Every year on the much anticipated Saturday panels in Hall H between the giant panels of Warner Brothers, occasionally Legendary, Marvel there’s a short panel featuring Entertainment Weekly’s women who kick ass. This panel features women from current popular TV or movies and is supposed to represent strong women. I’m going to discuss the panel a bit but I’ll delve a bit more into “women who kick ass”.
In the past it was a panel that I honestly didn’t pay that much attention to. It was a food run or bathroom run panel. However, last year the particular women were truly inspiring, so much so that I was really looking forward to this year’s. The women in the panel this year were Morena Baccarin (Deadpool, Firefly), Melissa Benoist (Supergirl), Nathalie Emmanuel(game of throne, fast 7), Lucy Lawless(really? She’s fucking XENA! Ash vs Evil Dead) , Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman and Ming-Na Wen (Mulan, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Not only are these women beautiful, kick ass, and talented, they were also very eloquent. They had a way of expressing themselves that made you relate to them and their experiences even of I previously would never have been able to compare myself to them.
The usual was discussed in this panel such as “hardest role” “fighting in heels” and oddest fan encounters. Which for women always seem to be pretty sleezy. A man once requested used panties from Nathalie Emmanuel. Which got me thinking. I felt a slight shift this year. Women in geek culture haven’t always had it easy. Women characters being written still mainly by men and usually being scantily clad big boobied characters, or women being a plot device. I’ve had many discussions with my female friends about how if they express their love for something such as a comic character than some men request they prove their love for that character. I’ve worn a batman shirt and have had several guys ask me for different writers and artists in the past. Some men feel the need to make women prove their love for something, while if a guy were to wear a Batman shirt his fan level isn’t questioned. This year I still had a guy try to explain the different Xbox buttons to me for a game demo when I’m fairly certain I’ve been playing video games longer than he’s been alive.
That brings me to this year’s “shift”. There were so many kick ass women cosplayers. Yes there were a ton of Harley Quinns (shocker), but there were also a ton of Reys, Ghostbusters, Khaleesis, and a ton others. When I first started attending Comic Cons, women were wearing tiny revealing cosplay outfits, which is fine if that’s what they want to wear, the problem was that there weren’t very many options unless you were going for a gender bent costume. This year I realized that there are so many more options for female roles. Not necessarily “role models”, the bad guys aren’t role models, even if they are super cool, but role model or not, women are being represented more and I find that to be truly amazing, and there seems to be only more to come!