The problem with pink armor. Tracy Gardner on Rebels, Disney and gender riles. I’m hoping we see Sabine repaint her armor every couple episodes or at least every season (think of the marketing potential!) but I do find somewhat disturbing that she and Hera look like they’ll very easily fall into the ‘love interest’ and ‘mom’ roles in regards to Ezra.
Why marketers fear the female geek. It’s an older article (as well as a gaming one,) but it checks out. For instance: “We create opportunity by being vocal. We voice our frustration with how things currently are and progressive marketers will see an unsatisfied customer base… We have to keep being visible.”
The Hasbro panel at SDCC seems to have been, well, a Hasbro panel. Dan Brooks liveblogged it for StarWars.com, and above you see the female figures: The Black Series Medal Ceremony Leia will be in the 3.75-inch line, and for Rebels, Hera and Sabine each come in two-packs with troopers.
Is harassment at comic conventions really that big a problem? Yes. Yes it is. In this survey, 25% of the respondents said they have been sexually harassed in the industry. Twenty five percent.
What even the best blockbusters are still getting wrong about women. “When I asked [Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves] why there was so little for women to do in Dawn, he fell uncharacteristically silent. ‘It wasn’t a conscious decision. I don’t know,’ he finally admitted.” Why are we still making a big deal about this, re: Episode VII and other blockbusters? Because of answers like that.
Gee, catering to young dudes is actually harming Hollywood’s cash flow? “Many male-skewing summer tentpoles are luring fewer females.” Imagine that.
Infographic: Women directors in the studio system, from 2009-2013. Twenty-two women out of 466 directors, total.
Currently, there are no plans for Leia products at Disney Store, Natalie. Have a wonderful day!
No so shocking, really, given the current climate. (Not to mention that the ‘have a wonderful day!’ is delightfully discordant here. How very, Disney.) They do later offer to follow up with Natalie. Perhaps they noticed the response? I first saw this on The Mary Sue, and today it’s on Jezebel. Hello, mainstream!
Given the reports from Star Wars Weekends that Her Universe stuff was selling like hotcakes down in Orlando, is it really such of a stretch for the Disney Store to dream up some Leia merchandise? As Jezebel points out, Disney is more than aware of the demand for Frozen stuff – why can’t they imagine that people may want Leia dolls, Padme dolls (dear lord, you could found an American Girl-style empire on that woman’s wardrobe alone) or even a few t-shirts?
Hell, turn some of that in-house Princess expertise to a Star Wars test run, or simply partner with Her Universe to get a few exclusive tees and dresses, bags and necklaces in stores across the country, and count your money.
Yes, Star Wars is a brand that is seen as being primarily “for boys.” But that doesn’t mean girls don’t like it. (Hello!) That doesn’t mean that girls obsessed with Elsa (or their parents and grandparents) won’t pick up a Leia shirt, an Ahsoka lightsaber, a Queen Amidala dress while they’re in your stores. This is not a zero-sum game: Crossing the aisle of the tired boy-franchise/girl-franchise gender binary means you get more money. What’s so hard to understand about that?
UPDATE: Steve Sansweet has an entry on the official blog about the Disney Store Star Wars offerings. Several comments are already addressing this issue, but if you feel the need to join them, please BE NICE. After all, Steve and the StarWars.com team are not at fault here.
Why are there so few women in the galaxy far, far away? One (batshit) in-universe theory.
Today’s casting announcement was indeed very welcome. Finally, we have a confirmed cast, or at least the biggest part of one. We have a group of familiar faces and new actors who come with glowing recommendations, and they’re not all white guys. (Just mostly.)
But there was one bit of fallout that we have mixed feelings about.
Where are the women?We have Carrie Fisher, of course. But of the seven new cast members there’s only one other woman joining her. Granted, Daisy Ridley could very well be playing Episode VII’s main character. She could be the axis the entire film revolves around. Or, she may not be. We don’t know, and they’re probably not going to tell us any time soon. And there could be other women in the cast but again: We’re not seeing them today. In any case, this is the core cast. The leads will be drawn out of this group – or so we’re led to assume.
I’m not the only one who noticed this, or remembered the casting call for two new female roles. And may still be? Though two out of eight isn’t much better, depending on the size of both roles. Three female characters is still only hitting the bare minimum. In addition to the virtual stream of comments on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr, we have pieces from Annalee Newitz, Amy Ratcliffe, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, Devin Faraci, Eliza Thompson, Julie Hammerle, Bonnie Burton, Rainbow Rowell and Tricia Barr. And, from back in February, Laura Hudson’s Leia is not enough.
But, you know, “be patient.”
We’ve had two trilogies with exactly one woman each taking the lead. We had the prequel trilogy, where, finally, there were enough women that they actually talked to each other sometimes. When their scenes weren’t cut, anyway. (Sorry, Padme’s mom and sister. Sorry, Mon Mothma.) Still, Padme talked to her handmaidens, to Shmi Skywalker, to Queen Jamillia, to Beru Whitesun. And remember: The Bechdal test is (again) the bare minimum, not any sort of ultimate measure.
Outside of the movies, we’ve embraced the addition of characters like Mara Jade, Jaina Solo, Ahsoka Tano and even newcomers Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren, whose show hasn’t even aired yet. Two women in the Rebels cast? We were enthusiastic, even if there are still some bumps in the road.
“Be patient,” they say.
They don’t seem to realize that we have been patient. We’re here. We’re fans. We’re ready. We’ve been patient for 30 years. It’s just that now, there’s enough of us visible that you can’t ignore us when we speak up.
Here’s a real question for you: Why do we keep asking? It’s not because we enjoy this outrage, I’ll tell you that much. It’s because of decades of being ignored, disrespected, and of our contributions being constantly downplayed, our concerns brushed to the side. And if we don’t ask, if we go back to being “patient?” That’ll just give them more reason to go back to the status quo, no matter how many Katnisses there are.
I’m sorry this casting announcement, this moment we’ve all been waiting nearly two years for, has been clouded by complaints. But I’m not sorry for speaking up as to why. I just wish we didn’t have to.