As many of you are aware, we held our very first Her Universe panel at San Diego Comic-Con. We had some AMAZING women on our panel (Jane Espenson, Melinda Snodgrass, Erika Kennair, Mary Franklin, Bonnie Burton, Cat Staggs and Katie Cook) and WOW was I nervous! To share the stage with such an accomplished group of women, literally left me shaking, luckily I was behind a podium and apparently you could not tell. Each one of our guests had a chance to speak about their field and then I had a chance to ask them a couple questions collectively as a group. One of the questions I asked was, “How do we work to break down the barrier/stereotype that Sci-Fi is a boys club?” How can we, as women, get equal treatment in this genre? I was asking this as a fan and also as a female professional working in the field of Sci-Fi. There was one answer, from Katie Cook speaking as a professional, that really rang true to everyone on the panel and in the audience and I wanted to elaborate on it here.
Good Work Speaks For Itself.
Many of you have asked me for advice on how to break into the industry as an actress, artist, writer, etc. I am definitely not qualified to give advice on some topics, but I thought that this piece of advice was universal. If you are good at what you do, it doesn’t matter if you are male or female, good work speaks for itself. At the end of the day, talent and expertise transcends gender. Let your work do the talking and people will take notice. I think this is why we have seen an increasing number of boys and men who enjoy my character, Ahsoka Tano. Ahsoka let’s her talent do the talking. Yoda did not assign Ahsoka to Anakin because she was a girl, he assigned her because she was the best padawan for the job. You often forget that Ahsoka is a girl because she never points that out. She just wants to be the best at everything she does, not the best girl.
As a professional if you separate yourself by gender, people will take note of the gender difference. If you treat your talent as equal, and you are good at what you do, people will forget about your gender. This is one thing we can do to break down the barrier.