ishtar79: (bsg:propaganda)
Due to technical difficulties yesterday, I'm doing the last two days in one post.

Day Twenty-Nine: A female-centric fic rec:

In Loco Parentis by [personal profile] dolores_crane Snape/Harry Harry/Hermione

Do not be fooled by the pairings listed: this is a Hermione story, first and foremost. The Hermione in this story is complex, well-written and very close to the one in my head, which is a bit ironic in a story featuring a slash pairing, since all too often, female characters in slash tend to be completely written out or vilified.

This story touches on so many themes most fic tends to leave unexplored-politics, how inherently fucked-up certain aspects of wizarding society are, and abortion rights. And while Snape and Harry undoubtedly play a crucial role, they never overpower Hermione's story, and her personal journey. Bonus points for interactions between women, especially Hermione and a wonderfully fleshed-out Hestia Jones.

Day Thirty: Whatever you'd like! Rather than come up with a new “favorite” category, I'd like to include some of the wonderful female characters I would have liked to make entries for, but that the limited space in the meme meant I had to skip:

And there are quite a few )

Days 1-30 )

Well, this was beyond fun. While posting this meme I had to contend with two deadlines and painters around the house, proof positive that I definitely can find more time for posting than I usually do!
ishtar79: (Default)
Due to technical difficulties yesterday, I'm doing the last two days in one post.

Day Twenty-Nine: A female-centric fic rec:

In Loco Parentis by [personal profile] dolores_crane Snape/Harry Harry/Hermione

Do not be fooled by the pairings listed: this is a Hermione story, first and foremost. The Hermione in this story is complex, well-written and very close to the one in my head, which is a bit ironic in a story featuring a slash pairing, since all too often, female characters in slash tend to be completely written out or vilified.

This story touches on so many themes most fic tends to leave unexplored-politics, how inherently fucked-up certain aspects of wizarding society are, and abortion rights. And while Snape and Harry undoubtedly play a crucial role, they never overpower Hermione's story, and her personal journey. Bonus points for interactions between women, especially Hermione and a wonderfully fleshed-out Hestia Jones.

Day Thirty: Whatever you'd like! Rather than come up with a new “favorite” category, I'd like to include some of the wonderful female characters I would have liked to make entries for, but that the limited space in the meme meant I had to skip:

And there are quite a few )

Days 1-30 )

Well, this was beyond fun. While posting this meme I had to contend with two deadlines and painters around the house, proof positive that I definitely can find more time for posting than I usually do!
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Day Twenty-Eight: Favorite female writer (television, books, movies, etc.): Val McDermid

I'm embarrassed to say it took me ages to figure out the answer to this one, and it wasn't because there were that many candidates to chose from. It's not that I haven't read female writers I liked-it just tended to be only one or two books from them, which is not enough for me to come to a decision. Also, I hesitated before choosing McDermid, because she's a crime/thriller writer. It's funny, because I wouldn't blink twice before putting in a sci-fi or comic writer, and there's nothing that makes one genre inherently better than the other (fandom preferences are not an objective indication of quality-look at some of the TV shows we love!).

I discovered her works years ago through her book Blue Genes, a part of the Kate Brannigan series. I liked the character of Kate Brannigan (a non-nonsense, kickass Scottish PI), and like McDermid crisp and direct writing style, her ability to generate suspense and tension and her masterfully crafted plots. I purchased the rest of that series and moved on to her standalones (I still haven't gotten around to reading her most prolific books featuring Tony Hill). Whenever I feel like buying a new book but don't want to risk ending up with a dud, I inevitably go for her-I've enjoyed all the ones I liked without fail (though obviously, some more than others).

Days 1-30 )
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Day Twenty-Seven: A female character you have extensive personal canon for: Martha Jones




I don't write fic to have a personal canon in that sense, but if we're talking about the character I enjoy reading the most about outside of their canon timeline and have adopted some of the developed fanon about them as truth, then it's definitely Martha. I think a lot of it is feeling deeply unsatisfied with how her arc was handled and desperately need to read her from the POV who isn't writing her every scene with a Rose boner. Also, you just know there were a lot of interesting stories in that “stuck in the 60s” story that never made it on screen.

