36. All About Sylvanas Windrunner

This week, Janine invites her friend and student onto the show to discuss her research on World of Warcraft. They chat about one prominent character, Sylvanas Windrunner, and what type of feminism she embodies.

The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
36. All About Sylvanas Windrunner

What to expect from episode 36: All About Sylvanas Windrunner?

Welcome back

Janine welcomes back listeners and introduces a special guest for this episode. Her friend and student, Jonette, came onto the show today to talk about World of Warcraft. Jonette briefly introduces herself and her research on World of Warcraft.

Sylvanas Windrunner

Janine reminisces on how she and Jonette used to play World of Warcraft as kids. She then elaborates a bit on what postfeminism is. Jonette responds by explaining how Sylvanas is a typical postfeminist character.


The discussion leads to male versus female armor in World of Warcraft and video games in general. Jonette explains how Sylvanas’s armor is not practical, but is there to place emphasis on her sexy and idealized body. They especially discuss the appearance of corsets on female video game characters.

Blizzard scandal

The next topic they discuss is a scandal that recently happened at Blizzard. This leads to a short discussion of toxic workplaces and structural sexism in the video game industry. Janine and Jonette also chat about the impact sexualized video game characters had on them as kids. Lara Croft also finds her way into this discussion.

Body ideals

Janine and Jonette then chat a bit about body ideals presented by characters like Sylvanas and Lara Croft. Jonette, as a fashion designer, also elaborates a bit on these issues in the fashion industry.

Revenge narratives

The next topic they explore is the ides of the rape/revenge narrative in representations of powerful women. Here Janine and Jonette also chat about how Sylvanas is also a femme fatale character.

Sylvanas’s progression

Janine summarizes Jonette’s research: Sylvanas is still a postfeminist character like she was since the beginning. As they discuss, Sylvanas is not really an empowering female character.

Genderbending online

The final topic Janine and Jonette discuss is hiding your gender online as a woman. Jonette shares some of her experiences as a woman playing World of Warcraft online. Janine also recounts some of her experiences playing Destiny online.

Wrap up

Janine wraps up the episode by thanking Jonette and asking Jonette for a movie recommendation. Jonette recommends Midsommar and they bid listeners farewell.

Episode Credits


  • Janine Engelbrecht


  • Jonette Lessing


  • Janine Engelbrecht

Small Print

The theme music is "Dashboard Light" by One Two Feet, and is licenced by Holosuite Media through Epidemic Sound.

This podcast is a fan production. All views made are that of the individual(s), and may not represent that of the podcast, or the Holosuite Media network.

The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
36. All About Sylvanas Windrunner