Our Favorite Women in Geek Culture in 2014

Women2014

There have been a lot of women in the geek community that have inspired people in 2014, and we here at The Geekiary have compiled a list of the ones who made a special impact in our own lives. There are way too many amazing women to list them all, so if we didn’t list your favorite we apologize for the oversight.

The following women, whether fictional or real life forces of nature, have influenced us and helped shape our experiences in the geek community this past year. They’ve given us strength, inspired us, and changed us for the better.

Emma Watson

Nominated by: Erin and Farid

Image by: Georges Biard via Wikimedia Commons

Image by: Georges Biard via Wikimedia Commons

Though Hermione has been off our screens for many years, the amazingly eloquent Emma Watson has remained a force in fandom and a role model for women across the globe. In 2014 she was appointed a UN Good Will Ambassador and will work on the HeForShe campaign that promotes gender equality. She also graduated from the prestigious Brown University this year, all while balancing her advocacy for women’s rights around the world and an impressive movie career as well. She’s an inspiration for many people and has been given a well-deserved platform to make a difference on a global scale.

Hayley Atwell/Agent Peggy Carter

Nominated by: Undie Girl

Both Agent Peggy Carter and the actress who brought her to life, Hayley Atwell, have been delighting fans since the first Captain America film came out a few years ago. Now that Agent Carter has been officially made into a series, the actress has been winning hearts with her fun glimpses behind the scenes of the show via her Twitter. While the show won’t be premiering until 2015, she hasn’t been far from our thoughts during the year thanks to Hayley’s incredible fan interaction on the popular social network. The character’s unexpected appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier also served as a reminder of how amazing she is and what an impact she had on Steve Rogers and the formation of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agent Carter is one of the most dynamic women in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is constantly underestimated due to her gender, but proves time and time again that she’s more than capable of handling enormously challenging tasks. At the same time, she owns her femininity. She manages to accomplish missions her male counterparts find challenging, all while wearing high heels and a business dress suit. It’s no surprise she was chosen for her own series, and watching the production unfold on social media has been a highlight of the year.

Felicia Day

Nominated by: Angel and Jessica

Pac-Man FeverFelicia Day, geek girl goddess, has a long and respected history in the geek community. Her company Geek & Sundry has produced numerous online projects as well as a popular real life lounge at San Diego Comic-Con, where geeks can hang out and play table top games. This year she became notable for an additional reason when she wrote a blog post in reaction to Gamer Gate. In it she eloquently expressed the fears she had as a woman in the gaming community since the start of Gamer Gate, including the fear of real life harassment and threats. Within minutes of her post going live she was doxxed, which was proof that her concerns were legitimate.

The Gamer Gate doxxing incident is only one small thing worth noting that happened this year; Felicia Day has been – and will continue to be – a powerful role model for geeks everywhere. Many fans of Supernatural are eager to see her return to the role of Charlie Bradbury sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, Charlie was absent from our TV screens in 2014, but fandom has kept her spirit alive through fanart, fanfiction, and photo sets. She’s become a SPN fandom icon in her own right.

Anita Sarkeesian

Nominated by: Angel

Anita Sarkeesian has been a big name in feminist media theory for a long time, but it’s her YouTube channel Feminist Frequency and its “Women vs. Tropes in Video Games” series that made her a well known feminist icon in the geek community. In 2014 she found herself swept up in GamerGate, including a terrifying doxxing incident that forced her to flee her home, and threatening emails sent to her on a nearly daily basis. The continued harassment of Anita Sarkeesian and other feminist theorists involved in geek media only furthers their point, but she’s handled the harassment with grace and dignity. Her continued work on her webseries, bravery in the face of harassment, and commitment to feminist critique make her one of the most notable women on the geek community in 2014.

Korra and Asami (The Legend of Korra)

Nominated by: Nancy and Farid

10885343_334053776778430_5063784298022498720_nKorra and Asami made history as the first overtly same sex relationship in a children’s cartoon airing on televisions in the US. The conclusion of their storyline is revolutionary and will make a mark on televised fiction for a long time to come.