Clearly, Martha deserved so much better than the treatment she got (from the Doctor, the show, take your pick) and the appearances and cameos were not sufficient appeasement to me. I liked her working for UNIT, but clearly she wasn't very happy with them by the end, so there's the question of where she goes next. And for all the WTFness of the surprise!Martha/Mickey, I can actually deal (hey, they looked wicked hot in their combat gear), but I'd love to read how it came to be. In my mind, I'm imagining an epic story where Martha decides to go solo on the alien sleuthing, and somewhere along the road runs into Donna and starts looking for a way to help her and man, talk about a candidate for the “female characters screwed over by canon” slot.(as long as that solution doesn't involve Jack because, um, no).

Days 1-30 )
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Day Twenty-Six: Favorite classical female character (from pre-20th century literature or mythology or the like): Athena




So I went way pre-20th century, but I can't help it: I was the biggest Athena fangirl as a kid. My sympathies with heroes in the various myths tended to be with whoever had Athena's favour.

There are actually a lot of interesting characters from Greek mythology I could have chosen (I don't know where to begin for my love for the Amazons), but Athena remains the original BAMF. I love that she was the goddess of wisdom but at the same time she was the person who Zeus would sic on Ares (the God of freakin WAR) whenever he got out of hand. Basically, she was a nerd who kicked ass. And yes, she's been shady, petty and randomly vengeful at times, but that was just how the Olympians rolled. I'm still in love with the story of her birth and how Zeus was terrified of her before she was born (back when he thought she would be a he. Also-CANON MPREG. Oh, Greek Myth, how you always bring the lulz). But my favourite Athena moment remains how she managed to claim the city of Athens from right under Poseidon's nose-Athena was the goddess who Got Shit Done, damn it!

Days 1-30 )
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Day Twenty-Five: Favorite mother/daughter and/or sister relationship: Buffy and Dawn




It shouldn't have worked. The character of Dawn was retconned into the narrative in the most literal way, and accepting the “monks rewrote history” within the story was challenge enough: making the character's sudden ties to the regulars believable was another thing entirely. And yet, somehow they managed to sell it. I could see Dawn's being Buffy's sister, from all the annoying displays of little sister behavior to the desperate need for approval underneath. And yes, there's the whole “Key to the universe” plot point and the constant peril it put Dawn in, but even after she found that out, Buffy didn't protect the key-she protected her little sister (after she was done with the -completely justifiable- freakout).

As epic as the whole storyline that culminated in The Gift was, my favorite part of this relationship is not about Buffy making the ultimate sacrifice (although I found that she put her sister over the world interesting-it's not the traditional hero stance, but it felt more realistic to where Buffy was at that point). It's the little moments, like the mutual snark, Buffy's clumsy attempts at acting as the parent after Joyce's death, Dawn's grief at her sister's loss, Dawn's helplessness at not getting through to her sister in S6, and in later seasons, how they started interacting on a more equal level. And as great as Buffy protecting Dawn promising Spike he would wake up on fire if her hurt Buffy again still wins all the badassery awards.

Days 1-30 )
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Day Twenty-Four: Favorite female romantic relationship: Willow/Tara




Because of the way it ended, it's sometimes easy to forget why I loved that relationship in the first place. Yes, the dynamic was certainly abusive by S6 and it ended in sheer tragedy, but that's just Joss not allowing any couple to have lasting happiness ever. But bitter aftertaste and sadness at Tara's end aside, I was beyond impressed in some aspects by how the whole relationship was handled. If other shows decided to have a major character discover they were gay, it would have been a Very Special Episode. Instead, what we got was a lovely, organic, convincing story where the shift in the dynamic from the two of them tentatively connecting over magic to the point where Willow chose Tara over Oz (and in a love triangle plot where all three parties came off as sympathetic) was so gradual, the audience was as caught by surprise as the characters were (including, it should be said, Willow herself).

For me, the best parts of the relationship was the growth both characters experienced through it, Tara in particular going from the extremely shy, stuttering girl of S4 to (and as much as I hated Willow's storyline in S6, Tara's character rocked. Until...well, you know) to someone who's strong enough to stand up to her abusive family, refuse to betray her friends even while tortured by a hellgod, and ultimately find the strength to leave that very relationship when it goes bad. And while I think the dark Willow storyline was poorly executed, I still get shivers were she went Dark Phoenix on Glory after Tara was brainsucked. And yay for a f/f relationship on TV that wasn't at all male gazey! I actually think Amber Benson is cute as hell, but she's hardly Hollywood's idea of 'hot' (and for some reason seemed to have pissed off the wardrobe people, given the unflattering garb they put her in), and I never got the impression a scene with them was there for titillation (except that bit from Xander's dream in restless, which is totally IC and hilarious. And hot).

