Why the Wookieepedia article on breasts is a big deal

wookTo be honest, I hadn’t planned to write more about Wookieepedia’s page on breasts. I’m already on record as disapproving, twice. Outrage fatigue happens even to the outraged, and quite honestly I don’t have the temperament or patience to continue to explain Feminism 101 to this fandom.

But the page and one of the responses ended up on Tumblr – one of those areas of fandom where you do actually see female majorities in many circles – and I remembered why it’s important that we keep speaking out.

Here are some of the responses on Tumblr to those posts:

“Don’t ever join the Star Wars fandom, it’s a disgusting place where you’ll encounter attitudes like these for the sake of an April Fool’s Day “joke” the moment you venture outside of your social circle. I seriously mean it, like, I’ve stopped trying to drag my non-SW female friends into this mess *exactly* because of this stuff, and I’ve stopped trying to pull my friends who’ve left it back in.” – nicolecieux

Wow, guys. Super fucking classy. I’m so goddamn proud to be a Star Wars fan right now. – thelibrarina

There are days when I’m glad I’m not more into the Star Wars fandom at large. This is one of those days. – ta-dala

Part of the reason I left the SW fandom and never looked back… – lordofhaladin

Let’s get something out of the way: This isn’t about the nudity. The artwork itself is beside the point, because the whole reason that page exists? It’s not because breasts are particularly important in the Star Wars universe, that’s for sure. It’s pure titillation, ‘oh, we’re so naughty,’ because it’s just so easy to write an article on biological functions and pretend that’s the point. But what real need is there for that on a Star Wars encyclopedia? None.

There’s already plenty of objectification going on in this franchise, in this fandom…. Do we really need to add more? And on, of all things, a highly visible and respected fandom resource?

I value Wookieepedia. I don’t have the time, energy, or sheer pedantry to contribute these days (disclosure: I did design their logo, back in the day) but I believe it’s a great resource for fandom, and I hate to see it dragging itself down and willfully alienating people (not just women) for the sake of a schoolyard joke. Wookieepedia is – or should be – better than that.

Is the article itself, if perceived in a vacuum, fairly minor? Yes. But that’s the thing: Fandom isn’t a vacuum, life isn’t a vacuum, and we see things like this all the time. But you know what these things say to women in a setting like the front page of the Wook? “You’re not welcome here.” “This isn’t for you.” And the responses? “Relax, it’s funny” and my personal favorite, “your concerns are not valid because I, as a member of a totally different demographic, don’t see what the big deal is.

So is it any wonder we turn around and we go back to our own areas of fandom? To fanfic and Tumblr and Livejournal and private mailing lists and all the other places over the years? If we’re lucky, if we’ve found or formed our own groups. But not everyone has that. How many woman and girls have just walked away? How many are simply and irrevocably alienated by offhand misogyny?

And then people wonder why there are so few women ‘in fandom.’

That’s why we make a big deal out of this sort of thing. It’s not okay, it’s not acceptable, and we’re done just letting it pass with a token shaming. Grow up already, because we’re not going to shut up about this kind of thing until it actually stops happening. It reflects badly on the Wook and on the fandom as a whole.

But hey, boobies. Ha ha.

FURTHER READING

80 thoughts on “Why the Wookieepedia article on breasts is a big deal

  1. susan

    Oh, lord. I’m a former female mod of Wookieepedia (was booted for inactivity). I remember a time when it was a fun community, but it’s become a increasingly unwelcoming male-dominated space IMO. I still have friends there, but… yeah.

    Reply
  2. Annalee

    So much this. This right here.

    I saw that ‘joke’ and thought “I could try to tell Wookieepedians why this upsets me, but I’m clearly not welcome there, so why bother?”

    People can write this off as angry feminists not being able to take a joke if they want, but the thing about jokes is that they’re supposed to be funny. Even if people don’t understand why this crap is so unwelcoming and hostile, how hard is it to take people at their word that it is? How hard is it to say “you know, I thought it was funny, but other people are telling me they’re hurt by this, and I value my fellow fans more than I value a boob joke on Wookieepedia?” XKCD’s ‘Slippery Slope’ comic is relevant, here.