Beyond that, these two women have defied gender stereotypes in their own right and shone as individuals. Korra is both physically and spiritually strong, while Asami’s strengths focus on physical fighting techniques, STEM fields, and business. They are women that children can and should look up to – they proved that women can be resilient in many ways, even in places that fall outside the usual roles deemed gender appropriate for young girls.

Sheriff Jody Mills and Donna (Supernatural)

Nominated by: Emily Rose

Long time fan favorite Jody Mills teamed up with Donna, a character previously assumed to be a one-off, in what became one of the most empowering female-centric episodes of Supernatural to date. Jody has been one of most highly praised female characters on the show, outliving most of her fellow female costars and avoiding becoming a character that is merely a love interest for one of the main protagonists. Now that she’s teamed up with Donna they’ve become an incredibly inspirational girl power duo. But their strengths manifest themselves very differently; they just happen to compliment each other in an oddly perfect way. Jody is a bit rough around the edges because of all that she’s been through, while Donna is still very much a softer, more innocent character that filters her own profanity in adorably goofy ways. However, they are both incredibly brave and determined, and they make a fun team that fans have latched onto.

The fandom has gotten a taste of the type of spin-off it wants, and this is it. Donna’s adopted daughter from last season can also join in so we can have an awesome all-women SPN spin-off. Make it so!

Kamala Khan (Ms Marvel)

Nominated by: Farid

rs_634x949-131106091425-634.Marvel-Comics-Ms-Cover.jl.110613Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim teenage girl, is an exceptional addition to the Marvel roster as the new Ms. Marvel. One would think that her heritage would immediately set her apart from the rest of the Marvel heroines, but her experiences in life are something everyone can relate to from growing up. She’s the voice of today’s teenage generation, and, I have to say, the new Peter Parker in the Marvel world. She’s quirky, awkward, and sometimes wise beyond her years, as she tries to juggle teenage life with her new-found powers and Inhuman lineage. Not only is she a POC female superhero, she’s also a Muslim, a demographic that’s very scarce in the comic book world.

The diversity in the new Ms. Marvel comic series and Kamala Khan as a character has certainly resonated with readers around the world. No wonder her sales are always impressive.

Storm

Nominated by: Farid

If there’s ever a character that has lived her life on the famous Spider-Man quote “With great power comes great responsibility” it has to be Ororo Munro, codename: Storm. She has the power to alter the weather patterns of planets and thus rule the world – a world that hates mutants. But she uses her powers for good, for mutants and humans alike. There are a lot of great moments for Storm throughout her Marvel comic book history, but 2014 was the HER year. An inspiration for people of color all around the world, Storm saw the debut of her solo series ‘Storm‘, where she goes on a journey to help everyone in need. She doesn’t discriminate between mutants, humans, or even past enemies. If they need help, Storm is there, regardless of the consequences.

Her self-control and compassion make her strong, but can also be her flaw, something that’s shown repeatedly in her series. She raised above the petty schism caused by her teammates Wolverine and Cyclops. She saw the bigger picture and did what was right for humanity as a whole. Storm is an inspiration when it comes to letting go of grudges, understanding people’s differences, and continuing to do the right thing.

The Women of Game of Thrones: Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Margaery Tyrell, and more!

Nominated by: Angel and Tara

game-thrones-season-4-episode-7The women in Game of Thrones are amazing in so many different ways (see: The Women of Game of Thrones: A Study on Gender Roles), and season four highlighted some of the most stand-out character arcs thus far, showing their individual strengths and weaknesses and proving that strong female characters can be extremely diverse and unique.

Always a controversial character in the Song of Ice & Fire/Game of Thrones fandom, this year show viewers finally got to see the Sansa that many book readers know and love. Despite being a prisoner of war forced into a marriage with a man who belongs to the family that orchestrated the deaths of many of her siblings and both her parents, Sansa consistently handles these and other terrible situations with a grace that belies her inner turmoil. In the fourth season of Game of Thrones, she also finally took matters into her own hands, choosing to trust in those offering her an escape from Lannister clutches. Though she was immediately thrown into another questionable situation, Sansa continued to prove that despite her ladylike demeanor, she is truly a Stark – a wolf, really – at heart.

Sansa is proof positive that strength and courage come in many different forms, and therefore a force in her own right.

