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Let's just get this out of the way: Lee Sargent is a man. "There have been plenty of times when readers have automatically assumed I'm female," says Sargent. The confusion stems from his role as creator and editor of Pop Culture Heroines, a site devoted to strong female characters and making sure they're not overshadowed by male counterparts.
The site's origins can be traced back to eBay. While shopping, Sargent noticed, "one seller had a number of comic books, television and movie characters being sold individually -- all female characters." He was struck by two things: They were all great characters and it was odd seeing them all together. From there the idea for the website started to grow. "I just happened to see an inequality in the promotion of female characters."
A web designer by trade, he got the site going in January of 2007 with a piece he wrote, Ripley and the role of protector in Aliens.
Other writers are encouraged to contribute (as long as the essays go
beyond 'she's hot') and he just happens to prefer the pieces written by
his wife, Tracey. In one series, she profiles professionals like Scully
"Equally at home in the field investigating evidence as she is in the
lab performing autopsies, Scully's fascination with all things science
is what truly captivates."
Sargent's favorite characters, male or female, are those "put in
extraordinary situations that they must endure and overcome and do so
in a very real way." It's no surprise then that he admires Sarah Conner
and Buffy. Also, he can't wait until Wonder Woman takes her rightful
place next to Batman and Superman on the big screen, provided they find
an actress that can do more than just look the part.
Coming soon on the site: A piece about Liz Sherman from Hellboy focusing on the fact that you don't have to be happy to be a hero and a look at the women of Dr. Who.