Given the Star Wars casting fallout from today and yesterday, and my wonderful experience at the Women In Aerospace Conference today, I felt it was important to revisit why representation matters, and why I’m so upset at the lack of women in the cast announcement for the new Star Wars film.
The first picture of is of Vice Admiral Michelle Janine Howard talking about the importance of gender & racial representation, using Star Trek ’s Uhura as the example she saw & needed when she was growing up.
Let me tell you a little bit about Vice Admiral Howard: Michelle Janine Howard currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5) (in layman’s terms she’s a 3 star Admiral who directly advises the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO - the Admiral in charge of the Navy) on Naval operations and strategy at large). She is the first African-American woman to achieve three star rank in the U.S. Armed Forces as well as being the first African-American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship.
In 2006, she was selected for the rank of rear admiral, making her the first female graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy selected for admiral. On December 13, 2013 she was nominated to become the U.S. Navy’s first female four-star admiral and the first female to be nominated for the position of Vice Chief of Naval Operations (the 2nd highest ranking officer in the US Navy, second only to the CNO).
On December 20, 2013, the U.S. Senate confirmed Vice Admiral Howard’s nomination for promotion to admiral and assignment as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. (IF YOU DON’T REALIZE HOW WONDERFUL THIS IS, GET OUT).
So basically, she’s amazing and inspiring, and was inspired in turn by seeing Uhura, on screen, as an active member of the Star Trek enterprise crew.
The second picture is an autographed photo I got at DragonCon 2011 when I met Kate Mulgrew. This is the post I made to my LJ (remember those?) right after it happened:
A big moment for me was getting to meet Kate Mulgrew - I’ve wanted to meet her for years but missed her the last couple times she was at D*C… So by golly I was gonna get her this time!!! There was a rather long line, but it went super fast as she was only spending about 15 seconds with each person. They’d show up, she’d greet them & smile, take their photo, sign it, give it back and say goodbye. She was perfectly cordial & very sweet, but also very efficient.
Well, on my turn, I handed her my picture with my shaking hands and started stuttering over the words that I’ve rehearsed for years - I needed to tell her just how important her portrayal of Captain Janeway as a strong female officer was to me. As the words first tumbled from my mouth She stopped what she was doing, looked up at me, straight in the eye and just listened. I think she knew I needed this moment. Oh gosh I’m tearing up just thinking about it now. Anyways, I basically told about how, as the first female KC-130J pilot, and the first female Marine C-130 pilot in combat, how I’ve often been the first & only female in many of my billets in the Marine Corps and how important Janeway was to me as an example of a strong female officer, as a leader.
I finished and her face broke into a massive, beautiful smile, and she asked if she could please shake my hand. I extended my still shaking hand, and then she signed my photo (personalized to ATIS, my callsign)… and I ambled away in a haze. I will NEVER forget that moment!
If you ever feel bad about your own writing, just remember that one of the world’s most well-known works of classic literature is self-insert fanfiction where the author hangs out with his favorite poet and is guided on his journey of discovery by a Manic Pixie Dream Girl version of a woman he met twice.
It is admittedly strange to me that people get SO EXCITED about discovering underground musicians, lesser known artists, cult movies, etc., like to the point of creating entire identities based on how much “good” stuff they discover before it gets popular… even identities based on liking things because they’re NOT popular.
But if a book isn’t on the bestseller list, it’s because that book is terrible. Obviously that’s the only answer.
Taking bets now that Maleficent’s stone heart was caused by a guy in one shape or another.
Because writer’s now-a-days have no creative juices.
My bets on that she had a thing with the King.
WHO WANTS TO PLACE BETS?!
I’m still looking forward to it though like you wouldn’t even belieeeeve
I’m sad because this is probably true.
One day in your life, or perhaps every day, you will discover that someone has succeeded in the exact avenue in which you desire to succeed. Said usurper of your dreams might be a friend or a nemesis; perhaps they are a ghost who lives inside Twitter making up facts about themselves designed…