Arya continued to act with the same determination and bravery she’s always shown, this time managing to gain the tentative respect of the Hound as well as plot her own escape from the extraordinarily dangerous land of Westeros. She’s always been independent and incredibly fit for survival, but this season saw her pushed to the limits even further than she’s ever been pushed before. At the end of the season she hopped a ship and fled the entire continent. You can’t get much more extreme than that!

Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother also had a stellar year. They managed to take out one of the cruelest, most homicidal, sadistic, and hateful characters ever created. Margaery may not have been ‘in’ on the plan at first, but she still managed to go toe-to-toe with Joffrey and many others. She managed to play the game despite the horrifically dangerous people who were plotting against her at almost every turn.

But really, there were too many incredible moments for the women this season! We could write thousands of words just about them. Well done Daenerys, Yara Greyjoy, Melisandre, Shireen Baratheon, Ygritte, and many more. Applause all around.

Ellen Page

Nominated by: Undie Girl

After several high-profile roles, including her recent return as Kitty Pride in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Ellen Page became a household name for geeks. But beyond her acting, the event that made her stand out this year was when she came out at the Human Rights Campaign “Time to Thrive” conference. The event was met with much praise and inspired many people, including us here at the Geekiary, to share their stories about coming out. Her bravery gave many women and members of the LGBTQ+ community strength.

Laverne Cox

Nominated by: Undie Girl

LaverneCoxLaverne Cox has been an important figure since the first season of Orange is the New Black in 2013, but this year her advocacy for the transgender community has made her an icon. The struggle to get her on the cover of TIME magazine ended with a well-earned success. Laverne Cox became the first openly transgender person to grace the cover of the magazine, and her fans worked tirelessly to get her there. She has also used her new-found fame to promote an extremely good cause – her advocacy has not only gained her recognition from TIME, but from GLAAD, The Guardian, Glamour magazine, and Ebony magazine. This recognition is well-deserved, and we hope to see much more from this inspirational woman in the years to come.

Natalie Dormer

Nominated by: Undie Girl

Natalie Dormer was already a fandom darling, but in 2014 she practically took over the world, becoming almost everyone’s fancasting choice for every part ever, especially Captain Marvel. With roles in Game of Thrones, Elementary and The Hunger Games, it’s pretty clear why everyone loves her. Her performances have been dynamic, powerful, and incredibly interesting. She’s shown she can play a wide range of women and the fans want to see her take on even more iconic roles.

Cassandra Pentaghast (Dragon Age: Inquisition)

Nominated by: Rinienne and Farid

“Dragon Age: Inquisition” was one of the biggest games that came out this year, and Cassandra Pentaghast is one of the most bad ass warrior characters ever. But at the same time, that’s not all she is. Cassandra is portrayed as a well-rounded human being with weaknesses and doubts. She is perhaps too idealistic and demands too much of herself, yet she also knows her limits. What’s especially interesting about her is that she believes that people should not be judged for who they are or what they believe, as long as their beliefs or lifestyles do not harm innocent people. Her guilty pleasure is smutty romance novels, which is also a fun highlight of her character. Simply put, she is both very realistic and relatable to fans.

Clementine (The Walking Dead: Video Game)

Nominated by: Rinienne and Farid

Clementine is a 12 year old zombie apocalypse survivor. She’s lost so many people she cared about, but never lost hope. Even after being betrayed many times, she still tries to do everything to help people around her. She’s proof that even very young women facing insurmountable obstacles can find the inner strength necessary to survive, persevere, and be powerful role models.

Karin Murphy (Dresden Files)

Nominated by: Rinienne and Emily Rose

Karin Murphy is an officer in Chicago PD, one of few mortals who faced the supernatural side of the world and perhaps the only one who can actually go toe-to-toe against supernatural creatures. But being a bad ass is not her only stand-out characteristic. She is caring and kind and does everything she can to protect her friends and loved ones. She also very smart and often provides the main group of protagonists with good advice. Despite recently losing her job in the PD and being a little more cold because of that, she still hasn’t lost her desire to help people.

