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Discussion Star Wars and Feminism

Discussion in 'Star Wars: New Films - No Spoilers Allowed' started by QuiWanKenJin, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. QuiWanKenJin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2005
    star 4
    Okay, let me explain exactly what I mean. Don't be getting me wrong, (with watto voice) I like stories with female characters and I even like stories with female lead characters. But it just seems like after the Force Awakens, Rogue One, Battlefront II story campaign, and then if that did't help, Forces Of Destiny, which is ONLY interested in female characters, it seems like their is some kind of hostile, retaliatory agenda? If it wasn't that this was happening in succession, I probably wouldn't have said anything. It's starting to feel less like gender equality and more like revenge. I personally didn't feel like Star Wars was ever discriminatory toward women, its a universe for girls and boys. Of course it could be that I am reading into this way too much, and they are just trying really hard to get young girls interested in Star Wars. If that be the case, then I wish them all the success, but why does it feel like that is not the motivation? Is anyone else sensing this or has a better insight? In case you think I'm being sexist (I'm not) my favorite all time character has and always will be Mara Jade.
  2. darkspine10 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2014
    star 5
    Just because the lead characters are all female doesn't make it propaganda.

    By your argument, all previous Star Wars media (besides maybe TCW with Ahsoka and Rebels' focus on a bigger cast) is a tool for male propaganda.
  3. TCF-1138 New Films & Fan Films Mod

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    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 5
    OK, since this is a subject that could very easily turn into a nasty flame-war, we'll lay down some rules.
    If we see anything that even hints at...

    -Baiting
    -Flaming
    -Sexism
    -Hate speech of any kind
    -Basically anything that is not civil discourse

    ...then we will lock this thread, and guilty parties might earn themselves a vacation from the forums.
    Last edited by TCF-1138, Jul 10, 2017
  4. Martoto77 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2016
    star 4
    I simply wouldn't define something that I claim to find legitimate in principle as being propaganda, of any kind simply because I'm seeing it more frequently than it had occurred before.
    Last edited by Martoto77, Jul 10, 2017
  5. TCF-1138 New Films & Fan Films Mod

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    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 5
    Updated the title to be less antagonistic.
    EHT and Darth Chiznuk like this.
  6. QuiWanKenJin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2005
    star 4
    I totally agree with your assessment, it just feels like instead of balance it has gone to the opposite extreme.
  7. TCF-1138 New Films & Fan Films Mod

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    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 5
    Well, the next film after TLJ is a Han Solo movie. Ezra is the lead character in Rebels.

    Is the balance really that offset?
  8. Darth Chiznuk Superninja of New Films

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    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 6
    There have been six films with male leads and two with female. Not seeing how that's unbalanced in favor of female leads.
  9. Jedi_Jade-Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2000
    star 3
    I get what @QuiWanKenJin is say. First, there's TFA and the main character is Rey. Then Rogue One & Felicity Jones' character. I think I heard Battlefront II also has a female main character. I'm not sure on that, since I'm not interested in Battlefront at all. And then Forces of Destiny, with its focus on only the female characters. Personally, I thought TFA balanced male & female characters well. I hated Rogue One for many reasons (99% story/cinematography), so I can't comment on that. I've seen 2 episodes of Forces of Destiny and don't like it, but the 2 episodes I saw are just about female characters.

    Part of what I loved about the OT & Bantam era novels was the balance between male & female characters, in terms of how they're written. Yes, Leia & Mon Mothma are the only women seen (as far as I remember)...but they're both very strong, independent women. Leia is a princess, senator, and leader, and Mon Mothma is the leader of the entire Rebel Alliance. Then they both go on to become President of the New Republic. And the men are equally strong & interesting characters. I really hope they stay true to the OT in the ST, with an equal balance of strong men & women (and male & females of every species in the GFFA).

