I owe a LOT to geekdom. (And probably even more to dorkdom. Dorkdom is a thing, right?)
From a really early age, I was drawn most forcefully to traditional geek territory in TV and film. Supernatural, sci fi, fantasy, superheroes…you name it, I loved it.
Beyond the inherent excitement and awesomeness of these genres, they introduced me to the concept of what a strong woman can and should be. Being a geek taught me how to be a feminist. I sure as shit wasn’t getting that from Disney movies at the time. Or on “The Love Boat.” Forget “Gilligan’s Island.” Don’t get me wrong – I loved “Gilligan’s Island,” but I didn’t grow up wanting to be Ginger OR Mary Anne.
I wanted to be Princess Leia. And then I really, really wanted to be Ripley.
It’s funny how your subconscious can be so far ahead of the game in grasping WHAT you like long before you understand WHY you like it, and what it means to you. That’s why you have to trust your gut. Even about seemingly stupid shit.
I discovered the meaning of the word “feminist” long before my adoptive mother did. I actually had to explain the meaning of the word to her. She never did warm up to the word, or the movement behind it, so I had to find my own way. And I did – through TV and movies.
Here’s a chronological timeline of – and more importantly, an homage to – the women who taught me everything I know about being a bad-ass:
“Wonder Woman” (1975) :
I don’t need to explain the awesomeness of Wonder Woman to you, right? Amazonian superhero. Period.
Princess Leia from “Star Wars” (1977):
I grew up in a small, backwards, redneck cowboy town in Arizona. You think Arizona is backwards NOW?!? Try small-town Arizona circa the 70s. Who wouldn’t want to escape to a galaxy far, far away?!? Back on earth, I was mercilessly mocked and isolated for loving “Star Wars” with every fiber of my being. Sure, as an adult, I now think the Princess Leia character had some shortcomings from a feminist perspective. But girlfriend knew how to work a blaster (get your mind outta the gutter – that is NOT a euphemism) and toast some storm troopers with it, which is way more than I can say for ANY of the Disney princesses of the time.
Ripley from the “Alien” (1979) franchise:
Ripley rocked my world in a way I hadn’t fully come to terms with until recently. Ripley is everything. Ripley is my religion, my true north and my soul mother. And that’s just for starters.
Medusa from “Clash of the Titans” (1981):
Medusa was always my go-to mythological favorite. Of course I was introduced to Medusa in schoolbooks first, by way of Edith Hamilton. But there’s nothing like a Harryhausen visual…..
…..to imprint stuff on your psyche in a more…erm…..colorful way.
And no, my young mind wasn’t thinking at the time, “God, she’s the perfect metaphor for how patriarchal society demonizes powerful women!” I just loved the idea of a bitch with snakes for hair who could turn men to STONE. But fast forward a few decades later, and….well, I still love the idea of a bitch with snakes for hair who can turn men to stone. Why? Because she IS the perfect metaphor for men’s fear of powerful women, it turns out.
But enough of the stroll down memory lane.
I have a deep, abiding and soul-defining love for these genres, and the women in them. They raised me to be the strong woman I am now. To this day, I can’t imagine making time to watch “Real Housewives of ANYWHERE” – whose identities are largely forged through the achievements of their husbands and children – when I could be (and am) watching THE MOTHER OF DRAGONS instead.
So “Molls & Trolls” brings together a lot (albeit not exclusively) of what I love best: strong broads in their natural element. You know, amongst wookies and orcs and aliens and vampires and dragons and whatnot. Because a woman’s true place is in space. And in Sunnydale. And Westeros. And in the middle of the apocalypse. And so on. At least until things get waaaaaaay better for women here on this old, boring, non-fictional version of Earth…….
Yours in dorkdom,