I firmly believe the reason I am a geek (of the web developer, half-completed Comp Sci degree etc, oh god, even D&D playing type), is because I read
too so much Golden Age sci-fi as a kid.
There were pretty much no females.
Ironically, I think this was a far better thing than reading some of the later published sci-fi, in that I only had the hero to identify with, rather than later fiction with the secondary female characters, who were never quite as good as the boys. :P
Or, in the often well meaning fic, where they were, maybe nice. Maybe, caring. Maybe solved stuff/saved the day through diplomacy smarts, but, generally not through technology smarts.
That grates on me the most. Well-intentioned female characters who are supposed to be heroes, but always limited in the areas in which they excel at. And flat out geekery is rarely one of them.
I did obviously want to see strong females, but it was an either/or thing for me. I couldn't read in between, so it was either Golden Age sci-fi with no females, or strong females in Octavia Butler & Sherri Tepper.
Oh. Actually, I probably was craving more female characters, because the Golden Age thing probably led to a slight fixation on Robert Heinlein, who, for all his crazy militaristic, libertarian, gun-nut-ness, and sometimes uncomfortably 'chivalrous' approach to females, was - especially within the milieu he was writing - occasionally throwing in really smart, kickass females, even just as background characters, who the main characters looked up to or respected, or even flat-out making it clear that these characters were way better than the main character, before proceeding with the storyline (as in Starship Troopers) - even if he didn't go into any depth.
He'd do the same with non-white characters, just to fuck with peoples expectations. I like that.
I wish more writers would do that. Ok, so, you can't seem to write female characters for shit (insert human population of your choice), so, mention over oh, maybe two pages at the beginning, that say, the mentor for your character, who was as good or better at all the same things, was a female. There. You don't need to put any more characterisation in there, as it's almost a background character, but the girls reading it will get a little glow of pride that hey, this is totally within their reach, these characters feel she is capable of everything the main character is.
Ok, the way I worded it sounds crazy, but it matters.
I still want some female Hiro Protagonists.
With Supernatural - I don't want all my shows to be ensemble shows. I mean, it's probably easier on the actors if it isn't, but I like having only two main characters, I can really get to know them, there's a real depth there, I start to know what they're going to say, how they're going to react, down to really small details. Uh. What's the word for not ensemble?
See, I'm not really interested in any more characters, male or female, in SPN as more than supporting cast.
And that should be ok, it just means that I want, need, more shows with 1 or two main characters, or ensemble shows, where females are the leads.
Shit, if Supernatural was on TV in that same period that we had Buffy, Dark Angel, and even uh, Alias (not that I watched it) at the same time - it would have been less of a problem.
But at the moment, it's... it's BSG for me. :(
I mean, I love it, but the sad face is because it's the only show I'm watching with bunches of strong, awesome female character who I'm happy to identify with.