There are a few thing I have been told or heard many times in my thus far short lifespan...
Girls don't like Sci-Fi.
Star Wars is for boys.
You like science fiction? Awesome!
And everytime I hear these I am reminded of the fact that I am percieved as being part of a female minority. I'm a geek. And proud to be one! I love Star Wars and Stargate. Farscape and Firefly. I can out-trivia most male friends on the finer points of certain movies *cough cough* Star Wars *cough cough*
What I don't love however is being told that I'm strange for liking these movies and TV shows and that I am a minority. I simply don't believe it!
I recently attended a sci-fi event in Sydney called Gate to the Sanctuary. The main drawcard was Amanda Tapping- better known as Samantha Carter on Stargate or more recently as Helen Magnus on Sanctuary on which she is also an executive producer. She is the most successful sci-fi actress around at the moment. She starred in all ten seasons of Stargate: SG-1 as well as appearing in a season of Stargate:Atlantis and now two full seasons of Sanctuary plus the third season which is currently airing. And she loves it. The talk she gave and the questions she answered were enlightening. I could tell she is a geek herself. But enough of who she is...
Despite the fact that the person I went to the event with was female, I thought that with Amanda Tapping as the drawcard that the majority of the audience would be male. Or a large portion of it at least. I know my brother loves her and I'm sure there are countless male Stargate fans out there who have had dreams of her, but this wasn't the case. The overwhelming majority of the audience was female! I loved it. To me it proved that females who do love science fiction ARE NOT a minority.
Then it made me think.
Why is it seemingly so hard to find females in everyday life who like sci-fi. What makes guys believe we are a minority. Is it that many females suppress this part of their personality because they believe it will make them unpopular? Do they do it so they won't get teased? It is well known that females can be the harshest critics of those around them, and often present a false facade to the world.
To me this is a shame.
The greatest example of this is a young girl in the US recently who became the focus of thousands of messages of support from fellow sci-fi fans both male and female. She was getting teased and bullied at school for carrying a Star Wars water bottle because it was for boys.
Why should we have to hide who we are. I have never felt the need to hide what I am. Maybe that's because I grew up in a family where we are who we are. In fact it was my father who got me into science fiction in the first place. As a kid growing up my sister had a stuffed Ewok toy which I always envied. I started reading Star Wars and other science fiction novels before I left primary school. I was borrowing them from the 'Adult Fiction' section of the library. My biggest gripe in highschool was the severe under-representation of science fiction amongst the novels in the school library. And I did my best to read all that I could find. I also managed to make friends with girls who love science fiction. Sure we'd gossip and talk about make-up and such, but we would also sit there and watch Stargate, Star Wars or Star Trek just because we could. Not to mention earning myself the nickname Darth Vader as a joke from a fellow student.
And then I went to Finland. And managed to addict one of my best friends from there to Farscape. She was already a sci-fi fan so it wasn't very hard but she sat there and lost sleep watching Farscape episodes online at 2am in the morning. Even yesterday I managed to get another friend to watch the first episode of Farscape and become a bit of a fan from that single episode.
I see no shame in showing what I am. If anything the moments I spend with my friends are made that much more entertaining in moments where we let loose on our inner geek and revel in jokes which to many would make no sense.
To me there is no shame in being female and a fan of sci-fi. To me the greatest shame is in those that feel like they should hide who they are, and what they are and present a false facade to the world.
To all the the ladies out there- Robyn, Shelann, Jemma, Joey, Priscilla, Sylvia, Sarah, Beth, Tiffany, Kailyn, Amy, Niamh, Sophie, Annette, Ashley, Courtney, Cassie and the dozens of others I know and haven't listed:
We are who we are chicas! Show it! Be proud! Scream it to the world!
WE ARE NOT A MINORITY.
WE ARE FEMALE AND WE ARE GEEKS!
~~ Random Logic ~~