Fantastic Femmes and Where to Find Them: Anne of Green Gables

Image courtesy of Giphy

Over the years we’ve highlighted our favorite characters in the running series “Strong Female Characters.” We wanted the name of the series to reflect how passionate we are about these characters, and came up with the name “Fantastic Femmes and Where to Find Them.” We hope you like the new name as much as we do 🙂 

To kick off this series reboot, our newest copywriter Rebecca Anglesey wrote about her favorite fantastic femme, Anne Shirley. Enjoy! – GGC Copy Team

Anne Shirley, the indomitable main character of the beloved Anne of Green Gables books, has been inspiring girls everywhere for over a hundred years. Written by L.M. Montgomery in 1908, Anne’s passion, intelligence, and quirkiness endeared her to audiences of all ages. Anne blazed a trail for geek girls everywhere by being herself and wearing her heart on her sleeve, regardless of what others around her had to say.

As a child of the early 90s, I was first introduced to Anne in the Sullivan Entertainment movie adaptations of the book that were frequently aired on PBS fundraising telethons. I used to love sitting on my living room floor to watch Anne’s antics, and I quickly devoured every Anne book I could find at the library. As an adult, I think I appreciate the story even more.

Here’s the thing about Anne Shirley: she is a total geek girl! Anne had a passionate love of literature from the very beginning, and she was never shy about that fact. She loved to use big words, and she never hid her intelligence, even though people were constantly putting her down.

Anne had some hard knocks in her early life. Being an orphan, she was shuffled through the system and was frequently abused. No one cared enough about her to nurture her obvious academic talent until her eventual adoption by the Cuthbert siblings of Avonlea. With a little bit of encouragement and advocacy from people who loved her, Anne flourished and became a model student and high academic achiever.

One thing that I loved about Anne was that she never listened to the haters (I’m looking at you, Josie Pye). Anne was surrounded by people who could only be described as basic, but she never felt pressure to conform to what was considered “socially acceptable” because she was happy being herself. This lesson is relevant to everyone everywhere, which is another reason Anne’s story is so near and dear to my heart.

Remember the time Anne cracked her school slate over Gilbert Blythe’s head because he made fun of her hair?

Image courtesy of Giphy
Anne smashes her slate over Gilbert’s head in a fit of temper.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Or when she told Rachel Lynde to stick it for calling her skinny and ugly?

Rachel Lynde is Surprised!
Image courtesy of Giphy

Anne never took any crap from anybody, and she always demanded respect from the people around her. Anne knew her self-worth, and she refused to associate with people who didn’t respect her.

Even when met with adversity, Anne would adapt her plans. When Matthew died suddenly, she didn’t give up on her dream of going to college. She adjusted her plans so that she could help Marilla with Green Gables, but she still pursued her education while holding down a teaching position to boot. It is even more impressive when you think about the fact that women weren’t encouraged to go to college in Anne’s world. Most women were expected to get married and have kids and keep house, but that was never the goal for Anne.

All this isn’t to say that Anne didn’t have her flaws… Anne was terribly vain, and she had a quick temper, both traits that landed her in more than one embarrassing situation. She constantly bemoaned her red hair, but accidentally dying it green taught Anne that having red hair wasn’t so bad after all (I personally think redheads rock, but I may be biased). She even sold her cow, Dolly, in a fit of temper with the bovine troublemaker for getting out of her pen only to find that she had accidentally sold her new neighbors’ cow instead! Anne was able to use honesty and charm to turn that potentially alienating act around and make good friends with the man, showing that you should own up to your mistakes and take responsibility, and that you can make friends anywhere if you have an open heart and mind. I feel that these things make Anne a more relatable person, and she always learned from her mistakes.

Even after all these years, I still get as much enjoyment as I ever have from experiencing Anne’s trials and tribulations. She has always been one of my top role models. She was a loyal friend, she always tried to make herself better than she was, and she let her imagination run wild. Anne Shirley taught me that it was okay to be a girl who was smart and passionate and a total geek!

