Sunday, January 10, 2016

Just Include Everyone

Heads up, there are spoilers in this article for Star Wars. So if you don't like spoilers don't read this and don't read the link to the article. Okay, now I read this article:

After reading it, I found myself rather annoyed again. I say again, because I had this reaction when there were complaints all across the board about the fact that there were no Black Widow and Gamora toys or merchandise anywhere to be found with the Marvel lineup. To refresh your memory a bit about why that bullshit happened here is an article from The Mary Sue:

Even J.J. Abrams knew this was a problem as shown here:

Oh come on. No Rey, really?

There are so many reasons this annoys me; the big one being that it's boys and girls asking where Rey is. The other is I was one of those young girls. I found a love of comic books thanks to one of my uncles who is a huge comic book fan. I even remember the first comic book from his comic collection that he let me read that got me hooked on comics. I loved Star Wars and I loved Star Trek thanks to my grandmother who was a huge science fiction fan. Video games were things my brother Rob and I discovered on our own through our friends, but I loved those too. These were things I grew up with, that mean a lot to me, that are part of my childhood and that came with me into adulthood where I love them still.

The other thing that bugged me is this mentality among some people of oh the women and the girls don't matter even though in this day and age there is so much proof that more and more women/girls are playing video games, reading comic books, and loving things like Star Wars and Star Trek. There's also the "surprise" that so many people wanted merchandise of Rey that really bothered me. I mean, really? They're surprised that people wanted to buy toys and other merchandise of THE main character from the movie? Right, and I'm surprised that they know that ONLY boys like Star Wars. Yes, that was sarcasm.

I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say that not every girl is about Disney princesses. Yes, some are and that's great, but some of those very same girls love Star Wars too. To sit there and imply that they don't is not only ridiculous, it says a lot about how little they respect the fact that girls and women are also nerds and geeks.

It brought me back to days growing up in my home town where some of the meaner boys and girls in my class would tell me disdainfully that video games weren't for girls or that I was weird for liking Star Wars and Star Trek. There were also times where I would buy comic books from the used book store/comic shop or go into the comic book shop across the street and I'd have a few guys act like I had come into their bedroom at night watching them sleep like a creeper. I'd also get a couple that would see I was buying comic books (something that I wanted to do in peace, I mean fellas really you were rude) and it would treat me like I was a contestant on Jeopardy and grill me with questions challenging my comic book knowledge basically implying I had to prove that I was worthy enough to be in their domain. People who do that seriously need to grow up.

It's not a good feeling to feel like you're being excluded simply because of your gender especially from something like Star Wars that's meant to be for everyone to enjoy. This thinking that girls and women don't belong because "it's for boys" is a total crock. That's not how things are now. There are so many girls and women who are into comic books, Star Wars, video games, and all the wonderful nerdy and geeky things that are out there. It's not okay to say they don't matter or they don't belong. They DO belong just like all the boys and men belong so that everyone can share their love of something they feel is truly amazing be it Star Wars, video games, cosplay, and more.

I've found that as an adult, there are less people telling me I don't belong because I'm a woman. Instead they ask me what I think of this or that comic, or ask if I've played a certain video game and if it's worth buying and that makes me feel great. It gives me hope for my daughters who are also into a lot of the same nerdy and geeky stuff that I am; hope that more and more people won't worry about whether or not something is "for boys" or "for girls" and just celebrate the fact that they truly enjoy something and share it with others. We need more of that and less "surprise" that there are girls and women who are nerds and geeks that love all this awesome stuff too. Just include everyone. The kids today seem to understand that, why can't these people?

No comments:

Post a Comment