Andrea Venkatesan is a proud alumna of the University of Miami. Her undergraduate coursework revolved around a major in Women's and Gender Studies, as well as a minor in Modern Languages and Literatures, with a focus on French and Spanish.
Alex Robinson is a web and graphic designer living in Baltimore. Transplanted from the midwest to the east coast, Alex has been in the web profession since 2005. He is an integral part of the internet strategy team at Johns Hopkins Medicine, and handles freelance design work on the side. He is also studying digital communications at the University of Baltimore.
Thanks everyone for immense patience during the relaunch process and the contest announcements. We received almost fifty stories from around the world and from them we have three finalist that we really think show what it means to be a strong female character. You can find the first story up at Medium now. Also, look for information starting in September 2014 about our second contest!
Legendary Women is a journalistic site and charity seeking to promote positive images of women in the media. We celebrate our favorite fictional heroines from books and the silver screen and also highlight real world women role models and the charities they run and support.
Legendary Women, Inc. hosted its first ever contest to promote the creation of positive media representations of women. In this case, we held a literary contest in which readers submitted a short story of up to five thousand words that featured a strong female protagonist. We received almost fifty entries from over five countries and will finally be posting the three outstanding winners in the spring of 2014.
We teamed up with Random Acts.Org in order to get people to donate used paperback books and school texts to The Minnesota's Women's Prison Book Project. Despite a hectic fall with Super Storm Sandy interfering with some of our giving, we were able to send over fifty books to the WPBP. Not bad for a first time out!
In May, our board members, including Morgan Glennon, Carolyn West, and Margaret Bates, attended the Wizard World Convention in Philadelphia. There, they again teamed up with Moving Creations, Inc. to raise money for their cause. We were able to beat our goals and raise even more than 2011. We also had a great time enjoying the fan groups, spreading awareness about both LW, Inc. and Moving Creations' missions, and interviewing individuals like Kristy Swanson of the original Buffy film.
The second official year of Legendary Women raising money for the CDRF. That year, we teamed up with the gracious fans of Lana Lang at the community "Sweet," and together were able to raise over two thousand dollars for the foundation.
I'm not ashamed of it. I'm a grown woman who might be mildly obsessed with a computer game marketed to preteens. I might consider it kind of juvenile, but it's Nancy Drew. So I can tell myself that this is no ordinary game. This is all part of a proud tradition. I always have and always will support Nancy Drew.
There was some drama surrounding whether long-time regulars A.J. Cook and Kirsten Vangsness would be returning to Criminal Minds before the current season after leveraging their contracts for higher pay (read: ALMOST equal to the male actors on the show). But it makes me happy no one that I met in fandom, male or female, saw any issue with them demanding pay at least approaching their male counterparts. Their fight was met with overwhelming support once more fans understood exactly why they were renegotiating.
Welcome to Legendary Women! We are an organization founded to counteract the negative representation of women in the media, as well as to empower and promote women in their everyday lives and endeavors. Legendary Women focuses on influencing the representation of women in media as well as the world at large. Learn more about our mission here.
As a corollary to our First Annual Literary Contest, we're having a drive until November 30, 2012 to get together books for the Women's Prison Book Project (WPBP), a non-profit based in Minnesota, which collects paperback books and workbooks as well as monetary donations to help ensure that the over 150, 000 women in the prison system have access to reading materials to improve their lives. Read on to learn how to help!
We all have a favorite heroine, a woman who kicks a serious amount of butt and inspires us to be better than we are. So far, Legendary Women, Inc. has celebrated the female characters who already exist. Now we, along with Random Acts, are asking our readers to create some of their own! You have until November 30, 2012 to enter our contest so please check out the rules below!
The flurry of news stories over the past year might give people the impression that the last stand for LGBTQ rights is the fight for marriage equality… and maybe where you buy your fried chicken. However, the mainstream battles for the LGBTQ community tend to lean towards the interests of middle class adults, not the other cultural or gender minorities of the group overall, and definitely not towards the needs of our youth. But while these youth have been largely forgotten by society, Golden Girls star and gay icon Bea Arthur did not forget them in her final years.
