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.
Earlier this year the New York Times sparked a debate when they reported on the underrepresentation of women among editors on Wikipedia: "the free site that anyone can edit". The Times reported that just 15% of Wikipedia editors are women. The gap caused the Wikimedia Foundation to aim to raise that number to 25% by 2015, a worthy if unambitious goal.
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.
If there's one show I watched as a kid (other than Star Trek) that made me the nerd I am today, that show was The Magic School Bus, with its accompanying series of books. In MSB, Ms. Frizzle's class was a utopia where learning was literally a magical experience. Starting on PBS, it has also had stints of syndication on NBC, Qubo, TLC, and The Discovery Channel, making it the longest-running children's science show to date.
Vancouver artists Jen Crothers and Kona have created a delightfully nerdy project to raise awareness of queer language and its evolution, and to raise money for the local organization Out in Schools, which educates young people about homophobia and bullying. It's called the Queeriodic Table, and it's going places.
I enjoyed most of X-Men: First Class. The acting, special effects, and writing were excellent, except possibly the two times Xavier tries to hit on women in bars by saying they have "groovy mutation[s]".
But then again, the whole movie had a cheesy retro vibe to it, with its Cold War setting and costumes (turtlenecks for the men, not much clothing at all for the women) giving it the feel of a cross between X-Men and a Connery-era Bond movie.
To five-year-old me, Counsellor Troi was more appealing than Disney princesses: beautiful and serene and intuitive, but also she got to go on cool missions and sit on the bridge of the Enterprise and tell the Captain the truth about his own motivations. Troi was the first action figure in my Trek collection, and when I started reading Star Trek novels in grade 6, I always went for the ones featuring her.
So as an adult feminist re-watching TNG and reflecting, I feel the need to complain about how Troi was treated, particularly around the instances when Troi was psychically raped.