Heroines and Vixens Panel at Hal-Con Sci-Fi Convention, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Had a great time at Hal-Con Sci-Fi Fantasy and Gaming Convention this past weekend.

This was my second year presenting a panel with YA paranormal author Shawna Romkey.

Last year we did our panel on Heroes and Villains, making a conscious decision to leave female heroines out of that discussion, as we felt they deserved their own topic.

This year we got to present Heroines and Vixens: Writing Strong Female Characters. We had a well-informed audience who asked really interesting questions during the Q and A at the end.

Both Shawna and I were encouraged by the fact that the audience spent no time defending the male-dominated status quo in the film and television industry, but instead focused -- as did we -- on the strides women have made towards driving their own stories forward.

Shawna and I are both members of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada, and it goes without saying that the romance genre is built on stories about women, mainly told by women for a female readership.

In the mainstream media, however, male protagonists continue to outnumber female heroines. In the sci-fi/fantasy genre celebrated by Hal-Con, the male-dominated superhero stories and fantasy tales featuring Harry Potter, Bilbo Baggins and Luke Skywalker are only beginning to stand beside their sister tales featuring Maleficent, Emma Swan and Sookie Stackhouse.  

I wanted to thank everyone who attended our panel and who took part in such a fascinating discussion.

Here's to more heroines and vixens!


Are you aware of whether a TV series or film is shot from the male gaze or the female gaze? How do you think that affects the viewers' perception of gender?


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