“Legendary Relationships” is a regular column which will examine relationship moments between women in popular media.
I’m in love, readers. I’m in love with Captain Marvel, both the character and the new run of the comic of the same name written by Kelly Sue DeConnick. Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel is tough, intelligent, proud, sarcastic, loving, cocky, and just a touch reckless. In short, she’s a heck of a lot of fun.
Pardon us for getting this up so late, but we've had a lot of people traveling this summer. Anyway, author Jennifer Armintrout, who blogged her opinions of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey, sat down to speak with us about the negative messages for women in the novel and her critical thoughts overall on summer's most talked about book.
Strong Female Protagonist follows the adventures of a young middle-class American with super-strength, invincibility and a crippling sense of social injustice. After just two issues SFP is gathering quite a following and why wouldn't it? With a badass superheroine beating up robots while trying to keep her grade up and pass her college courses at the local university, there's something for everyone.
Tumblr, twitter, Facebook, and various blogs have been exploding this week with reaction to the self-published novel Save the Pearls: Revealing Eden. The book, actually published in October of 2011, came to more general internet notice after Racebending.com published a scathing editorial here of the book's incendiary content and marketing campaign, which is based around white actors using blackface. Since then there's been outrage and also backlash, the most recent of it being this post on The Huffington Post by the author herself about how "judging a book by its cover" is equivalent to racism. In the following review, I look at the problematic treatment of race in the novella.*
"The world is full of Exes, of Priors and Formers, people who can never quite live in the present," Jennifer Finney Boylan says in the first chapter of I'm Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted. What is it, she wonders, that allows some people to move on while others remain stuck in the past? "Maybe… you do it by writing poems, by trying to tell your ridiculous and and incomprehensible story."
Twenty years ago (or 1992 to be more specific) Kristy Swanson gave life to the most iconic blonde vampire slayer of all time: Buffy Summers. Since then Buffy went on to a bigger life than anyone in the original film could have envisioned. The movie was turned into a television show that spanned seven seasons and lives on today in the hearts of dedicated fans.
On July 29th, 46 women will be taking center stage at Hollywood and Highland in Hollywood, CA to raise awareness and funds and help work toward a cure for childhood cancer. And how? By shaving their heads.
Legendary Women, Inc. was fortunate enough to sit down with Yasmeen Hassan, the Global Director of Equality Now about the organization's 20th anniversary, their big movements, and their hopes and plans for the future.
Kristine Sutherland is more than Buffy's mom. She's an actress who's graced big and small screens for over 25 years, from soaps to dramas and comedies, a photographer, a mother, and a very graceful and intelligent woman. We were so pleased to kick off our Motherhood Month by asking her a few things about her years on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, her life since, and how she feels about entertainment's responsibility to young girls...
As a girl with only one parent of the Dad variety, my ideas of motherhood were often shaped by what I saw on TV. As a kid, most of what I wanted to see on TV was animated and, though cartoons might give you some bad ideas of stepmotherhood, moms were fairly solid. They were loving, wise, often strict, but fair, with endearing quirks or flaws that often let us kids know not to take those grown-ups too seriously.
Dr. Rambo of Campbell University has long been a scholar in the field of Buffy studies and works on the editing board of the popular online academic journal Slayage, devoted to furthering Buffy studies around the world. She talked with us about Buffy studies, great Buffy-speak quotes, and Cordelia Chase, Queen Bitch of Sunnydale.
We move now onto what was once dubbed "The WB Series Finale" of Buffy. On her final year on the network that launched her, Buffy Summers faces her mother's death, what it means to be The Slayer, and gives the ultimate sacrifice for her sister.
Today, after a bit of hiatus, we'll be looking at two seasons back to back. First we start off with a transitional year for Buffy and the Scooby Gang as some of them start UC Sunnydale, Giles becomes a "man of leisure," new love interests come in, and, of course, a new Big Bad in The Initiative.
Even with years off the air, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's is ripe for study and analysis. It's studied at the college and graduate level, very often cited as an example of a female forward show in published works, and its fans take it very seriously.
