Friday, February 21, 2014

I Am Zoë

I blogged earlier this year about how great it made me feel that my daughter has literally hundreds of age-appropriate fantasy books with female main characters to choose from. I notice this because when I was growing up all the books I liked, the fantasy books, had male main characters.

I ran across another “How great is this?” moment this morning.

I got online to find a male college friend had just taken the “Which Joss Whedon Heroine Are You?” quiz on Buzz Feed. Another male friend of his had commented on it, giving his results. My mind exploded with the amazing awesomeness this reveals!

First of all, I have my priorities straight. I took the quiz and got Zoë from Firefly, which would be enough to make my day anyway.

Then I got to thinking. I love Joss Whedon’s work for so many reasons. He writes stories I love. He has a freakin’ fantastic sense of humor. He works with people I love to watch. His characters are interesting men and women, all the time. So I never really thought about how many there were of each. When I started counting up the characters who could be considered heroines in his four tv shows, two of which only lasted a season (shame on you, modern tv networks!), I quickly ran out of fingers. WOW.

So that was cool.

Then there was the whole reverse Bechdel test aspect of my experience. I found the quiz because I read two men’s posts about which kick-butt, named female character they’d like to BE.

This boggles my mind. I spent my childhood wishing to be a boy so I could do all the things that I dreamed of doing. And, yes, in the seventies it was possible for girls to be astronauts and doctors and junk like that. But I wanted to be chosen, to be special, to be “the one” to ride a magic steed and have a Power and save the world. And boys were still doing all that in the books I read.

So on behalf of all the girls like me, the girls who tried to shop for books at odd hours so they wouldn’t very visibly be the only girl in the scifi/fantasy section, thank you. Thank you, Joss Whedon and thank you, enlightened male friends.

I enjoyed that moment. And I am Zoë!

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