‘Women Who Kick Ass’ Panel At Comic-Con…Kicked Ass!


Filed under: things too good not to share! This past weekend the San Diego Comic-Con 2014 came and went, and totally kicked ass! There are more women than ever attending the hugely popular convention, and the diverse array of panels offered is doing a great job in reflecting what half the audience wants to see.

2014 saw more panels geared toward woman than ever before, including The Most Dangerous Women at Comic Con, Creating Awesome Female Characters, Women of Marvel, diversity in literature, gender in comics panel, and women who kick ass panel. Entertainment Weekly shared some of the awesome things discussed on the panel. The women included Katy Sagal from ‘Sons of Anarchy’, Maisie Williams and Natalie Dormer form ‘Game of Thrones’, Sarah Paulson from ‘American Horror Story’, and Tatiana Maslany from ‘Orphan Black’.

The issue discussed was the greater range of female characters being represented on screen, which is something US television is certainly making better progress in than film.

Natalie Dormer, who plays Margaery Tyrell on GOT talks about the importance of kick ass women being a cultural standout against all the homogenized representations of women that the media and advertizing has been touting for so long.

“I don’t think that it’s healthy for young girls to be looking at these beauty magazines and watching TV and these shows and thinking [that’s the standard]… there’s more European attitude — you look at French film, Spanish film, they’re a little more open to quirks and human nature. That we’re not all symmetrical, not all the same shape… we need more of that.”


“The best female roles are in television at the moment. Katniss Everdeen — as popular as she is — is an anomaly. She really is.”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘ was the biggest box office seller of 2013, proving to Hollywood that a big action franchise with a woman at the helm is something audiences want to see. While there are other examples of female-led movies raking in the dough, such as ‘Frozen’, ‘Maleficent‘, and more recently ‘Lucy’, starring Scarlett Johansson, they are still the “few and far between” examples that are trying to reach equal status with all the male-led blockbusters being released.

“Where television is fantastic — and is way ahead of film — is it doesn’t feel the need to polarize women so much… Male writers — and I say this with all love and respect — often want to make a woman either the angel or the whore, make her the witch, or put her on the pedestal. When people ask me about Margaery [on ‘Game of Thrones’], I say they’re not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to be practical and politically savvy and not be a good person. You can be a good human being and just be shrewd,” continued Natalie.

Katy Sagal being the oldest woman on the panel spoke about age and how it has hindered women playing diverse characters for too long.

“It’s OK to get older. Ageism has played a factor in casting for far too long in America and there needs to be a realistic view, and send a realistic message. It seems that in Europe, you can get older,” she said. But if there is any woman proving you can kick ass at all ages and have a long career in Hollywood, it is Katy!

Aside from all the fem-focused panels on offer this year, the new Wonder Woman images were released from the upcoming Zac Snyder-directed ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ featuring Ben Affleck as the brooding Bruce Wayne. Actress Gal Gadot, who will play Wonder Woman looks very different in this image than the original yellow, blue and red costume that we are all used to.


While this Xena Warrior Princess-esque version has been causing a bit of controversy, the fact that people are talking about a female superhero is important. It has started a conversation that brings kick ass women and characters to the forefront of pop culture alongside men, creating a little thing called diversity!

When you look at the comic book world itself, Ms. Marvel is the number 4 selling digital comic at Marvel, so these characters are clearly resonating with readers.

The issue of being a ‘kickass woman’ was dissected a little by actress Evangeline Lilly who plays the elf Taurial in ‘The Hobbit’. When asked by a fan at a Q&A session where the inspiration came from for her character, Evangeline pointed out that being a fearsome warrior wasn’t the only thing that made her kickass. Typical feminine traits should also be seen as something strong and fearsome, she says, bringing a whole new side to what a complex female character actually looks like.

According to the Canadian, gender equality is not necessarily going from damsel in distress all the way to the other extreme of being a fierce killer, trying to copy the men.

“When I play ‘strong’ females, and particularly with Tauriel, it was my mission to represent true female strength. I believe our strength as women comes from compassion, selflessness, our instincts to help, protect and put others first.”

“I was super proud not to be in there as a ‘kickass’ woman and say ‘look what I can do I can slay and kill’ but look what I can do, I can protect, have compassion, I can care and be gentle and and feminine and graceful while slaughtering Orcs.’ ”

Hearing conversations about how women are capable of thriving in their own traits and seeing those as ‘kickass’ or fearsome is incredibly important. Men and women are just built differently. When we try to copy each other, that means we aren’t operating in our true selves. When we embrace who we are as women, we thrive much more and allow others to do the same.

As for diversity audiences are ready to see more women. These opportunities aren’t just going to be handed to us on a platter, we have to work hard for it and stay persistent. It’s not about trying to infiltrate the “boys club”, it’s about redefining that club to be more accurately known as just a club where both men and women can find a diverse range of characters they can identify with, and of course dress up as. It is Comic-Con after all, cosplay is essential.

Here’s to seeing more kick ass women in film and TV each year!



  1. Pingback: What Evangeline Lilly Almost Got Right About Feminism In Film

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