Ah to hell with the normal folks, geeks have their own gods and goddesses. There are a million memes running around the interwebs, but one of my favorites (with three girls and a niece) is the one about geek girls. Keep your super models and superfluous ditzes, we want the smart, strong women who not only “hold their own” against male counterparts, but are the backbones of the story. Keep your Bella Swans, Kardashians and Snookies. Give me more ladies like these:
Carrie Fisher. Ladies of a “certain age” will remember her as one of the first female role models. She didn’t necessarily need to be “rescued” by Luke and Han, because when it came down to it, she went toe to toe with the Darth one. A princess with a pistol – she didn’t just sit back and let the guys do all the work. And one of the first lines of sarcasm I can remember from a movie as a kid was “a little short for a stormtrooper, aren’t you?”
Lynda Carter: The original Wonder Woman. From the era as the ERA and women’s lib, Wonder Woman was a super hero with class and style. And for me it was that her “day job” was being in the USAF. She set the bar high for all super heroines to follow. An amazonian princess who put it all on the line for the good of humankind. What’s not to love.
Sarah Michelle Gellar & Eliza Dushku. The muses of the amazing Joss Whedon. Some dingbat asked Whedon why he continued writing strong female characters at the center of his series, and he replied “because you’re still asking me that question.” Buffy and Faith were slayers of evil – vampires, demons, you name it. The light and dark side of a profession where nobody really lived to see their early 20s.
Dushku went on to star in Dollhouse and other shows involving Whedon. It was only well after she was in Buffy, that I recognized Dushku as Arnold & Jamie Lee Curtis’ daughter in my favorite spy spoof – True Lies.
Speaking of the Whedonverse. Firefly. Yeah. You knew I’d get to that.
Gina Torres. As Zoe Washburn she played the straight-woman to Nathan Fillion’s comedic and chaotic Capt. Mal. Zoe took no shit, and kicked ass. Period. I don’t know that anyone could’ve done that role better than Torres.
Summer Glau. As River Tam, Summer Glau burst onto the scene a quiet, disturbed young lady. By the end of the series of Firefly and the Serenity film, you knew exactly why the government wanted to get their hands on her. And also, she can kill you with her brain. She went on to star in the Terminator: Sara Connor Chronicles.
Kate Mulgrew. Another classic of an older time, she was the first female captain to head a Star Trek series in Voyager. Lost in the middle of nowhere with no certain way of getting home, she went well beyond “where no man has gone before” and took no prisoners on her way back.
Emma Watson. Who taught my step-daughter’s generation it was more than ok to be smart first, then pretty. As Hermione Granger in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Emma epitomizes the average teenage girl. Smart, funny, insecure, growing into a brilliant leader.
Felicia Day. She’s not as well known yet outside of the realm of geeks, but somehow I get the feeling a) that doesn’t bother her and b) that’s going to change. As part of Dr. Horrible’s cast and creator of the World of Warcraft/MMORPG spoof “The Guild” web series, Day infuses wit and wisdom into her performances shedding light on what makes the geek world turn.
Karen Gillan. Donna, Rose, and Martha may have been companions for the modern Doctor, but none did it with as much sass as Amy Pond. Not only did she give as good as she got from Eleven, she gave birth to his wife, River Song. Who else could get away with calling the Doctor “you moron.”
Last but not least …
Jennifer Lawrence. When they remake Wonder Woman, I want Jennifer Lawrence to step into Lynda Carter’s red butt-kicking boots. She started her film acting career with an Oscar nod in Winter’s Bone. From there stepped into the blue skin of Rebecca Romain as an early Mystique. Most fans know her best as Katniss Everdeen of the Hunger Games series. I just can’t wait to see what she does next. She has no love for the paparazzi or the Hollywood game, and talks about being a real woman in real words.