Days 1-30 )
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Day Twenty-Three: Favorite female platonic relationship: Kahlan and Kara




Ok, so “platonic” might be stretching it a little bit as I chose to read Kara as desperately in love with Kahlan, but nothing ever happened in canon.

Legend of the Seeker was a show that I enjoyed primarily for the pretty settings and pretty people, but that always failed to engage me. I thought Kahlan had potential, but since I had zero interest in her doomed love with Richard, it was hard to get emotionally invested in anything. Kara grabbed me from her first appearance, though was worried when they brought into the main cast, since it looked they would be heading towards a classic love triangle scenario. I've never been more glad to be wrong. For all her “Yay, Lord Rahl” Richard cheerleading, the person Kara is most deeply focused in is Kahlan. They certainly didn't get off on the right foot, what with Kara having murdered Kahlan's sister and the Mord Sith and Confessors being mortal enemies (and how much did I love that detail), but watching their interaction has been the high point of the show for me. Kahlan was infinitely more interesting and in touch of her darker side around Kara, and Kara allowed cracks of vulnerability show through the Mord Sith conditioning around Kahlan. And of course they were amazing once they got to the point of being friends (or, you know, “friends”), fighting together like a well-choreographed killing machine, saving Richard's ass on multiple occasions and the amazing Pain Dildo Healing Scene (seriously, that show's imagery is as filthy as you get without filming porn).


Days 1-30 )
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Day Twenty-Two: Favorite female character you love but everyone else hates: Seven Of Nine




That's a tricky question to answer, I can't think of a character that everybody hates (unless it's, like, Umbridge, but I count myself among everybody). There are characters that are unfairly bashed by canon (Amy from DW, Gwen from TW, any female character that gets in the way of the Holy Slash), but even the more unpopular characters have their share of fans.

Anyway, I picked Seven because I've seen a generally negative attitude towards her from Trek fans, while I think she's simply awesomecakes. The two main complaints I keep running into is that she was a blatant example of fanservice and that she became so central to the show her storylines erased everybody else's. And those criticisms are not exactly wrong. Clearly the corseted catsuit and stiletto heels had more to do with showcasing that Jeri Ryan is a stone cold fox than being a case of Borg sartorial efficiency-I actually laughed the first time I saw her de-Borgified enssemble (though it amuses me than the Doctor is the one who canonically designed it, which is pretty IC for his pervy holographic self). And I did miss seing more of some of the other characters (though really, less screentime for Neelix and Chakotay was a good thing, people!).

However, despite the validity of those issues, it doesn't change the fact that Seven is an awesome character. Her status as a seemingly emotionless outsider and frequent confusion at some of the crew's more human motivations (even as she's attempting to find that humanity within herself) continues a proud Trek tradition of characters like Spock, Data and Odo, and I found the Borg perspective in combination with autonomy and free will much more compelling than their usual “We are the Borg, you will be assimilated.” catchphrase. And finally, finally someone was there who could challenge Janeway without the restriction of respect for the command chain (Tuvok) or being a big dull ball of suck (Chakotay). Their dynamic was why I tuned in every week (though I also enjoyed Seven in those rarer Tuvok or B'Elanna interactions, obviously for different reasons).

And Jeri Ryan may look like every fanboy's wet dream, but the woman can act. While I loved her character, the writing was as uneven as the rest of Voyager (seriously, I love it, but it's not what one might call good), but her performance could salvage even the most cracktastic script. And beyond the high drama and general Borg aloofness thing, she could pull of comedy beautifully. Just check out the episode where she keeps getting possessed by the spirits of assimilated individuals (oh, Voyager!). Her turn as a Vulcan was brilliant and spot-on, but her as a Ferenghi had me in stiches.

For the sake of my sanity, I'm pretending her storyline in the finale didn't happen, la-la-la. Seriously, Voyager writers, if you had to go for the wish-fulfillment of having the hottest woman in the cast end up with a middle-aged guy, at least you could have gone with the Doctor (yes, I shipped them, cheesy opera duets and all).

Days 1-30 )
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Day Twenty-One: Favorite female character screwed over by canon: Cordelia Chase



There was a depressingly high number of contenders for this spot (“the entire female cast of BSG” was but one of the possible answers), but I decided to interpret “screwed over” on both an intratextual and extratextual level. Because the writers had so thoroughly destroyed every single thing that made the character who she was, that by the time she came to her unpleasant end, it was an actual relief to see her written out of the show.