Please come out and visit our table. We'll be at the Philadelphia Wizard World Conventionfrom May 31- June 3rd. I'd we're very excited to be working again with our friends at Moving Creations, Inc. and raising money at our table for a good cause. Oh, and here's a few of the people coming...
We were fortunate not only to have a prize given to us from Deborah Stanish of this compendium of Whedon fan essays but also to sit down with her to talk about her fandom experiences, what's good and bad about the Jossverse, and why there's always, despite its flaws, things to love about the universes of Joss Whedon.
Christopher Golden is a critically acclaimed and bestselling author of a range of work from books to comics, including The Ghosts of Albion with Amber Benson (Tara on Buffy) and The Secret Journeys of Jack London. He has also written many Buffy and Angel novels and comics and is the co-author of the first Buffy novel, Halloween Rain with Nancy Holder.
Today we explore the third season of Buffy. It's a year that found huge growth for the slayer. She and Angel eventually broke up, she graduated high school, got a new Watcher, and also encountered a reflection of her dark side with Faith Lehane, another slayer called after Kendra's death. So how did this season fare when compared to previous seasons on the feminist scale?
The women of Duke University's class Women in the Public Sphere, as taught by Professor Rachel Seidman, created an unusual social media project. While they did post an actual poster explaining who needs feminism and why, the class also used social media in this campaign to bring awareness to a college campus about feminist issues. They're employing traditional methods and the new media of Facebook and Tumblr to spread the word from Duke to all over the world. Recently, two of those students, Ms. Sarah Kendrick and Ms. Rose Sheela, sat down with us to discuss the project, being a contemporary feminist, and the future of this unique project.
It's been a while, but we can finally announce the grand total for our charity drive. This was a great experience and we at Legendary Women, Inc. loved working with the Sweet Forum and could never have gotten this far without support from Lana and Chloe fans alike! So without further adieu...
A couple months ago in my Women and Psychology column, I talked about the debate ongoing over the Lego Friends line marketed to girls and if toys needed to be divided so sharply between girls and boys. Currently, SPARK Summit and representatives from the Women's Media Center are going to be meeting tomorrow with Lego after their petition against the girl-themed "Lego Friends" line reached over 50, 000 signatures. More from them below!
If you’ve been watching television in the last 15 years, there’s a good chance Jane Espenson has written for your favorite show. She might even have written your favorite episode. This is especially true if you're a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where Espenson was a writer and producer for much of the show's run.
Valerie Estelle Frankel has won a Dream Realm Award, an Indie Excellence Award, and a USA Book News National Best Book Award for her Harry Potter parodies. She is the author of five new and forthcoming books on pop culture: From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey in Myth and Legend, Katniss the Cattail: An Unauthorized Guide to Names and Symbols in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Teaching with Harry Potter, Harry Potter: Still Recruiting, and Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey. She lives in Sunnyvale, California, which is apparently a real place.
We sat down with Rebcake, one of the moderators of the fantas_magoria community on livejournal to talk about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, their legacy, and why even after almost a decade off the air, people love doing fanart and fanfiction for these programs.
The second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer may be the strongest arc of the show from the episode “Surprise” to the season finale in “Becoming, Part 2.” The loss of Angel’s soul and his transformation into Angelus is a fan favorite but also reveals a new strength in Buffy’s character.
Nancy Holder is a New York Times Bestselling author and co-author of the first Buffy, The Vampire Slayer novel, Halloween Rain, with Christopher Golden. She recently took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for Legendary Women for our Buffy-themed month.
How would you like to show your Buffy pride with a totally cool shirt? If the answer is yes, click here for more information on how to enter Legendary Women's Buffy month t-shirt raffle. All it takes is some shameless Legendary Women promotion and a love for kicking ass. Mr. Pointy approved!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer defined a genre, a generation of television and subverted the "blonde in trouble" and "the final girl" horror tropes. This month, in addition to interviews and other pieces, we'll be looking at each season from a feminist perspective.
