POPSUGAR Celebrity

6 Joss Whedon Geek Girls Who Captured Our Hearts

Jul 14 2015 - 11:23am

It's common knowledge that women in tech are not, well, all that common. Finding women at a tech convention [1] is like finding a needle in a haystack, and pop culture is the first to reinforce the stereotype of a "dudes-only" land [2] in nerd world — one that believes girls can't quite compete with guy geek cred. We know better! Plenty of women can out-code [3] the best of them, none more so than those in Joss Whedon's worlds.

Joss is notorious for breaking down the image of a damsel in distress with strong female characters, and these six ladies prove that it isn't just physical strength that sets apart women in the Whedon universe. These are some of our favorite female coders, hackers, scientists, and tech goddesses, who put all geeks — both male and female — to shame with their smarts and mad skills.

Willow Rosenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Willow Rosenberg, the OG (original geek) of the Whedon world, googled before it was a verb. Starting out first as just a ridiculously computer-savvy student (in high school, she was hacking into local police files and later graduated to secret government databases), she let no new advance in tech go undiscovered, and used it all for the greater good. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Scooby Gang relied on her computer skills and technical know-how to save the world multiple times, and later, she used the same smarts to hone her witchy ways, becoming one of the most powerful Wiccas in the world. Plus, we are pretty sure she was the first person to discover Internet dating back in the '90s, though unfortunately, her match turned out to be a demon. Hey, we’ve all been there.

Kaylee Frye, Firefly and Serenity

Kaylee was basically born with a tool set in her hands, growing up with a love for working on machines and dissecting exactly what makes them tick. In Whedon’s Firefly, she is hired as the ship Serenity's mechanic after she gets it flying again, even though it was declared a goner by the former mechanic. Her bubbly personality is contagious (unless you're Mal [4], but what’s new?), and she provides unstoppable good humor along with nearly infallible mechanical expertise.

Winifred Burkle, Angel

One of the most academic characters in all of the Whedon-verse, Angel's Winifred "Fred" Burkle was first introduced as an actual damsel in distress, but proved pretty quickly that she was anything but. As a physics student and researcher at UCLA, she was off the charts when it came to scientific knowledge, understanding, and application. After spending a few years trapped in a demon dimension (all the while working out equations on the walls of the cave she lived in), Fred returned to LA and became an integral member of Angel Investigations. Up until her untimely and utterly heartbreaking end, she continued to solve every problem under the moon and then some.

Skye, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Skye stuns with her intellect and in-depth knowledge of the Internet world. A skilled hacktivist with an incredible talent for digging up classified information, Skye has a penchant for breaking the rules, but (almost) always for a good cause. Though she enters the S.H.I.E.L.D. scene [5] reluctantly, she quickly proves that she is an irreplaceable asset to the team.

Jenny Calendar, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A self-proclaimed “technopagan,” or person using modern tech in the supernatural world, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Jenny Calendar made high school computer-science teachers look cooler than we ever thought possible. Jenny was another go-to person for all things technology-related, and was constantly at odds with Rupert Giles, Buffy’s Watcher and school librarian, over what she believed was the superiority of computers over books. One of her greatest tech accomplishments was the large part she played in ridding the Internet of the viral demon, Moloch, who threatened the safety of the whole world. Thanks, Ms. Calendar!

Jemma Simmons, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

A biochemist with not one, but two PhDs, Jemma Simmons proves that she is both the head and the heart of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. operation. We love her because she is a brilliant scientist and strategist, but most of all, because she does her job expertly while building meaningful (and adorably hilarious) relationships with all of her fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. On multiple occasions, it is her problem-solving abilities and vast knowledge, including medical expertise, that have saved the lives of the entire team she works with. It doesn’t hurt that she is in a perpetual witty war of words with her scientific counterpart, Leo Fitz.

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