Surprise! Girls Have Always Been Nerds
In other news, water is also wet.
But apparently J.J. Abrams, director of the upcoming Star Wars movie (and the rebooted Star Trek franchise) didn't get the memo. On Good Morning America last week, he gave this well-meaning but kind of oblivious endorsement of the movie: “Star Wars was always about, you know...it was always a boy’s thing, and a movie that dads take their sons to. And though that’s still very much the case, I was really hoping that this could be a movie that mothers can take their daughters to as well. So I’m looking forward to kids seeing this movie and to seeing themselves in it, and seeing that they’re capable of doing what they could never imagine was possible.” *Sigh*
Definitely well-meaning. And I'm completely excited about the emphasis on female roles, from what I've seen so far it looks like a definite improvement. But the truth is that despite the somewhat alienating failures of the original trilogy, female fans have been here all along. It's not like we're quit either! Who do you think was discussing the infamous slave Leia bikini scene? A random bunch of women who had never seen the films? Who do you think has been showing up to conventions, reading the books, and watching the movies over and over and over again?
I appreciate what he's trying to do. But it feels a little weird that he's talking about appealing to women when he doesn't seem to know anything about the female fans that are already here.
Female fans exist! They like nerdy stuff! They always have! This is just... tiring.
I don't really have anything against J.J. Abrams for this (though I have a few bones to pick with him over the Star Trek reboot). He's unfortunately just one of many people in the industry that seems convinced women do not and have never cared for anything that has to do with geek culture. They couldn't be more wrong. The science fiction genre was INVENTED by a woman (Mary Shelly's Frankenstein to be precise). In the early days of Marvel and DC, comics were most likely more popular among girls than boys. When Stark Trek was about to be cancelled, female fans were the ones leading the first letter writing campaign of its time to bring the show back for a third season.
tl;dr We're here. We have ALWAYS been here.
And Hollywood would know that if they'd start listening.