A group of female film makers have come together to test this years' film scripts to see how many have relevant conversations among women. They've already worked to evaluate the films nominated for best picture and screenplay for the 2012 Oscars and found surprising (or maybe not so much considering the make up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) results about how realistically women in film converse with each other.
We had many entries on both our twitter and our facebook for the copy of the Anne Boleyn book. We're more than happy to announce our winner here as well as on twitter in order to get that book out as soon as possible! Also, check below for details of another give away for April!
I adore The Hunger Games trilogy. I can't say enough good things about it and I can't recommend it enough to people. It's dark, yet uplifting, painstakingly detailed, poignant, and never overdone. So as the movie release neared, I was a bit apprehensive about three things: love, violence, and gravity. I didn't want manipulative, overdone romances between Katniss and Peeta or Gale. I didn't want "cool fights" that left people wowing because I don't want anyone amazed or gleeful at a kid's death. And I didn't want eye-porn glory shots that diminished the dignity of the story.
Walking around downtown Washington DC is like passing by a kaleidoscope of museums. For lifelong political lobbyist Joan Wages, however, one museum is missing – a museum celebrating the achievements of women and one that can stand toe-to-toe with all the rest in Washington. Since 1996 the National Women’s History Museum has worked to make that dream a reality.
With Women's History Month upon us, I definitely want to do my part to tout the unsung heroines of yore. And who is more unsung than the women of ancient history? Sadly, that is pretty depressing work as there were few places where women weren't kept like prisoners, traded like property for power or money, treated as no better than broodmares, or even condemned to die in infancy for the terrible crime of being born without a penis.
As an owner of a website dedicated to Queen Anne Boleyn, I receive countless emails from people every day telling me of their fascination with Anne Boleyn, their passion for her and her story, their appetite for new information on her. It's truly mind-boggling the way that this woman has found her way into millions of hearts all around the world, yet she has been dead for nearly 500 years and was executed for treason, adultery and incest.
Thanks to Claire from The Anne Boleyn Files we have an exciting giveaway for all our Legendary Women readers! Click here for full instructions on how to win a SIGNED copy of Claire's book "The Anne Boleyn Collection" or a beautiful pewter bookmark. And all it takes is some shameless Legendary Women promotion!
Barack Obama’s contribution to the global climate talks in December 2011 was a message in which he urged countries to preserve their forests much like Wangari Maathai had been doing since 1976 in Kenya.
Yup, the whole world was being urged to play catch-up to a woman who had a simple idea some 35 years previously in Kenya.
Occasionally I’ll be writing a column for Legendary Women on historical women I think are awesome. Disclaimer: I am by no means a historian. These pieces will only be touching on the surface of these incredible women so please, if you think these fierce ladies are awesome (spoiler alert: they are) track down some literature!
We have had an amazing time these last couple months, working closely with the Sweet Clark and Lana forum in order to raise money for The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Without further adieu, we are announcing our raffle winners!
In 2001, my older brother and I sat down to watch the pilot episode of a new show called “Smallville”. I was twelve years old and while I adored Superman as a kid, I didn’t expect this to be the beginning of what I now refer to as a heart-wrenching love affair with this series and its characters.
"I'm Chloe Sullivan, and I'm here to bring you the truth," said Allison Mack's intrepid girl reporter in the first installment of the "Chloe Chronicles". Mark Warshaw also wanted to bring television viewers something — more content. In the early aughts Warshaw was on the cutting edge of interactive content when he pitched the idea for Chloe Sullivan to visit an even smaller screen: the computer screen.
“Persistence--we do not give up,” is how Maggie Goldberg, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation(CDRF) described what their organization stands for, and how far they’ve come since their inception almost 30 years ago.
Written by a convicted felon from prison and filmed on a shoestring budget, the story behind the making of director Christopher Petry’s “Marilyn” is almost as fascinating as the film itself. The movie tells the story of a bank robber on the run (Ryan Robbins) who takes a runaway woman (Allison Mack) under his wing. Her volatile personality and dreams of becoming a singer change him forever.
