February 20, 2013
'Star Wars' Needs a New Approach to Gender—Not Just More Women

Because, after all, the lack of women in Star Wars is not arbitrary. Star Wars is a genre picture—and the genre is, broadly, boys’ adventure. The series is devoted to battles, adventure, politics, more adventure, and more battles. Girls certainly can—and certainly do!—like all of those things. But the fact remains that the genre has historically been focused on boys. Which means that it has been a lot more concerned with providing points of identification for guys than with points of identification for girls. It’s not an accident that it’s Leia rather than Han who ends up in the swimsuit and chains, right? (Even though she remains, even in chains, badass.)
Genre and gender, then, are tied up together. Sci-fi imagines different worlds—but those different worlds are governed in no small part by particular narrative expectations. The galaxy isn’t as far away, nor as teeming with possibilities as it looks.
Read more. [Image: 20th Century Fox]

'Star Wars' Needs a New Approach to Gender—Not Just More Women

Because, after all, the lack of women in Star Wars is not arbitrary. Star Wars is a genre picture—and the genre is, broadly, boys’ adventure. The series is devoted to battles, adventure, politics, more adventure, and more battles. Girls certainly can—and certainly do!—like all of those things. But the fact remains that the genre has historically been focused on boys. Which means that it has been a lot more concerned with providing points of identification for guys than with points of identification for girls. It’s not an accident that it’s Leia rather than Han who ends up in the swimsuit and chains, right? (Even though she remains, even in chains, badass.)

Genre and gender, then, are tied up together. Sci-fi imagines different worlds—but those different worlds are governed in no small part by particular narrative expectations. The galaxy isn’t as far away, nor as teeming with possibilities as it looks.

Read more. [Image: 20th Century Fox]

  1. distractedbyshinyobjects reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    If we’re definitely not gonna get a Mara Jade or a Jayna Solo or a Teneniel Djo (which is 99.9% likely that we won’t) or...
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  7. stafeminists reblogged this from iaintborn-typical and added:
    An insight into the lack of women- and how those present are portrayed- in the Star Wars saga (if you scroll down, there...
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    reblogged for the link in the word ‘badass’
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  25. raeliz reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    I can’t really comment too much on this article, as I haven’t read any of the books the author talks about, but can we...