This year has been filled with some highs and lows for feminist geeks everywhere, but as we enter into 2015, I would rather dwell on all the great feminist geek moments we got this year. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here is Lady Geek Girl’s Top Ten Feminist Geek moments of 2014!
1. Kamala Khan is Ms. Marvel
It seems strange to say that Kamala Khan was just introduced this year, but yes, it has only been a year, and Kamala has already won us over. The comics world is generally over-populated by white dudes, so adding a young Muslim girl to Marvel’s lineup was certainly an awesome move. There have been Muslim superheroes before in Marvel, but none who have had their own comic, and certainly none who have become as popular as Kamala has become. Kamala is relatable, interesting, and has led tons of new viewers to learn more about Islam and Kamala’s Pakistani heritage.
2. Korrasami becomes canon
While we’ve followed Korra and Asami Sato’s relationship with interest throughout all four Books of the Legend of Korra series, we never expected anything more than a platonic relationship from it. After all, it was exciting enough to see two women of color in a close friendship on TV—especially in spite of the fact that they’d both dated the same guy earlier in the show. It was with shock and glee that we watched the romantic framing of their relationship in the series finale. After a few days of the internet yelling about just how queer that ending was, creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante Dimartino confirmed: the ending was intentionally romantic and the Korrasami pairing was indeed canon. There was much rejoicing.
3. Wonder Woman movie was announced
After what feels like a ton of Batman and Superman films, DC Comics finally announced that we will be getting a Wonder Woman movie! They had announced earlier that Wonder Woman would be featured in the new Batman vs. Superman movie, which was nice and all, but hardly ideal. That was, until DC Comics finally announced that the famed super heroine would be receiving her own movie in 2017. Considering that Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most important female characters in comic books, it is certainly big news that she is finally getting her own movie.
4. Marvel and DC Comics movie lineups have a surprising amount of representation
This year both Marvel and DC decided it was time to diversify their movie lineups. Marvel announced that we would be getting both a Captain Marvel film, with Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel, and a Black Panther film. DC Comics announced that they would be casting Ezra Miller, a Jewish actor who also identifies as queer, as the Flash. DC also stated that they will be releasing a Cyborg movie with Ray Fisher starring as Cyborg, as well as casting several actors of color in typically white roles. Jason Momoa will be starring as Aquaman, and Dwayne Johnson will be playing Black Adam in the Shazam movie. All in all, these movie announcements have us looking forward to more exciting comic book movies.
5. Spider-Gwen gets her own comic, Silk is introduced as a character, and Spider Woman gets a costume redesign
2014 in a lot of ways seemed to be the year of the spider-women! In Marvel’s Earth-65 we saw Gwen Stacy become Spider-Woman after being bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker. The fact that she is also a part of a band led by Mary Jane Watson is just icing on the already delicious cake. This year also saw the introduction of Silk, a Asian-American woman, who was bitten by the same spider as Peter Parker. Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman, was often the victim of skintight, objectifying costumes, and even worse poses. But just recently Spider-Woman received a redesign that finally looks like actual clothes any superhero might wear. And finally Jessica Drew has an outfit that the Hawkeye Initiative won’t have to parody.
6. A new female Thor was introduced and Sam Wilson is the new Captain America
Marvel Comics delivered some great representation this year, but none greater than diversifying two of their biggest heroes, Thor and Captain America. Our original Thor lost his powers when he was found no longer worthy to wield his hammer, leaving the position of God of Thunder open for the taking. We were more than a little excited to discover that the title of Thor was claimed by a woman. On top of this, after Steve Rogers had the super soldier serum ripped out of him (causing him to lose all his powers) it was clear a new hero would have to claim the mantle of Captain America, and we were excited for that to be Sam Wilson, the first African-American superhero. Especially now, in America’s racially charged climate, it was awesome to see Sam Wilson as the symbol of freedom. It doesn’t seem like these two heroes will be rebooting to their white male counterparts anytime soon, so we are excited to see how the characters continue to develop.
7. Never Alone was released
In the game Never Alone, also known as Kisima Inŋitchuŋa, you play as a young girl, Nuna, of the Iñupiat (an Alaskan native people). Together with her pet arctic fox, you solve puzzles as you navigate a story based on Alaskan indigenous tales. The game was made by Upper One Games in conjunction with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, a non-profit organization that works with indigenous groups living in Alaska’s urban areas. So thankfully this game is not white people attempting to talk about how they view indigenous people, but actual indigenous people using video games to teach about their culture and their stories. On top of this, having a Iñupiat girl as the main character is especially important to provide representation to a group that usually doesn’t get any.
8. Sailor Moon Crystal is released on Hulu, along with the unedited original anime
Sailor Moon fans rejoiced this year as not only was the original Sailor Moon anime released uncensored and for free on Hulu, but a new Sailor Moon reboot was also made available. Some of you may not like that I’m putting Sailor Moon Crystal on here due to the fact there has been some complaints about the art and even the development of the relationships between the characters. But honestly I have really enjoyed the show thus far and it has remained pretty true to the manga I love. And even if there are a few issues, it is always great to have more female heroes and female-centric stories. Your mileage may vary, but at least the new anime’s theme song is filled with awesome feminist themes.
9.Anita Sarkeesian talks feminism in gaming on The Colbert Report
Now the uglieness of Gamergate was in no way a feminist moment, but seeing the likes of Zoe Quinn, Briana Wu, Randi Harper, and Anita Sarkeesian take a stand on how women in gaming are treated was definitely a great feminist moment. The death knell for Gamergaters was truly struck when Anita Sarkeesian was interviewed on The Colbert Report.
10. Quvenzhané Wallis plays Annie
In 2011 it was announced that the musical Annie was being remade. This year that movie was finally released and we rejoiced that this modern remake of Annie gained more representation by casting Quvenzhané Wallis in the starring role of Annie, and Jamie Foxx as William Stacks. This diverse casting and modern remake of Annie was just what our musical-loving feminist hearts needed this holiday season.
Do you agree with my list? What are some of your favorite geeky feminist moments of 2014? Let me know in the comments!
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1, 2, 5, 6 and 10 most definitely, definitely, definitely. I only hope that entertainment in 2015 will up its game in representation!
How the Annie thing in any way specifically Feminist? It’s good but diversity wise, but the gender dynamics are nos significantly different then the Annie story always was.
I think Attack on Titan deserves more attention for having a truly gender neutral military. And Mikasa being awesome. What’s problem about the Anime can be very troubling, but ti’s not Gender related. It also has a canonically Lesbian couple and a gender ambitious character.