It's especially sad because of the squandered potential. Now, I loved Cordelia as far back as her relatively simplistic Queen C BtVS season 1 personna. I know a lot of people in fandom have issues with the Mean Girl-ness of her, but honestly, even her cruelest put-downs were thoroughly enjoyable to me because of the wittiness and delivery (and even back then, there were hints she was more than the typical Popular Girl-it was S1 Cordelia who drove her car into Sunnydale High, in her own crazy Grandtheft Auto With Demons game). As fond as I am of the Scooby Gang Dynamic, there was something refreshing about a character who refused to be drawn into their Buffy-centric worldview, and who dealt with Apocalypses and things that go bump in the night with the same casual annoyance that she displayed for a bad fashion choice. The scene that epitomizes high school Cordelia for me is in the aftermath of the Slayerfest misunderstanding, where Cordelia faces off with the cowboy vampire in the library. Alone and without the ghost of a chance in a physical fight, Cordelia manages to scare off that vampire by not only convincing him she is a Slayer, but that she is the alpha Slayer that he would be a fool to even consider trifling with.

As fun and infinitely quotable as Sunnydale!Cordelia was, I didn't fall in love with the character until her move to Angel. The first two seasons of the show did amazing things with the character, tempering her unshakable confidence with a cynical world-weariness, giving her both a burden and a purpose in her dedication to help the helpless (more so once she got the visions) and for the first time having her build really meaningful and deep relationships with the rest of the cast. Her growth was an organic extension of the character's potential.

Until it wasn't. I think where things went wrong is that the writers started writing her not as person, but rather as some ideal that Angel strove towards, and reduced all her story and motivation to supporting Angel, helping Angel along his journey, and loving Angel. Ironically, I shipped them pretty hard in the first two seasons, until they decided to turn her into a cipher, and then every shippy scene and references to “champion” produced much groaning and eye-rolling. It especially bugged because of the nasty subtext that all those inexplicable changes were part of somehow making Cordelia "worthy" of Angel, which, excuse me while I go get my vomit bucket. I do think Charisma realised how made of crack her storylines were (the pseudo-familial scenes with baby Connor, the sexing of teenage Connor, the freaking Saintification and the Beast clusterfuck, UGH!), because she seemed to be operating on autopilot for the last seasons, and all the spark and joy was sucked out of her performance.

Plenty of Whedonverse characters had less then stellar character developments, but what was done to Cordy was an abomination. R.I.P., real!Cordelia. We'll always have those five seasons of snark.

Days 1-30 )
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Day Twenty: Favorite female antagonist: Faith Lehane




Come on, did you seriously think she wouldn’t be in this list? Even before her turn to the dark side, Faith was clearly cast in the antagonist role. She was everything Buffy disapproved of (but secretly craved). Where Buffy was starting to be weighed down by her responsibilities and the Chosen One role, Faith threw herself into it. In addition, she was sexual, blunt (at times downright crass) and not particularly interested in being tied to anybody else, whether friends, authority figures or lovers (Faith’s “Get some and get gone” approach was far removed from Buffy perpetual Angel angst). Of course, things were much more complicated than the seemed, and Faith was as envious of Buffy for belonging as Buffy was of Faith for being so free.

Part of what makes a good antagonist is their dynamic with the “hero”, and to say Faith got under Buffy’s skin would be an understatement-to the point where the show took the metaphor to its literal conclusion in S4. Faith’s naked hunger for all things Buffy, be it her downfall, her life, her approval or just her was the driving force behind her stint into villainy (and seriously, the femslash was *off the charts*).

While I’ll always be about the B/F, I loved every single step of Faith’s journey. Whether she was torturing Wes (and pushing buttons I didn’t even know *had*), dancing like the world depended on it, hitting rock bottom or giving Connor a deserved ass whooping, from the moment she swaggered into my screen, I was basically Faith’s bitch for life. And yes, I’m aware that some of that may have been due to Eliza’s overwhelming hotness, but who cares? I enjoyed every second of it.