    It’s interesting that when grade-school boys told Katie she wasn’t welcome in Star Wars fandom, the entire fandom leaps to support her with #MayTheForceBeWithKatie, and her mother had to ask folks to donate to children more needy instead of deluging her child with gifts. But when grown men tell grown women we’re not welcome in fandom, well–that’s just a day that ends in Y.

    Reply
  3. Jon

    Well said. It’s a constant uphill battle for women in fandom. I wish there was an answer, but it will have to come with maturity by men and less of this juvenile humor.

    As a guy, I can appreciate the whole “metal bikini fantasy” mentality up to a point, but I wish men in fandom could see Star Wars (or any fandom of choice) as being something better than the obvious. these fandoms and scifi mythologies should have been about the greater sum of our humanity and knowledge in the face of adversity, not just another sexual opportunity.

    Wookiepedia should be a resource to cherish, not to exploit for a cheap joke.

    Reply
  4. Darth Culator

    Wookieepedia writes articles on what exists. For the sake of balance I have tried, and I could not, in 159 eBooks, find the word “penis” or “testicle” used once, while there were pages of references to breasts. Don’t blame us for reporting on the universe as it is. Frankly, I think it would have been funnier to use a male organ for the sake of the joke, but we work with what the publishers give us.

    Reply
    1. Paula

      Darth Culator, please tell me I’m misreading your reply and you meant it as sarcasm? Because seriously. This is the problem.

      If Wookieepedia still thinks it’s funny, but a ton of people don’t, then just assume you’re not understanding and do something to save the integrity of the website. Because it’s rapidly disintegrating.

      This could be just a blip in an otherwise awesome site’s history or it could end up ruining things. It’s up to the website to decide how they’re going to proceed.

      Reply
    2. jawajames

      To sum up: “We made a boob joke because we couldn’t make a dick joke. Blame LucasBooks.”

      There are other kinds of jokes and gags out there – ones that are not sexist, juvenile or otherwise offensive and therefore inappropriate. Instead of making a boob or dick joke, perhaps Wookieepedia could have made a gag that would be funny to their entire audience and not marginalizing or inappropriate – ie, an actual April Fool’s joke, and not something stupid and demeaning.

      Not only does it seem that you don’t get the point here, you also don’t get the point of April Fool’s humor.

      Reply
    3. JabbaJohnL

      I’d like to imagine a bunch of overworked Wookieepedia editors sitting around a conference table with “MALE ORGAN” circled on a nearby whiteboard, slapping each other on the back and finally celebrating with champagne after hours of searching for the perfect April Fools joke, only to have a dejected, Kindle-clutching Darth Culator walk in and slowly shake his head . . .

      Reply
    4. erdehoff

      “Don’t blame us!” Seriously? Seriously?? We’re still having this conversation in 2014??? Your “joke” fell flat and you managed to alienate a large portion of your audience, and your response is “Don’t blame us”? Grow up and take some responsibility. YOU made the joke. YOU made the error. YOU take the heat. Dunc, is there any way you can revoke your permission for these spineless jerks to use the logo you designed?

      I am so tired of the “Don’t blame us! It was in the source material!” crap. People still use that as an excuse to stone people to death for “adultery” (often including “being a rape victim”) and homosexuality. You really want to side with those guys? Really?

      LOOK AT YOUR LIFE. LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES.

      Reply
  5. Emily

    Well said, Dunc. This isn’t about finding the percentage of people who think this is uncool, or whatever other B.S. someone wants to try to argue. This is about a fan-run website that is supposed to serve the community at large being accessible to all.

    To be honest, I’ll be less inclined from this point on to use Wookieepedia for fanfic research, and while my writing may suffer from a lack of detail and accuracy, I don’t feel as though I can support such a dismissive organization. If they don’t care enough about female fans and users, then I don’t care to give them any more web hits.

    Reply
  6. Dunc Post author

    Reminder: We have threaded comments now. To leave a direct reply to another commenter, please use the Reply link directly under their comment.

    And thank you to everyone for being courteous.

    Reply
  7. Reply from Wookieepedia

    LOL!!! As a Wookieepedia administrator, you guys need to consider the fact that showcasing George Lucas approved breasts is not a sin nor should the general article be an insult to you feminists.

