Female Role Models In V.Next, and the search for Indiana Jones

Here’s a post from our newest episodic writer Marcy Holland, she brings her experience writing for television and film to our team.

Whether it’s the legions of young girls who picked up a bow and braided their hair, or the new generation of archeologists that dreamed of finding the Ark of the Covenant (but, never, ever opening it), we’re surrounded by examples of the profound effect stories have on our lives. The characters we love don’t simply entertain us. They help shape our identities.

For most of my childhood, I clumsily tried to find myself through stories. Like most girls who grew up in the 80s, there was a time when I wanted to be like Punky Brewster. And then Jem. And at one point, Michael Jordan (but who didn’t?). With each new hero came a new set of interests. I learned an instrument, became a human punching bag at a karate class, took up painting. I figured out what I liked, and what I didn’t like.

But then when I was twelve years old, I was introduced to Lois Lane. She was smart and funny and brave – everything I wanted to be. She could effect change in the world with her words; her pen was just as mighty as heat vision or super-strength. She’s the reason I bought my first comic book. My gateway into science fiction and fantasy. And, ultimately, why I became a writer.

With women making up only 27% percent of professionals in the STEM fields, there has been much speculation about the why. Why aren’t girls pursuing these careers? Why don’t they connect?

The answer, at least in some small part, is to give them their Indiana Jones.

This is what intrigued me about Vivienne Denue. It’s why I jumped at the chance to help tell her story. I imagined a young girl stumbling on a picture of Vivienne, and seeing a bit of herself. And because she saw herself, she’d sit down and play a video game that she would normally never, ever play. She’d fall in love with the world. With Vivienne’s friends. And along the way she’d discover that she had a knack for the puzzles. And she would wind up finding her calling.

Because that’s how it happens. Before we ever decide what we want to be, we decide who we want to be.

And for that, we look to our heroes.

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