Days 1-30 )
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Day Nineteen: Favorite non-human female character: Caroline Forbes




This the second woman from The Vampire Diaries to appear on the list and honestly, if there wasn’t so much competition from amazing characters from other canons, I could probably fit all of them in it.
I love Caroline because on the surface, she comes off as the type of character to be at best dismissed and at worst vilified in other shows. She’s the popular blonde with superficial interests, is bubbly and not exactly cerebral, and she’s often as self-absorbed and shallow as the typical teenager. And yet, she’s a wonderfully three-dimensional and sympathetic character in addition to those traits, and not in spite of them. Like the quality of the show itself, I wasn’t sold on Caroline from the outset-indeed, in season 1 her role seemed to be that of perpetual victim and showcase of Damon’s Evil Evilness. But like the show, she quickly turned from something “meh, but pretty” to something made of pure awesome.
A huge part of that was the major change she underwent in early S2. I was initially afraid they’d pull a Vicky, but instead they went on to make Caroline one of the most interesting, charming and infinitely relatable fictional vampires in television. It’s not that she got a personality transplant: Caroline’s cheerful façade still covers up insecurities, she’s still terrified of rejection from friends and family, and she still has very teenage relationship angst-but what she also got, for the first time, is agency (unless she’s being manipulated by Katherine, because Katherine > the world). I cheered when she opened a can of well-deserved whoopass on Damon, and things only improved from that point. And the friendship that developed between her and Stefan is not only a high point in Caroline’s storyline, it’s made Stefan infinitely more likeable to me (in a way his scenes with Elena and Damon fail to).
Days 1-30 )
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Day Eighteen: Favorite non-warrior female character: Guinevere (Gwen)




I was utterly charmed by Gwen from pretty much her first appearance, back where she was still the sweet, shy girl who tended to stick her foot in her mouth and poorly disguised her crush on Merlin, but it’s her gradual and realistic growth over the years that’s really made me adore the character, and in a show that generally sucks at both continuity and character growth (see: Smirkganna. And Arthur The Permanently Oblivious).

Gwen is a prime example of how a character’s strength doesn’t have to manifest itself in obvious ways. Gwen doesn’t have magic, or sword-fighting skills, or the power inherent in royal parentage. What’s she’s got is inner strength that allows her to challenge Arthur on his attitude towards commoners as early as S1, to be the kind of person that can not only endure Uther’s presence after he had her father executed, but doesn’t allow herself to be consumed by hatred and to keep hold her head high when her life is threatened by kings (and the regal way she holds herself in those scenes-you can see the future Queen).

On a random note, my absolutely favourite Gwen moments involve her teaming up with Merlin to solve the mystery du jour. I’d watch the hell out of a show build around THAT (Camelot P.I.s :Together, they fight crime in an adorable fashion!).

Days 1-30 )
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Day Seventeen: Favorite warrior female character: Zoe Washburn




Zoe was the character that automatically came to mind for this one, and not just because she's referred to canonically by Wash as “warrior woman”. While I love all Whedon heroines, Zoe is special to me because she doesn't fit any of his more beloved tropes-she's not a deceptively frail looking girl with a destiny (instead, fighting is very much her conscious choice), she's not a weapon, she doesn't swagger and deliver quippy one-liners. But she absolutely is the person you would most like to have on your side in battle.

Zoe is the perfect counterpoint to Mal's more impulsive and nihilistic battle tactics, and their rapport was one of my favorite dynamics of the Serenity crew. In a crew of misfits getting by on pure improvisation and bravado, she's the indisputably competent one, never once losing her head, even when Mal's crazy schemes inevitably go wrong. Which was why that scene where she went medieval on the Reavers in Serenity was as heartbreaking as the death that caused it-because it was Zoe breaking down, therefore all hope was lost. At the same time, for all her stoicism, she's far from a one-dimensional soldier archetype-she's got a wry sense of humor, was half of the most loving and healthy married couple in television (certainly the most functional relationship in the Whedonverse) and while she's fiercely loyal to Mal, she still calls him on his bullshit in that understated, chain of command way. And on a shallow note, Gina Torres is sex on a stick, and I loved the wardrobe choices which allowed her to be hot as hell while still being all business.

Days 1-30 )
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Day Sixteen: Favorite mother character: Ellen Harvelle




It's weird for anything from Supernatural to show up in a “favorite” list of mine, as to say I'm not a fan would be the understatement of the year (I watch it purely for masochistic/mocking reasons, and I guess because I don't have enough rage in my life). But Ellen (and Jo) I genuinely loved, in a non-LOLfan way, and I actually kind of enjoyed the time period in the show when she was a recurring character, largely because of her presence.

