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Site of the Week – Pink Raygun

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Girls can be geeks too, and proud of it. They’ll debate the relative merits of Captains Kirk vs. Picard. And they’ll talk about everything from George Lucas to the chest hair of Lost‘s Jack Shephard. You’ll find these topics — and much, much more — on Pink Raygun, a fan site started in February 2007 that celebrates women as both science fiction fans and auteurs. The brainchild of Lisa Faryand John Dallaire, Fary says she launched the site because she couldn’t find a place where women were having fun with scifi and “just enjoying the sheer geekery of it.” Too often, “a woman who’s interested in things like science, space travel, etc. has always been seen as an aberration,” notes Teresa Jusino, one of the site’s 15 writers. “Little boys are introduced to and encouraged in their interest, while little girls have to find it for themselves.”

So, here’s a science fiction home for “fangirls” with popular opinion pieces like “8 Simple Rules for Surviving SciFi” (about what heroines need to do to stay alive), “The Sci Fi Channel Needs Women!” (why scifi
is watering down the science and space stuff to attract more females)
and “Help Me Obi Mom” (how to make sure your child grows up
appreciating scifi,
though it “might not bode well for the child once she gets to high
school”), as well as regular coverage of several TV shows.

The site —
which averages just under 50,000 visitors a month — is sassy and
expressive, literate and smart, reminiscent of how Jusino believes women are portrayed in scifi: “Scifi
is the one place where women are allowed to use every weapon in their
arsenals — they don’t have to choose between their intellect or their
looks. They can use both, to staggering effect.”

Lest you think Pink Raygun is exclusively for girls, the site pulls about three women for every four men, according to Fary, and there is a lone male amongst the writing staff. Fary — who edits the site with Juliana Weiss — credits Battlestar Galactica
(in its late ’70s incarnation) for her interest in science fiction and
her childhood desire to become an intergalactic space cowgirl, and “if
it hadn’t been for Astronaut Barbie and the movie Star Wars and Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

And as for Kirk vs. Picard? She says dreamily, “I want to rub soothing balms into Captain Picard’s bald head.”

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