    I’m appalled that you guys continue to make a big deal out of something so minor. It’s not sexually suggestive NOR IS IT PORNOGRAPHY. It’s tastefully done, canonical approved art.

    I strongly believe that you feminists need to open your eyes and look at the bigger picture. Your beloved The Clone Wars CGI television series has more sexually suggestive crap than Wookieepedia. Instead of worrying what we’re doing, you should be boycotting and posting rants about Ahsoka’s slutty tubetop and/or multiple hole look.

    You bunch are pathetic. I’m sorry but get off your high horse.

    Reply
      1. Geek_splosion

        Wow. It’s pretty clear Wookiepedia is having a completely different discussion in his head, and not actually comprehending the argument here. The point and he are in seperate zip codes. I’ll take this as a case where he’s arguing the fight he wants to be having (pornography and sexualization) instead of the discussion he’s actually having (sexism in fandom). Related, but not interchangeable.

        I may not agree with everything everyone says, but for the love of Waru, focus on the discussion at hand.

        Reply
      2. AngryFanboy

        Dunc, I’m a lurker but I couldn’t help but comment on this. I am furious that those involved with Wookieepedia have replied like this. Completely unacceptable. The objectification of women in RotJ, AotC and TCW is obviously a problem, but the bigger problem is the fans. I’m ready to wash my hands of this franchise and move on. J.J. doesn’t really give me hope that women will be treated better in the sequels after the gratuitous scene in ST:ID. And this is not just females who feel this way; I’m a man, for the record.

        Reply
    1. Crazy Sith Lady

      So does that mean you guys write articles for every thing mentioned in the Star Wars universe, just because it’s referenced? Hey, dirt gets referenced! Why not dedicate a page to dirt? Because, you know, some people may not really know what dirt is and when they come across it in Star Wars they check Wookieepedia itself instead of a regular encyclopaedia, biology textbook, or Google.

      It’s pointless. People know what breasts are, and dedicating a sci-fi universe encyclopaedia page to them just because they’re repeatedly mentioned or referenced is stupid. You don’t have pages for legs, or noses, or many other body parts mentioned and referenced. Calling breasts out is called sexualisation, and it IS demeaning to women.

      Reply
    2. Jeremy Conrad (@ManaByte)

      This reply just adds fuel to my theory that the page exists because some kid wants to look at pictures of boobies and is using the “Star Wars page he admins” as an excuse for when his parents finds his porn collection.

      Reply
      1. Cade

        None of our admins are below 18, last I checked, and if you think that’s porn, wow. A large part why we’re so defensive about is because people like you and the original guy who made it a big deal are so incredibly sensitive about it. The internet’s not censored, and neither is Wookieepedia.

        Reply
        1. Austin

          Are your admins the only people who use the site? A HUGE portion of Star Wars fandom is made up of kids, some very young. You could argue that their parents should be watching what they do if they’re that young, and you would be right. But their parents would probably allow them to go on a site that seems to be all about Star Wars – a relatively innocent and safe franchise for people of all ages.

          Put it this way. I have a younger sister who is really becoming interested in Star Wars. I have cousins under the age of ten, a boy and girl, who both love Star Wars. What if they went to Wookieepedia on April 1st and that was what greeted them? That’s a terrible message about a number of subjects and it’s going to be shown to them at an impressionable age through a platform featuring a franchise they love.

          Star Wars is about breasts? Star Wars is about pictures of naked aliens? Star Wars fans think those things are what we need to feature and give importance? What does that say about what male fans value about women? What does that make them think about guys in general? For the boy, does he start to think that beauty, quality, and value in a girl is determined by that? That all we care about is the body, and then, only if it’s a certain way? The girls can wonder that too, and when they don’t match that image, they tear themselves down. They lose all self-confidence. They can get depressed. All while ignoring their own beauty that is true on the inside and out, because they grew up in a world where value = breasts. This is a problem beyond Wookieepedia in our culture (which is why I know my opinion will not be popular), but it is disturbing, disappointing, and disgusting that any site promoting Star Wars would allow this.

        2. Cade

          I’m surprised that you think Star Wars is a franchise for all ages, when hundreds of people die in the movies and games, and some is decapitated on-screen. Also, it sounds like the people you should be complaining about is the artists. You guys are blowing this way out of proportion – it’s a single article out of 109,898 articles. Yes, the AFD was a bit in bad taste, but it was a joke – that’s absolutely not a reason for you guys to be calling for SW.com to remove us from their site. Please don’t try and take out your issues with mainstream culture on us just for one AFD joke.

