Posted by: kshayes513 | July 6, 2016

Destroying Outdated Female Stereotypes in SF

While following a Facebook thread on women in Hollywood, I came across this excellent post on the blog Black Girl Nerds. In it, guest blogger Jahkotta Lewis talks about the evolution of women in screen SF and gives a great list of her favorite badass SF females. Here’s a taste:

I grew up watching television in the 80s, an era that portrayed women on the big screen as damsels in distress, sexy vamps, or alpha bitches that needed a good screw to chill them out. Women weren’t showcased for their brains, but were glorified for their bodies or their ability to elevate their male counterparts to stardom…

In the last few decades, there’ve been significant improvements in the portrayal of women on the silver screen. Shows like How to Get Away With Murder, Eureka, and Jessica Jones paint us as complicated, intelligent characters with narratives that are so enriching that they’ve basically helped coin the phrase, “Netflix and chill.”
We still have a long way to go in terms of providing empowered characters that don’t depend on their sexuality to have value and who can function on a level that isn’t peripheral.

Read the rest here:

And in case you need a refresher on the overall problem of “strong female characters” on screen, including the industry context, here’s a 4 minute video summary by vlogger Justin Dennis on Everyday Feminism, that’s one of my favorite short statements on the topic:

If you’ve read good stuff recently on the evolution of female characters in SF/F, please share a link in the comments.


  1. Unfortunately, we can see in the present election cycle that many of these stereotypes are still current. Keep up the good work, Karen!

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