Very often on television female mother characters, especially older women, tend to be presented a certain way that involves their role as Mother overshadowing all other aspects of their life, and painted in a softer light (emotional support, nurturing and advice dispensing being major themes). And while I don't think there's anything wrong with that take on motherhood (I'm very fond of, for instance, Martha Kent in Smallville), I really liked that Ellen was this tough, no-nonsense, gritty and all-around pretty damned hardcore character...who happened to be a mother. It's not that I didn't love her relationship with Jo (all the over-protectiveness included, because it felt realistic to me), it's that she was allowed to be a character, rather than some preconceived idea about motherhood. And the lady could hold her liquor and got to slap Dean-how can I not fangirl her?

I'm not even getting into what that show (haaaaaaaaaate!) did to her at the end, because, um, yeah. The one thing I'm not feeling at that conclusion is surprise (vaginas: the SPN equivalent of red shirts).

Days 1-30 )
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Day Fifteen: Favorite female character growth arc:




Even before I started doing this meme, this was one of the few questions where the answer was simple and indisputable to me. Peggy's growth over the series is nothing short of amazing, but at the same time executed in the subtle and understated way everything happens in this show.

More importantly, as much character growth as she undergoes over the course of the series, her core personality remains unchanged. She might grow in assertiveness and somewhat temper her social awkwardness, but at heart she'll always remain an odd duck, and continue to speak volumes with her silences.

A lot of discussion about Mad Men is about the sexism of the era, but I find Peggy's journey to be one of the most feminist stories I've ever seen on TV. It's not that she moves from the secretarial pool to essentially being Don's lieutenant in creative-it's how she does it. She's a chameleon, trying on continuously evolving roles until she finds one that fits, and even her attempts at following the sexist rules of the time feel ephemeral and original rather than depressing, because it's just a temporary disguise. Unlike Joan, Peggy doesn't try to win at an inherently rigged sexist game-she's rewriting the rules.

Her personnal evolution is just as compelling as her professional one. The major stuff (Pete, the baby, her family) is riveting too, but I'm personally in love with the little moments. She goes on a date with a gay guy and gets a makeover, she beats the pervy colleague at his own sexual harassment game, she's Peggy Olson, and she wants to smoke marijuana. And my absolutely favourite relationship on the show, no contest, is Peggy and Don. While I can't help myself in slightly shipping them, their dynamic is not about that. She's both his reflection in some ways while absolutely surpassing him in others, and in the end, they know each other in a deeper way than any two people on the show.

Days 1-30 )
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Day Fourteen: Favorite older female character: Captain Kathryn Janeway




While DS9 is my favourite Trek by a mile, Janeway will always be my captain (though Sisko comes a close second). Voyager has had its issues over its run: missed character opportunities, cracky one-shots over a coherent arc, and its infamous abuse of the reset button. However, one truth remained constant during its seven year run: You Do Not Fuck With Kathryn Janeway.

There is plenty to love about the character: her dogged determination to get her crew home despite insurmountable odds, her wry sense of humour, her out of the box thinking and willingness to bend Starfleet regulations, the relationships she builds with her crew, her legendary caffeine addiction (“There's coffee in that nebula” remains the best random Trek line ever) and the way she drawls “Battlestations”, which never fails to give me *chills*. Janeway also had some major flaws, which tended to be as big scale as everything she did: she often fell prey to hubris in her grandiose plans, disregarding both danger and Starfleet principles, she could isolate herself from her crew and refuse to accept any criticism, and she was without a doubt the Department of Temporal Investigation's single biggest headache. And on a Doylist level, it's rage-inducing that Star Trek's first female Captain was essentially rendered sexless, and the most action she got over seven years being a relationship while she suffered amnesia, a flirtation with an adversary (the thing with the guy looking for the fugitives that one time, not her UST with the Borg Queen) and a fling with a freakin' hologram.

Writing issues aside however (which should be the unofficial motto to maximize one's enjoyment during Voyager viewings), nothing can ever temper my Janeway squee. The woman went head-to-head with the freakin' Borg without even blinking, and the final showdown between her and the Queen was pure concentrated EPICNESS and a more satisfying payoff than even the other major event of the finale.




Days 1-30 )
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Day Thirteen: Favorite female character in a book: Hermione Granger




Hermione was the first character I loved from the books on my first read (mid-2002, I believe). Almost a decade later and after being in HP fandom for what feels forever, she's still one of my favourites.