    3. Jedi Jemster

      I find it hard to believe how one sided and pig-headed you are mr. administrator. This sort of thing is not something people joke about without seeing how people would be offended or even hurt. I’m a guy and I don’t think it was very funny. You bit off more than a rancor could chew on this and I hope you choke.

      Reply
    4. Knitress Nancy

      Dear Wookieepedia Administrator,

      I don’t understand why I am “pathetic” and “on a high horse”.

      You can’t come up with something more creative or interesting than a riff on body parts for an April Fool’s joke? Nobody said that the article was a sin. Dunc pointed out some issues with joke, and I agree with her. Dunc’s point was about representation of women in fandom and creating a culture where all fans feel welcome. You’re talking about what is/isn’t porn, “George Lucas approved breasts” and and whether or not Ahsoka wears “slutty” clothes.

      In other words, Dunc wrote about concerns about treating women as objects and why that makes women not want to be part of fandom, and you’re responding by treating female characters as objects.

      Bleargh.

      Reply
    5. compulsivecollector

      I feel sorry for anyone unfortunate enough to actually know the individual behind this commentary. The slut-shaming and repeating the phrase “you feminists,” as if that were some kind of insult, is even more patently offensive than the “joke” managed to be.

      I hope Lucasfilm does the right thing and pulls all links to the site.

      Reply
    6. JabbaJohnL

      “George Lucas approved breasts” sounds like a really shitty ska band.

      I don’t think most of the recent uproar is about the fact that the photo is used on the “Breast” page in the first place – the artwork is non-canon, but it is from an official LFL-approved publication, so you’re just following LFL’s lead, sure, whatever. Some could argue that the art is tasteful, and some could argue that it is sexually suggestive, and some could argue that it’s both since the two don’t actually have to be mutually exclusive. Some could argue that it was meant only to be seen in the context in which it was created – tucked away in a coffee table book full of art aimed at adult fans – and not the front page, or really any page, of a high-traffic Star Wars encyclopedia. And I think that many could argue that placing it next to several jokes in which breasts are referred to as “bazongas,” “hooters,” and “titties” is not even remotely appropriate in any context. The art may be tastefully done, but talking about Han Solo’s affinity for “uncovered…large double D breasts” is pretty far removed from good taste.

      Not to mention that, as a joke, it’s low-hanging-fruit, lowest-common-denominator type of stuff. Yes, Star Wars has stooped to the level of burp and fart jokes before, and while people can find those funny or juvenile and stupid (and most fans find them juvenile and stupid), at least they’re not blatantly exclusionary of half the human race. If you really need help looking for something to have fun with or make fun of in the overwhelmingly enormous Star Wars universe, perhaps you can run a search on some sort of . . . I don’t know . . . Wookiee wikipedia or something. Pointing out the existence of body parts for a laugh – be they female, male, or droid – is dumb and lazy and reinforces the negative stereotype of the fanboy as a an immature, sexually frustrated virgin who doesn’t know anything about actual women.

      And no, just because a character wears revealing clothing does NOT mean she or her clothing is slutty. The same thing goes for actual living human beings, which is clearly something fanboys have a hard time understanding at conventions. Sure, Ahsoka’s design could/should have been tweaked, even after the season three costume change, and much digital ink has already been spilled on this topic. But Ahsoka was also a strong female character with a compelling character arc that brought in many female fans and viewers. She was far more than a tube top.

      Reply
    7. MakingStarWars

      Being a feminist means you believe in equality of the sexes. It means you believe men and women are equal. When you write “you feminist” a few times, you’re stating you do not believe in equality between the sexes. It is that simple. I think the end of Wookieepedia’s post exemplifies that. He is effectively saying women shouldn’t have opinions about women in Star Wars and more importantly, how they’re portrayed.

      Reply
    8. erdehoff

      “You feminists” was all I needed to see. Clearly this person/hivemind is not worth my time and attention.

      Reply
  8. Greg

    I’d like to see the official site remove the links to Wookieepedia from its Encyclopedia. I can’t believe either LFL or Disney would have any interest in condoning this kind of behavior (either the “joke” or the tone-deaf responses from Wookieepedia).

