The BAMF Files No. 2: Emily Prentiss

Welcome to the second installment of the BAMF Files. Today we honor a woman who defines “BAMF,” as she kicks ass literally and figuratively.

We also have a little bit of background on the BAMF Files themselves, for those interested.

Here at the Telefeminism Project, we focus a lot on quantitative measures – the Bechdel Test and Mako Mori Test, in particular. But we’re also interested in the quality of how women are represented on television, which is the idea behind The BAMF Files. We want to celebrate and highlight particular aspects of female characters we find to be particularly strong female role models. There’s no set formula for what makes a BAMF or what makes a strong role model (note: we will never use “strong female character” or “strong female lead” to describe women on television, because this has become something of a trope and a misnomer…but that’s a story for a different day). Some of what we look for is how they inspire fans – which is why we include quotes from fans themselves in the BAMF files. We’re also drawn to characters who break with set formulas and tropes, even ones that can seem innocuous. We love characters who have a particularly inspiring role in the workforce, especially because studies have shown that more male characters than female characters hold identifiable jobs, and of all on-screen jobs, the percentage of women in the workforce was well below the real-life national average. We’re into women whose character is not defined primarily by who she’s dating, married to, or crushing on. When a woman doesn’t conform to the typical, heteronormative model and when her appearance and fashion sense aren’t a highlight of who she is, we tend to swoon (another note: we’re not into the idea of “woman crush Wednesday,” because we’d really prefer it just be called a “crush” without having to qualify it – it’s one of those phrases like “bromance” that maintains an underlying tone of “but not in a gay way” – and because our crushes, male and female, are a seven-day-a-week kind of thing).

We’ll get more into what makes a BAMF a BAMF as the project continues to develop. For now, we present the second installment of The BAMF Files: Agent/INTERPOL Director/Total BAMF Emily Prentiss.

Oh, and Paget? We’re going to keep asking until you let us interview you, so just surrender. We’ll bring cupcakes.

The BAMF Files - Prentiss


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