Recently Legendary Women was lucky enough to speak with “Smallville” producer and director Christopher Petry by phone. Petry has worked on the CW’s superhero drama since its beginning, starting as a production assistant parking cars. By the end of the series ten years later, Petry was a producer and director with independent film work under his belt.
Big girls just don't have it easy on the big or small screen. While large men have had svelte, commercially attractive wives since Ralph Kramden, the reverse is rarely seen. Plus-sized women barely get to date.
It's a brand new year, and everyone from scientists to your mom want you to remember that you're fat. The proliferation of commercials for weight loss products is truly dizzying. Even on the TV Guide channel, you're bombarded with claims of what these amazing diet smoothies can do if you use them to replace meals. In between holiday movies, you can learn about meals that can be shipped to your door. Ab machines! Gyms! And especially pills, pills, pills!
Norman Buckley knows about OMG moments. As the director of such scandalous teen fare as The CW’s “Gossip Girl” and ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars” Buckley’s been around the block when it comes to outrageous teen behavior. His newest outing could be something out of a “Gossip Girl” storyline, but it’s actually the very real story of a one girl brave enough to try and change the way people think.
Lego was originally built on the concept that the colorful blocks were made for girls and boys and would encourage shared play. A new Lego "Friends" line, designed specifically for girls, may change all that.
IBG, Inc. or Inspire, Believe, Give has accomplished an incredible amount over the last three years, including raising over $100,000 for various charities. Patricia Steffy, their head of event production, talked with us and gave not only background on this wonderful organization but also advice for other non-profits.
They say there's nothing new under the sun. And there's no denying it. TV Tropes will tell you that. TV Tropes is a website that catalogs every pop culture cliche, every stock character, every overused plot device known to man. Don't ever go there! Or do. I can't stop you. But don't blame me when hours of your day have disappeared. All warnings aside, it's a fascinating place. There's a trope for everything.
A few days before this Christmas, the Disney Channel aired an episode of the show Shake It Up, in which a female character remarked to another that “I could just eat you up, well, if I ate.” A second mocking remark about eating disorders in the show So Random! was yanked from the line-up before airing.
Honoring Lana Lang, Kristin Kreuk, Chloe Sullivan and Allison Mack with a Charity Fund Drive
Since 2006, fans of the show Smallville have raised over $ 7, 600 dollars for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. This year, Legendary Women, Inc. and Sweet are teaming up to hopefully bring that number to over $ 10,000 dollars and we want you to help us do it!
In June 2011, our president, Carolyn West, and our Public Relations and Media Contact, Morgan Glennon, attended the Wizard World sponsored Philadelphia Comic Convention. They worked with Emily Nussdorfer to help raise over two hundred dollars for Moving Creations, Inc. a Philadelphia-based charity that helps mentor young girls through dance and the creation of art such as decorated masks. Legendary Women, Inc. hosted a contest for convention attendees to vote for their favorite comic book heroine by placing a dollar in a bin by a picture of their favorite character.
Every year, Ms. De Razzo's other charity, IBG, Inc. hosts the "All Things" event where The X-Files fans all over the globe raise money by watching the episode "All Things" and other Gillian Anderson-related movies and episodes. We formed the first online team with participants as far away from Scotland watching both that episode and the original The X-Files movie, The X-Files: Fight the Future.
Our friends at the Across the Airwaves Podcast (www.acrosstheairwaves.com) were kind enough to invite Ms. De Razzo and Ms. Bates to participate in their podcast celebrating Chloe and Allison Mack's return to Smallville in the episode "Collateral." Ms. De Razzo provided an interview about our organization and the commercial, while Ms.
The first official charitable activity of Legendary Women, Inc. During "Operation Truth and Justice," the Chloe Sullivan fandom joined together to raise money in 2010 for The Reeve Foundation. Inspired by this tradition, Legendary Women, Inc. adopted this foundation as its signature charity. Every winter, we host a fundraiser for them with one hundred percent of the profits going to The Reeve Foundation. Last year, we were able to raise over fifteen hundred dollars.