    Reply
    1. Emily

      I completely agree. I even half-jokingly suggested to Dunc on Twitter that LFL/Disney offer up a Cease and Desist, since the Wook really only exists because they look the other way. Yes, it’s an extreme suggestion, but it wouldn’t hurt them to be a little scared right now. I wonder if the LFL people are even watching this. If they aren’t, they should be.

      Reply
    2. Dunc Post author

      I deliberately did not want to bring the official site into this, even jokingly – They have enough to do, I think. And when official types start dictating things to their fandoms, things get messy and complicated, fast.

      This is a fandom matter, and should be resolved as such. Not that I have the greatest of faith, as all the Wookieepedians we’ve seen here this far seem to have turned missing the point into an art form. But it’s early yet.

      Reply
      1. Greg

        I thought about those issues too, but Wookieepedia gains an appearance of legitimacy by being linked to (repeatedly) from the official site, and with that comes certain responsibilities. I’m not asking LFL to dictate anything to the Wook, but they do have a choice about what they link to. (I am hopeful, though, that this can be resolved within the fan community, which would be best. I’m cautiously looking forward to the Wook’s upcoming official statement.)

        Reply
      2. Emily

        I see your point, Dunc, but when it’s a site that large with that many page views…can LFL/the Mouse really afford to tacitly allow the kind of content that Wook’s admins are clearly okay with? I wonder.

        Reply
  9. Nanci

    By the way, the current page on breasts is NOT what was up during April Fool’s Day. The crassness of that particular article is why people were so offended.

    Reply
  10. Burzol (@Burzol)

    Hi. Hello. I don’t use Wookieepedia that often (I’m trying to focus on my local fandom)…and I really don’t understant what you’re saying. Maybe, because english is not my first language, but I don’t understand the problem.

    Silly jokes are just that, silly. Yes, it would be nice if they stop telling that one silly joke.

    But. Quit fandom alltogether? Suggest that LFL should loose all connection to certain fansite, just because it made silly joke? I find it a little too much. And trying to destroy Wookiee, suggest that corporate side of Lucasfilm and Disney should try to shut it down? I find that evil.

    So, if I can ask for a quick Feminism 101.

    PS. I also don’t understand why breast would casue so many problems, maybe because I am different demographic. (Sometimes I think I am feminist, but then I realize that I really like boobs and boob jokes, and that makes me really confused.)

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      It’s not just one page, one joke, one instance of casual sexism and objectification. It’s a lot of little things, like this, building up and up and up until one snaps. Some women get mad and argue, only to be told it’s not a big deal, again and again; Their opinions aren’t valued, their experiences aren’t considered to be enough ‘evidence.’ Some women just leave, because speaking up and having to constantly explain why things are offensive isn’t a fun part of being in fandom.

      It’s not boob jokes. We make boob jokes ourselves, the same way guys joke about balls. It’s that an entry that is basically a boob joke has no place on wiki that is devoted to the Star Wars franchise. Wikipedia has a page on breasts, and no one is going to say they shouldn’t, because that’s a general interest encyclopedia and they cover all different parts of anatomy as well. It makes sense in that context, but not Wookieepedia’s.

      Reply
      1. Darth Culator

        And why not? We have articles on teeth, sinuses, cloacas, all manner of anatomical features in our anatomy category, and I have yet to see a compelling argument for why breasts are not a legitimate topic. The non-joke version of the breast article is as valid on Wookieepedia as it is on Wikipedia, and I’m sorry if some people can’t accept that.

        Reply
        1. Dunc Post author

          I don’t understand why you need those, either; If a species has non-standard versions of such things, shouldn’t that just be on the species page? And no one’s going to get offended at teeth and sinuses because they aren’t parts that are regularly sexualized. (Cloacas? I am not even going there.)

          I’m sorry that you have a hard time understanding our points.

        2. erdehoff

          Oooooh, baby. Show me your sinuses. They get me so hot when they’re inflamed. Let me stroke them … no? You find that weird? You must be a FEMINAZI!

          I would hand you a shovel, kiddo, but you’re digging just fine on your own. Pray continue.