    I think you have to look into the history of the feminist movement to get an idea of what we're seeing in Star Wars today. First wave feminists sought the right to vote, and second wave feminists (1960's) worked for equality. And they've achieved those goals. Women are the majority of college graduates & voters. Women who do the same job and don't have kids make as much (or more) money than men. So, yay men & women are now equal! But how does a movement respond when they've reached their goal? Third wave feminists seem to take things way too far. It was about equality, now its a female supremacist movement. Intersectional feminism is also a problem. Basically, there's a hierarchy of victimhood, and how much of a victim you are gives you more credibility. That's not at all healthy, psychologically. Basically, there's an attempt to create a feeling like nothing at all has changed since the 1950's & 1960's, despite all evidence to the contrary.

    Then again, Luke Skywalker was my favorite character when I was a little girls, so what do I know?
  10. QuiWanKenJin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2005
    star 4
    ^^This, you get me, it feels like the third wave has taken over to some degree. Ignoring that, as long as it isn't extreme, I think Star Wars needs some feminism, I'm actually quite happy with the success with Her Universe. Very creative, taste.
  11. EHT New Films Manager

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    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 7
    I just want to add that I think the concept of "LFL making up for before" is overstated a bit. I love all the strong female roles in the new SW content like Rey and Jyn, and if that brings in more girl fans then that's great. But the part that seems to be a little bit revisionist is the idea that SW used to just be for boys. Leia was far ahead of her time as a strong female character, and many girls watching SW identified with her and wanted to be like her. Growing up with the OT films as they were released, most of my friends of both genders loved SW, wanted to play SW, etc... not just the boys.
  12. TCF-1138 New Films & Fan Films Mod

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    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 5
    I absolutely agree with you there. I just think it's awesome that kids these days have more female characters to look up to than just Leia.

    I really don't see a feminist movement within Lucasfilm/Star Wars as a bad thing. Most main characters are still male anyway, so I don't see why men/boys would complain about regarding a lack of male characters.
  13. EHT New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 7
    They don't... and even better, they like the female leads too. I've never heard or seen a boy SW fan say anything about not liking Rey or Jyn for any reason.
  14. Pro Scoundrel New Films Lawgiver & Casual Flyer

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    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 5
    You mean they haven't picked up on the "Conspiracy of Womynists" seeking to enslave their gender though Star Wars?:eek:
    anakinfansince1983 and EHT like this.
  15. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms

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    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 9
    I am a third-wave feminist. I'll stop being a third-wave feminist when I never hear, among other things, "I'm not sexist but..." ever again. Or when Star Wars Celebrations and other type cons never have to put up a detailed explanation of what it "harassing cosplayers" means, because nobody is ever ***holish enough to ask "Is it harassment if I do this?" Or when men have to carry pepper spray and jog in pairs as often as women do. Or when there is never again a need for a self-defense class marketed towards women because men are not harassing and raping women and getting away with it. Or when no defense attorney at a rape trial ever again asks, "What was she wearing? How much had she had to drink? Did she clearly say "no"?" Or when no one ever stereotypes women as being weaker, "the fairer sex," more emotional, more nurturing, and assumes that most or all women fit those descriptions with the excuse "I didn't say all women, I'm just making a generalization" and therefore excludes women who do not fit those descriptions. Or when women are not threatened with rape online for making posts or comments about sexism or women's rights. Or when my scenarios here are not shrugged off with "whelp, some men will always be misogynists, what are you gonna do?"

    Or...when two female leads in Star Wars films is not considered "taking over" and when a series of shorts featuring female characters is not considered a "feminist agenda." Or when Rey is not considered a "feminist creation" because she does not want Finn holding her hand five minutes after they met.

    Where I agree with the TS: Star Wars has always been a creation for boys and girls. I'm one of the original fans, and grew up with Leia as a role model. Lucas broke the mold with her, and got some heat for it because she was not sweet and demure to Han and Luke. I had my issues with Mara Jade when she succumbed more to the bad stereotypes about women (complaining about her ankles when she was pregnant) but she was great in the Zahn novels. Star Wars has always had strong women.

    I've told this story elsewhere on the site but...once in Target heading to the action figures, I heard two boys behind me saying "Girls don't like Star Wars, only boys like Star Wars." I turned around and said "I like Star Wars." My sons were laughing pretty hard; the other boys' jaws dropped. (I don't want to think about what kind of tripe they've been fed.) A few minutes later we were all looking at action figures together.

