of geek boys trying to get laid into a genuinely funny sitcom that includes robust and original female characters.
Where will you not see much of Rogue this summer? In the new X-Men movie.
Every time I type “superheroine” into Microsoft Word, it’s underlined with a red squiggle to tell me that there’s no such term. “Superheroine” is as made-up a concept as “asdfjlad,” and the computer’s all-knowing dictionary adds insult to injury by asking whether I really mean to type “superhero.”
I was a feminist before I was a geek. Unfortunately, this summer's comic book blockbusters make it tricky to be both.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if the most popular sci-fi on television didn’t involve a ton of misogyny? And had real, complex female characters? I’m looking at you, The Walking Dead. You dropped the ball so early in your first season that it rolled down the hill and I forgot you had a ball in the first place.
Enter Orphan Black, the BBC drama starring Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany whose second season premieres April 19.
Two bearded ladies take a stroll at a Louisiana steampunk festival. Photo credit: infrogmation, via Creative Commons.
During the quarter century since novelist K.W. Jeter playfully invented the term “steampunk,” the neo-Victorian movement has grown into a full-blown literary genre and an energetic subculture. Steampunk is airships and corsets and bizarre glowing weapons. It’s gears and top hats and goggles and mechanical butlers. It’s no-nonsense pistol-toting female scientists and the oppressive cultural restraints that tries to shape them into proper ladies.
Everything has its season: ET had to go home, Sisko had to go be with the Prophets, Yoda had to become one with the force, Professer Xavier and Magneto had to go their separate ways, and so too this blog series has to come to an end.
I took your suggestions on your feminerd role models and tried to find instructions on making Miis for them for Nintendo Wii. There isn't enough space to give full instructions on Miis here, but I'll give you the list of the feminerd ones I did find on MiiCharacters, as well as a few I created, for which I've posted full instructions at my website.
Reading Benjamin Nugent's book American Nerd in preparation for writing this column I came across a reference to research by UC Santa Barbara linguistics professor Mary Bucholtz, which argues that nerd culture manifests "hyperwhiteness" in its language. Nugent didn't elaborate on this much in his book but he'd also written a review of her research for the New York Times, and I thought the whole idea of how nerd culture is racialized was really interesting…and pretty problematic.
It seems like recently women's underrepresentation in science and technology is finally being seen as a serious issue. It's a more and more frequent topic of conversation in the feminist blogosphere, and in last week's New York Times, four top women scientists discussed some of the barriers women face in pursuing a scientific career and how institutional commitment to increasing representation can have a big impact.