        3. Darth Culator

          Sigh. I see how it works. You can’t make a valid point, so obviously I don’t understand. Well the page isn’t going away without the consensus of participating members of the Wookieepedia community (and our system has been engineered over years to prevent external flooding), so you guys can keep yammering on without me.

  11. John

    I’m a pretty big SW fan. Saw the article and said “huh weird” and that was my entire reaction. No outrage from me. But that’s just me. I’m kinda surprised by the outcry.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      This is the justifiable reaction to countless cruel micro and macro aggressions stacking up. This sort of thing is crass, but it’s galling when it’s coming from such a large and important fandom touchpoint as Wookieepedia.

      Reply
    2. Dunc Post author

      If this was on someplace like Joe-Bob’s Star Wars Page, we’d roll our eyes, file Joe-Bob as a jerk, and move on. (Though add him to the pile of micro-aggressions…)

      But because it’s the Wook, it’s a much bigger issue. And I’d say the same if it was on the front page of any other prominent fan site.

      Reply
      1. Firebird2110

        Indeed, and now LucasFilm belongs to Disney you’d have thought that the Wook editors would have had the sense not to do anything that might get them negative publicity even if they’re too dumb to understand why it’s wrong.

        Reply
  12. Mr. Tom Dickinson (@NowWeAreAllTom)

    I’ve been out of the SW fandom loop for a while and only recently started getting interested in Star Wars again and I just wanted to say that I’m glad I found this blog because it’s great. Sucks that you’re getting dumb mysoginist dudebro hate, but I’m glad you’re out here saying what needs to be said.

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      Thank you. :)

      As for the dudebros… Well, I know what I signed up for writing this, and the worst ones are just digging their own holes.

      Reply
  13. Nicholas Meyer

    Please don’t include all of us Wookieepedians in one big basket. This April Fools joke was never voted upon by the community, and I, like many others, were also offended.

    Reply
    1. erdehoff

      Nicholas, if you mean that, then I really hope you and like-minded members/mods/users of the site take action over this. The “official” representatives of Wookieepedia are not exactly doing themselves any favors with their replies here (“You feminists should get off your high horse! George Lucas-approved breasts! Sexy sinuses!” is not really helping their cause, yet they persist). I am not optimistic that any such action will be well received by the higher-ups if their representation in these comments is any indication, but at least you will have tried.

      Reply
  14. RK

    This is too much. From both sides.

    Certainly, the April Fools article was not in the best of taste, but nor was it the horror of offensiveness that a number of people here seem to be treating it as. It was juvenile, but it was no more so than what you’d hear characters joking about on a network sitcom.

    The proportion of negative response evidenced here is pushing the bounds into flabbergasting. SW fandom is a ‘disgusting’ place that LFL should cut itself off from? Please. That’s every bit as kneejerk juvenile foot-stamping as the article itself was high school locker room talk. Everyone on the ‘anti’-Wookieepedia side here would do well to just take a deep breath, relax, and realizing they’re freaking out over a FICTIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA making a one-time gag which they know to be unacceptable in any serious discourse.

    Disclosure and balance: I was once but am no longer a regular contributor to Wookieepedia. My reasons for walking away from it…well, they’re on full display here by the Wookieepedia administration staff.

    The individuals responsible for running the site, and hence directly or indirectly representing it to fandom at large, are precisely the calibre of people represented by the responses to this issue. The immaturity of the responses, vis a vis ‘sorry you were offended, not my problem’ and utter failure to even consider wrongdoing are the MO of many of the individuals currently running Wookieepedia (and are no doubt significant contributing factors in the hemorrhaging of their user base).

    Nobody is in the right here. And it’s probably best if both sides walk away.

    Reply
    1. erdehoff

      “You feminists are stupid! But you Wookieepedia people are ALSO stupid! You’re ALL stupid! I’m the best because I think you’re ALL stupid! And I should know, because I have worked with both stupid feminists AND stupid Wookieepedia people! … HEY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING? LOOK AT MEEEEE!”

      *marks off space on Blog Post Comment Bingo card and takes a shot*

      Reply
    2. Brian

      Everything I’ve written and (I firmly believe) everything Dunc has written on this subject has been a fair and proportional response to the initial offense and the responses that have been offered when the offense was called out.