The Women of Dominion: Arika, Uriel, Noma, and Claire

Nominated by: Emily Rose

Dominion is a show that proves that it knows how to utilize its female characters. First we have Arika and Uriel, who seem to be playing their own game in their female-ruled land of Helena. We also have Claire, who steps in to rule Vega in the absence of her father and proves to be pretty damn good at making crucial decisions when the need arises. Then there’s Noma, who turns out to be one of the key players protecting Alex. All of these women prove to be strong decision makers, brave in the face of horribly dangerous circumstances, and capable of taking on incredibly important tasks with grace and unrelenting determination.

Mary (Sherlock)

Nominated by: Rinienne

Sherlock2Sherlock’s Mary managed to make huge waves both in the show canon and in the fandom at large. People were worried about the inclusion of a permanent love interest in a story that centered primarily around Sherlock and Watson’s relationship, but Mary quickly won many fans over with her caring, understanding, and accepting nature. The natural chemistry between the actress and her actual common-law husband also helped fans latch onto the pairing in canon.

Amanda Abbington has also endeared herself to the fandom with her wonderful interaction with fans on Twitter. She has many conversations with fans, and in turn the fandom rallied to assist her when unauthorized pictures of her and Martin Freeman’s children leaked online. Because of this, the love and appreciation between Abbington and the fandom became even stronger in 2014.

Halle Barry

Nominated by: Farid

This Oscar winning beauty has been doing charity work for years, and 2014 was no different for the inspirational African-American actress. She paired up with Michael Cross for the Watch Hunger Stop campaign and went to Nicaragua where, working with United Nations World Food Programme, she delivered meals to needy children. Halle Berry is also a long-time brand Ambassador for Revlon and co hosted the Revlon Run/Walk for Women, which aimed at raising funds, as well as awareness for, cancer. In September she again helped with gathering donations for cancer by being a part of telecast. In October she was co-chair of God’s Love We Deliver Golden Heart Awards. The funds raised by the event were used to help people in the New York City metropolitan area who are suffering from life-altering illnesses and hunger.

She really is a role model when it comes to breaking through the color barrier in Hollywood as well as helping people around the world.

Stella Gibson (The Fall)

Nominated by: Jamie
StellaIn The Fall, Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) stabs misogyny with the heel of her fabulous shoe. The Fall is full of fantastic flawed female characters, but Stella leads the way, elbowing into a male-dominated field and challenging the way the Belfast police see women. When her supervisor calls serial killer Paul Spector a monster, she reminds him that he’s not a monster — he’s just a man. When her new lover questions if her interest in him is because he reminds her of Spector, she calls the thought repellant and implies that the only reason he finds Spector fascinating is because he’s a man.

It’s refreshing to have a woman like Stella Gibson on our screens, a character that not only defies conventions by merely existing, but also by coming right out and telling people what’s wrong with society’s perception of women, and in a way that brooks no argument.

Abbie Mills (Sleepy Hollow)

Nominated by: Kerry

Abbie Mills has proven herself to be the headliner of Sleepy Hollow; this season made it clear that Ichabod Crane is her sidekick, not the other way around.

Along with being a great police officer and all-around bad ass, Abbie is complex and flawed. Her relationship with her sister and her late mother are far from perfect, but they’re REAL. While fandom may try to pit her against Ichabod’s wife Katrina, ultimately this is a show about Abbie and Ichabod saving the world – and Abbie repeatedly reminds the viewers and Ichabod that she just doesn’t have time for any shenanigans because she’s got a world to save.

Carmilla Karnstein (Carmilla)

Nominated by: Undie Girl

CarmillaThis lesbian vampire saved the day, got the girl, and challenged all the problematic depictions of female sexuality found in gothic literature. Plus she got a whole bunch of girls to talk about their periods in the “do vampires get their periods” post!

Skye (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Nominated by: Undie Girl

Skye, the audience surrogate in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who was often accused of being a Mary Sue, was revealed to be Daisy Johnson, a.k.a. Quake, an established Marvel Comics superhero who even held the title of Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Basically it’s turned out that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is actually Mary Sue’s superhero origin story…and it’s amazing.

Author: Angel

Stephanie “Angel” Wilson is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and has essays published in Fandom Frontlines.

-



**Read our policies before commenting.**

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.
Please do not copy our content in whole to other websites. Linkbacks are encouraged.

Liked it? Take a second to support Angel on Patreon!