Gilbert gives Anne a standing ovation at a recital.
Image courtesy of Giphy

Rebecca Anglesey
“Rock On!”

Gender Roles Expire

Written by Guest Contributor Theresa Tyree

Editor’s note: With the announcement of Horizon: Zero Dawn’s DLC at the recent E3 conference last week, we’re hopeful that Aloy will continue to overthrow gender norms in Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds. In this post, ware excited to feature Theresa Tyree’s examination of the strong female character in the original revolutionary release. 

Horizon: Zero Dawn has everyone talking. Breaking ground as the first open-world game to exclusively feature a female main character, the game has thrown out the hugely expired trope of gender roles. If you’ve played through the game, you might be asking, “What the heck are you talking about? The Osram tribe is hugely patriarchal. The Carja had a civil war over different opinions about the treatment of women and outlanders. And Aloy’s tribe, the Nora, are matriarchal. Seems to me like there are definitely some gender roles happening!”

Guest Contributor
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Review: Cassius Issue 2: More diversity, more plot thickening!

I’ve previously written about Cassius Issue 1 for GeekGirlCon, and now I’ve been given the opportunity to continue following Junia in her epic adventures to understand the mark of Cassius!

As a bit of a recap, Cassius is a story from Arbitrary Muse Comics, the collective mind of Ann Uland and Emily Willis, and, while inspired by the Shakespearean play Julius Caesar, it’s clear almost right away that this is probably not the sort of story that Shakespeare imagined. Junia, the protagonist, inherits the mysterious mark of Cassius from her mentor—while on the run from would-be assassins—has to discover the meaning of the mark and what her destiny is.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Cassius is More than Just “Ass-Kicking Roman Lesbians”

Written by GeekGirlCon Copywriter JC Lau

 

I’ve read a lot of comics in my time, but I’ve never really found many that address my non-comic political interests. A possible exception has been Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ The Unwritten series, which discusses things such as metastories and political philosophy, but that’s just one instance. Exceptions are rare.

This is why I was super excited to have the opportunity to review Cassius, which on the face of it, was going to address some of my other interests: I love history, I love Shakespeare, and I love dynamic female characters. Cassius has all of these things in scads, which pleases me immensely.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Mako Mori, Empowerment, and the Search for Representation

Written by GeekGirlCon Copywriter JC Lau.

There’s not much I could love more in an action movie than giant robots and giant alien monsters, but in 2013 Pacific Rim brought me giant robots fighting giant alien monsters. In a futuristic world, an underwater portal allows monsters known as Kaijus to rise from the sea and destroy coastal cities, so, naturally, humans operate giant robots called Jaegers to fight them. The film tells the tale of an international team of Jaeger pilots ending the conflict.

But that’s not all. Pacific Rim brought me Mako Mori. She’s one of my favorite female characters ever, not just because she’s a dynamic woman of color, but because she represents the possibility that there could be such characters in Hollywood. In this post, I’ll discuss how she’s unique as a character, and why her presence is important for film.

JC Lau
“Rock On!”

Joan Watson: Not so Elementary

Written by GeekGirlCon Copywriter Winter Downs.

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Image source: IMDb

Many geeks are gaga for Sherlock, but I’m here with a shout-out to the other modern-day TV adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes books, CBS’s Elementary.

For me, the core appeal of the show is not the sleuthing—the mysteries can be a bit lackluster—but the relationship between Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) and Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), and the character of Watson herself. Lucy Liu’s casting caused concern in fan circles, for some because they favored ‘traditional’ (ie. white male) casting; for others because they thought that making Watson female meant the showrunners planned to reduce her to a love interest or caretaker.

For folks in the second group, just one or two episodes should set their minds at ease.

Just to get the main drawbacks out of the way: as in all Holmes adaptations, Watson is defined by her relationship to the title character. The show also suffers from a lack of other female characters for Joan to interact with. But she herself is the most dynamic and interesting Watson I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot of Watsons), and she elevates the whole show.

Winter Downs
“Rock On!”

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