      Walking away would make everyone more comfortable because then folks wouldn’t be forced to think about why this all has been so offensive, exclusionary, and crass. But walking away and just letting stuff like this happen doesn’t do anything to address the problem this fandom has with being cruel to fans that don’t fit into the white male 18-49 demo.

      Reply
    3. compulsivecollector

      When guys of a certain mindset quit going out of their way to make fandoms hostile environments for anyone who isn’t a straight, white male, I’ll have no reason to acknowledge them at all. But as long as they find complicity in those who’ll dismiss others’ lived experiences and responses to them with “you’re overreacting” and “boys will be boys,” they won’t think twice.

      Reply
  15. erdehoff

    For some reason, I can’t reply directly to Darth Culator’s latest comment about the feminists being unable to make a good argument, so I’ll just say this: That whooshing sound you just heard? That was the ENTIRE POINT soaring over your head on its way into hyperspace. And that point will beat your time on the Kessel Run by a good 2 parsecs even though parsecs are a measure of distance rather than time.

    (I almost looked that up on Wookieepedia to make sure I hadn’t forgotten my college astronomy and cosmology classes, but then I remembered that you don’t deserve any clicks from me, so I’m going with my gut. And my brain. Alas, I forgot to consult my breasts, but they would probably inform me that there’s a 30% chance that it’s already raining.)

    I haven’t used your site in the past few years, but given everything that you’ve said in defense of your lame, sexist, objectifying, decent-human-being-alienating joke, I’m not inclined to start doing so now or at any point in future. I’m sorry that your misogynist myopathy is tarnishing the name of what I had presumed up to this point to be a good website. In the meantime, let the hate flow through you! That always worked out brilliantly for characters in the SW universe.

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      You can reply. It’s just things stop being threaded after you go four deep, because otherwise… Well, you can see how crazy things would get if the text field got any smaller.

      Reply
      1. erdehoff

        Ah! OK. I will do Darth Culator the favor of presuming that he is capable of basic reading comprehension, then, which (under the circumstances) seems quite generous to me. (See above re: WHOOSH comment.)

        Reply
  16. kataja

    I’m a woman. I’m a feminist. And I’m really divided here, ‘cos I think the many of the reactions here are way over the top – but at the same time, I support that you react when you’re insulted, because silence doesn’t change anything… I guess that what I feel bad about is that we live in a time when people tend to get offended and loud over a lot of stuff. We’re many here (on the internet, in society as well as in the SW community), and we’re different, and we should remain just that – different. And in this, I think humor is a good thing, meant to take the top out of things! I can consider a joke lame, and I can say this out loud, but I really try hard not to be offended by it. I guess that sums it up for me. Oh, no, there’s one more thing. I don’t think sexualization hurt women. Being a sex object doesn’t either. But ONLY being sexualized and objectified does. There’s a HUGE distinction there. And I guess I’m not the only woman who’s tired of watching stereotypes dictate what’s considers attractive. So yes to sex (it’s here to stay, anyway), yes to jokes (the lame ones included, as long as I can go “blah”) and a huge YESSS to diversity.

    Reply
  17. ErrantEndeavour

    Dear Dunc and the rest of ClubJade,

    Thank you very much for this post, and your continuing presence in the fandom. It’s because of people like you that I’ve not totally lost my faith in the fandom, and in humanity in general. We need more and more people to speak up and call this bollocks out, and ClubJade’s is one of the best voices out there.

    Reply
  18. Ruth

    Dunc, after all you have done to further Star Wars over the last nearly 20 years, after all that Club Jade has done to host a welcoming, creative space for fans and talent over that same time, it really appalls me that we are even having this discussion and doubly so that you and CJ are being targeted in such immature, stupid ways. Do they really not know how much of SW fandom activity (and it’s be no means limited to SW) has been driven by content created by women and girls? Not perfect to be sure, and a long way to go, but so much better than it was, or could have been. We know precisely when LFL realized they had a huge, untapped female audience because we where there when they asked, as John “Dack” Morton recently chronicled on the SW blog. For so many of us who have “passed on what we have learned” and loved to the next generation, seeing such unrepentant, sexist, tone deaf, abusive behavior STILL in the fandom younglings really makes me rethink the wisdom of that. I’ll stick with it because I’m old and won’t be bullied (good gracious, at my advanced age, of course I’m a feminist you idiot — thanks for noticing!) But why would I want my kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews in this environment? Better to foster love of something else that isn’t so horribly sexist and retrograde.