We were even written up in there "The Daily Dose" blog here:
Until the movie bearing her name was released, I had no idea who Veronica Guerin was. The picture presented to me by the film was crafted by Hollywood and as much as it contains the truths of her life, it is filled with much more Hollywood propaganda then reality. In the end, though, it brings to light a legendary woman who used her voice as a journalist to highlight the drug problem in Dublin. She was assassinated a mere six years after beginning her career as a journalist, and only two years after beginning work with the Sunday Independent.
The Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCCs) is the biggest annual event for the field of Composition and Rhetoric. This is the time when composition scholars meet up with old friends, collaborate with one another, take in new scholarship, and do some serious drinking.
Thalidomide has been called one of the biggest medical tragedies in modern times. In the late 1950s and early 1960s over 10,000 children were born world wide with shocking deformities caused by the drug. Of those 10,000 cases only 17 were in the United States. That number would have been much higher if not for the vigilance of Frances Oldham Kelsey.
To each their own is a mantra to which anyone involved in media fandom really has to subscribe if they want to get along with others. I wasn’t all that jazzed about Juno when I saw it. I don’t get the appeal. However, Jennifer’s Body, by the same writer, blew my mind. If you ask a lot of people, Jennifer’s Body is about Megan Fox’s tits. I have to wonder if these people have actually watched the film.
When Dana Scully first appeared on our TV screens in the fall of 1993, she was a ground breaking character. Her intelligence and courage were equal to her male counterpart. She didn’t have to be saved every episode or cower in a man’s arms when confronted with a gruesome site. Maybe the most shocking of all, she could run in outfits other than halter-tops and hot pants.
In my day job, I’m working toward my doctorate in developmental psychology. Since blogging is brand new to me, I think that’s going to be my day job for a long time. My work, currently, focuses on helping children with autism by using computer programs, especially those with avatars. An avatar isn’t really all that much different than what James Cameron presented in the film of the same name. Okay, so it’s not always a big 10 foot tall smurf wannabe. That’s not necessarily the preference.
Verushka is a freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader and copyeditor in her own little corner of the world called Editing Everything. There she reviews books, apps and anything else of interest to freelancers like herself, and pretty much anyone else really. Throw in editing advice and interviews with app developers, bookstores and stationery stores, and you’ll get the general idea of the type of geek she is.
April Walsh is a professional singer, working primarily in Laguna Beach, CA. In her spare time, she is active in several fandoms and forever hopes television reaches a place where no one has to argue for better representation of women.
Morgan Glennon is a working journalist who researches and performs interviews with a variety of newsmakers. She is also a freelance writer specializing in television and entertainment coverage. Her writing can be found at her blog Morgan Writes. She believes that the portrayal of women in the media is important for guiding the dreams and careers paths of future generations of young women.
Vice President of Site Growth and Project Planning
Corina Lombardi is a writer and an undergraduate student at University of Phoenix. She is a Communications major with a concentration in technology. She served as Editor-in-chief of ‘Quo Vadis’, Middlesex County College’s school newspaper, for one year and won several awards for pieces she wrote including an award from the N.J. Press Association for her piece on a female soldier from Iraq.
ELIZABETH DE RAZZO is a native of Laredo, Texas, she always knew she wanted to be a performer from an early age. After moving to Los Angeles in her late teens, Elizabeth began pursuing her career in earnest, dividing her time between theater and the small screen. Elizabeth was able to incorporate her first love, singing, in her co-starring role as Estella in the stage production of Real Women Have Curves: The Musical.
Margaret Bates majored in developmental psychology at Duke University and then continued her studies toward a Ph.D. with an emphasis on autism intervention at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. However, a lifetime of studying Spanish and an interest in serving the growing immigrant community prompted her to capitalize on her minor. She returned to school for interpreting and now has a certificate in medical Spanish interpretations.
Say the name Tina Fey and you conjure up a barrage of famous cultural images: Mean Girls, 30 Rock, brownie husbands, “I can see Russia from my house”. Something that has always marked Tina Fey’s writing is the ability to tell stories about women that we don’t always hear in popular culture. Fey doesn’t shy away from portraying women not as saints or love interests, but as real people. And occasionally, gross people.