Given that so much of the theme of the books seems to be value “bravery and heart” above all other traits and the danger of certain kind of knowledge (but the central themes of the book are subject to a whole other post, that I'm not up to writing at 1AM), it's good that one of the central characters actually places a great value on curiosity, knowledge and overthinking things. Because, let's face it, for all that Hermione's often single-minded attitude towards academics and swottiness gets mocked by the other characters (and frequently the narrative), the fact remains that those traits save the day more often than not, even if they're less flashy than Harry's heroics. In fact, if Harry had stuck to the “Just listen to Hermione” motto at all times, a signicant percentage of classic Harry Potter blunders could have been avoided.

Not that Hermione is defined by that one aspect. She's brave and loyal to her friends to a fault, more so, I could argue, than they can be to her. She's also kind of a control-freak, single-minded in her pursuits to the point of throwing her customary perceptiveness out of the window and being wilfully unaware of when her help is absolutely not wanted (S.P.E.W., anyone?) and can be chillingly ruthless when she feels her actions are justified for a greater good. She's the girl who spent hours looking up legal texts to save Buckbeak's life while in the midst of an exhaustion and emotion-induced breakdown , the girl who thought nothing of permanently disfiguring a schoolmate for essentially being a tattle-tale and the girl who wanted to protect her parents so badly she actually messed with their very memories. It's the complexity of the character that makes her fascinating to me, even if the official philosophy of the books tends to downplay those flaws among the authorialy-approved characters. I loved that Hermione's book-long feud against Umbridge wasn't just about her understanding the danger of the Ministry's restriction of knowledge, her reading of the political subtext and the actual physical abuse heaped upon Hermione's friends, but the fact that Umbridge's very philosophy and tactics deeply offended Hermione on a personal level.

Days 1-30 )
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Day Twelve: Favorite female character in a movie: Nyota Uhura




So I've rambled at great length in the past about why I loved Uhura so much in the Star Trek reboot, and those reasons still apply. I have a lot of affection for TOS Uhura, but the movie allowed her to be so much more than she could on a show airing in the sixties.

From the moment she rolled her eyes in amusement at Kirk's "smooth" lines at that bar, I was kind of in love. There were plenty of other aspects of the character that reinforced my initial spontaneous like: her following of subspace transmissions for fun and knowledge of obscure Romulan dialogues (languages geeks FTW!), her being the first to understand Kirk's technobabbly exposition on the alternate universes and what we saw of her relationship with Spock, but what I loved the most about her throughout the film was her assertiveness and how utterly unimpressed she was by Kirk's attempts at flirtation and just...Kirk, really (which is why her “captain” minus the sarcasm at the end was one of the little awesome moments of the crew coming together-he earned that captain from her). And on a shallow note, the woman can rock the classic uniform like nobody's business.

As for my thoughts about the vitriol and hostility a lot of fandom directs at her, well, I've been over that in great detail in the Uhura post linked above, and since this meme is about celebrating female characters, I won't start with my thoughts on how fandom treats certain female characters, both compared to male characters and other sexually “acceptable” female character types.

At the end of the day, fuck that noise. Uhura's awesome, and so's her skirt.

Days 1-30 )
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Day Eleven: Favorite female character in a children’s show: Lisa Simpson




I'm aware that's cheating, since the Simpsons is not, strictly speaking, a children's show but...kids watch it too? More for the visual jokes, Homer misadventures and Bart one-liners than the pithy social commentary, but I can see the all-ages appeal. Either way, Lisa is an amazing character, and I certainly hope she's been watched by/inspired enough little girls in the show's 20+ year run (along with the not-so-little girls).

She's genius-level intelligent, idealistic, driven, precocious, artistic and a whole range of other things one can't help but wonder how she came by (the leading canon theory seems to be Grandma Simpson, since the rest of the family are not exactly likely candidates). Not that it all comes easy to her-she lacks her brother Bart's (questionable in method but undeniable in result) social skills, can't seem to make a friend for more than one episode, she can occasionally be a swot and a bit like an overenthusiastic first-year-student in her myopic and naïve embracing of certain causes (which, given that she's EIGHT, is not bad really) and she's very much aware of her intellectual and moral superiority to the rest of her family. All her traits, positive and less so make her one of the most interesting, endearing and pretty damn emulation-worthy characters to appear on television.

Days 1-30 )

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