About the Manual

The Nerd Manual is meant to be both a useful resource for nerds and a guide for the people involved with nerds. If you're a nerd you can find information here that will help you improve your life and perhaps better understand yourself. If you're close friends with, dating, or married to a nerd, I want to give you insight into things nerds do that a lot of people have difficulty understanding.


I hope to avoid offending anyone--either nerd or non-nerd--but please understand that the manual will get into some sensitive topics, stray into contentious territories, and even use stereotypes to illustrate points. It's OK to disagree with something, but keep your comments civil.

2018-10-10

Superpowering Girls!

The BBC's New Doctor Makes Girls Believe they Can Be Anything
The Women's Media Center and BBC America had a question: what are the roles for women and girls in science fiction and superhero films and television? Actually, they had several questions about the visibility, inclusiveness, and representational presence--or absence--of women in the superhero genre, and what that means to the imaginations of viewers and readers.

The answers come in a series of reports that seek to expand the diversity and representation of women and girls in front of and behind the camera. The first report “SuperPowering Girls: Female Representation in the Sci-Fi/Superhero Genre” considers how the depictions of women on screen impact girls between the ages of 5 and 19.

Conclusions?

Well, here's the obvious one: kids want to see heroes who look like them. 

But there was also a desire to see more female heroes across every demographic, even among boys.

The study found that heroic representation can impact kids' confidence and self-image, as well as influence their career choices.

Another finding: teen girls are significantly less likely than teen boys to describe themselves as confident, brave, and heard, and this is even more significant among girls of color. 

Julie Burton, president of the Women's Media Center said, “at this time of enormous, sweeping, social change, it’s important that television and film provide an abundance of roles and role models for diverse girls and young women." The research shows "that female sci-fi and superhero characters help bridge the confidence gap for girls, making them feel strong, brave, confident, inspired, positive, and motivated.”

BBC America president Sarah Barnett agrees. "If you can’t see her, you can’t be her. It’s time to expand what gets seen, and we hope this report will contribute to sparking change in the stories we see on screen.”

Fortunately one of our favorite time traveling heroes is ahead of the game and recently regenerated as a female, and 81% of the girls surveyed said that seeing a female Doctor on Doctor Who makes them feel like they can become anything they want.

You can download your own copy of the report from the WMC Reports site.