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      I want to thank you Ruth, and Nancy and Yav and all the other early CJers for being there when I was young and new to all this myself, to show that Star Wars fandom DIDN’T have to be all about what the guys were into. You ladies introduced me to SO, SO much.

      And thanks to the guys of CJ as well, all the Wild Karrdes, Tim and Mike and Aaron, (::sniff::) for taking us seriously and being such great examples themselves.

      Reply
      1. Ruth

        Sniff, indeed. I was thinking about how glad I will be to introduce my own male teen spawn to the WK influence this year. Something else to consider in all this is that sure this is all supposed to be a fun hobby in the wilds of Internet anonymity, but April Fool’s tit jokes, slut slamming, victim blaming and the whole non-apology, “I’m sorry you humorless feminists were so offended by my juvenile behavior” can get you in serious trouble in today’s modern workforce. It may be flat out illegal. The objections voiced here, by the people here, are not outliers. This all has very real world application.

        Reply
  19. derp

    So there are pictures of breasts in a book, making this article acceptable and cannon?
    If wookiepedia is do passionate about the body, we should help them out! Lets mobilize ourselves to write them articles on feet, toes, nails, I’m sure they’ll appreciate the help!
    Seriously, it might be a good idea. Wookie would have to choose between being flooded with useless articles, or stop us and prove themselves as hypocrites. Whatdya think, CJ? Give them a run for their money, and a punishment bigger than the debate they don’t even listen to.

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      Too late. They already have lots of pages like that. That’s why the breast page can exist. Their policy on what’s notable is so broad – it’s a major part of the problem.

      Reply
      1. Stooge

        I do have to wonder if the other pages on anatomy came out after the breasts page was already an issue. Because this certainly isn’t the first time, alas, that folks have complained about it.

        And yeah, I could probably just dive into the histories and research it all but y’know what, no.

        Reply
  20. Doyle

    Great write up, Dunc. You’ve more or less gotten to the heart of how I feel about this. The attitude that the Wookieepedia admins have taken, both in these comments and elsewhere, is completely unacceptable. Wookieepedia used to be a nice resource, but now I guess it’s just a bookmark to be deleted.

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      Thank you.

      And, yeah… I can’t say I’m surprised at the reaction on the Wook, but I WAS surprised at exactly what depths some of these folks are willing to sink to. Does explain a lot, though.

      Reply
  21. Former Wookieepedian

    If anyone else is concerned about this “Darth Culator” you can direct your concerns to Wikia staff @ http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/User_talk:Brandon_Rhea

    Alternatively, if 50+ users simply sign up for a Wookieepedia account and make 50 valid edits each they will then be eligible to sign the petition to have the offending user removed as an administrator @ http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wookieepedia:Requests_for_removal_of_user_rights

    Alternatively you can direct your concerns to the user directly on his talk page at http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/User_talk:Darth_Culator or on the official Wookieepedia facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/TheOfficialWookieepedia

    This Wookieepedian has finally crossed the line and should no longer be allowed to continue abusing his administrator privileges.

    Join the Wookieepedia revolution and help make the wikia what it once was; a site for everyone, young and old.

    The above links are also relevant if you have concerns regarding ANY user/administrator’s conduct here or over at Wookieepedia, not just the user who instigated this whole situation.

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Forum:Administrators%27_noticeboard is also a good place to raise your concerns. A discussion relevant to this issue is already taking place. However, if your comments are deleted outright by and admin/bureaucrat you would be best to direct your comments to official Wikia staff members such as http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/User_talk:Brandon_Rhea

    Reply
    1. Dunc Post author

      It’s an unfortunate Catch-22: The only way to truly change the place is from the inside, but things like this doesn’t exactly make folks want to become a part of the community.

      And it seems that’s how the community likes it. I hope this does prompt more people to join in and stick around, but I certainly can’t blame anyone who doesn’t.

      Reply
  22. Pingback: Strong Female Characters at Wondercon: From Comics, Star Wars Rebels, and Beyond « fangirlblog.com

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