    Where I disagree with the OP is that creating more strong women and putting them in lead roles is somehow bad, an agenda, or "revenge" (against what?).

    Pretty sure Lucas' plan for the ST always included a female lead.
  16. TCF-1138 New Films & Fan Films Mod

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    Sep 20, 2002
    star 5
    @anakinfansince1983 - very well said.

    And yes, a woman's journey to become a Jedi was from Lucas's outline. And Jyn Erso was created by John Knoll.
    But, according to some fans (not accusing anyone here mind you) it must be Kathleen Kennedy's feminist agenda.
    Martoto77 and anakinfansince1983 like this.
  17. Pro Scoundrel New Films Lawgiver & Casual Flyer

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    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 5
    I used the search feature, and I can't seem to find the "Is Star Wars A Tool For Male Propaganda?" thread. Considering the overwhelming ratio of male heroes (and villains) in Star Wars, how has no one ever started one? Do we only ask these questions about women?



    (The original title of this thread was "Has Star Wars become a tool for feminist propaganda?")
  18. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms

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    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 9
    I would ask WTF is "feminist propaganda," but my eyes are already rolling back so far in my head that I'm afraid I'll need surgery.
  19. {Quantum/MIDI} Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2015
    star 5
    Word is, the whole "Feminist Propoganda" has been around for quite a while. I think I saw a documentary of other females speaking on the matter but I can't remember what it was called. Was pretty short.

    To the thread, I wouldn't think so. Lucas's outline for ANH was 2 female leads, and that started in the 70's. And I think it's high time for some female main leads. I quite love females myself and they are human beings..Its only natural of a progression.

    I think the real judge of all this can be based of the characters themselves, not some feminist propaganda.
  20. Martoto77 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2016
    star 4
    See when people claim "But I just feel it's going to the other extreme?", it indicates that they were comfortable with previously unchallenged "extreme". And the "but" indicates they are not comfortable with the "other". Extreme being the common factor, it's clear that extremism is not the issue if only one extreme prompts a "but".

    I sense .......

    [IMG]


    .. coming soon.
    Last edited by Martoto77, Jul 11, 2017
  21. Outsourced Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2017
    star 3
    Honestly, I don't care. Gender is only one facet of a complex character. Good characters integrate it as one piece of a whole, while the bad wallow in it without developing something around it. In general, I like the character's we're getting. Male or female, I think most of them are good, with interesting motivations, identifiable character arcs, and satisfying depth. And if I like the character's i'm given, why should I care about some kind of imaginary 'Balance' not being achieved?
    Vinylshadow and BookExogorth like this.
  22. QuiWanKenJin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2005
    star 4
    Maybe for some, but not me. I was getting not offended, but annoyed by the opposite extreme. When the canon Jedi Exile for Kotor 2 was announced as a woman named, Meetra Surik I was overjoyed, as I was getting tired of male only lead characters, as I felt there were too many male characters in succession and that was getting repetitive.
  23. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms

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    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 9
    There is no "opposite extreme" for you to be annoyed by, which is the point.

    Eight Star Wars films. Two female leads. Upcoming Star Wars films: one with a female lead, one with a male lead.

    @Outsourced : I mostly agree with you. If the ST had been created with a male lead instead of Rey, I would have been fine with it. Characterization is more important; I like characters that are fun, witty, and temperamentally strong. I don't like characters that are melodramatic, codependent and emotionally weak, whether male or female.

    The difference is that female characters have traditionally been more likely to be portrayed that way, and some people prefer that female characters behave that way (hence the complaints about Leia in 1977, some of which still crop up today). There have been arguments that portraying a woman as physically and emotionally strong is some sort of "agenda," an argument that never appears when a man is portrayed that way.
    TCF-1138 likes this.
  24. Pro Scoundrel New Films Lawgiver & Casual Flyer

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    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 5
    Can we talk about the REAL problem? Hollywood's obvious Robot agenda. I mean, they're really ramming it down our throats. Take that PC crap someplace else!

    [IMG][IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
  25. Martoto77 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2016
    star 4
    Johnny 5 was ok. But he did three stooges routines and John Wayne impressions. That was fine. But now. the modern robots are all gangster. Are they supposed to be role models?