I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy probably more than the next person. But as a girl, I'm finding it hard to watch anything without looking at a damsel in distress or someone who dresses in next to nothing and makes the average female look obese. Or who doesn't have a romantic interest.
Let me state a few things about myself:
001: I have no interest in boys.
002: I'm fairly lean, but am I stick thin? No.
003: As much as I love fashion, most of my wardrobe consists of jeans and tee shirts with the Batman logo or the words Star Wars on them in some way.
And I presume that it's like that for many women and girls who are not afraid to let their geekiness be known, to live outside the box. Who'd just as soon throw on some lipstick and heels with their Empire Strikes back tee than wear a mico-mini. But what does the media give us?
Piles of fluffy romantic crap and Victoria's Secret fashion shows- IN SPACE!!!!!!
Of course, there are exceptions. Characters like Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Avatar Korra (The Legend of Korra) and Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) are showing people that it's perfectly normal for women in Sci-Fi and Fantasy to be awesome, if not beyond awesome.
We still have a long way to go, though. The images of Leia cowering with her blaster behind Luke and laying half-naked among Jabba's voluminous rolls of fat will be branded deep into our culture for generations.
And then we have another issue: the absence of women of color and other races in these (and most other) genres.
In fact, the closest thing I can find to a colored character in a major role in a major franchise in Sci-Fi/Fantasy is Ahsoka Tano- and she's orange, people. There's also Luminara Unduli, whose features are similar to those of many African-Americans- oh, wait. She's green. The exact same color as the avocado mask I spread on my face once a month.
So, I ask you, aspiring authors, game creators, script writers- are you willing to write and design up to the challenge? Or will you continue to cater to the norm?