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The truth about "The Force is Female"

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by NihilusLordOfHunger, May 29, 2018.

  1. NihilusLordOfHunger

    NihilusLordOfHunger Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 2016
    I have only recently dug up info about this, and, in order to combat disinformation and toxicity in the fandom (as for too long I have seen this picture become an instrument of hatred), I wish to share my findings.

    I am, of course, talking about the infamous "The Force is Female" picture [https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-dTHZdUMAAtIdC.jpga], which is costantly used to point at Kathleen Kennedy as evil, man-hating, trying to "appropriate" the franchise from the poor little boys (often mixed in with the carefully twsited claim that she "does not need to cater to men", when in fact she was specifically speaking about the subset of toxic fandom, mostly made up of men, that had complained about the diverse casting of Rogue One and having another woman as the protagonist) or even (if tinfoil for hats abunds in the house) that she was legitimately giving the Force a canonical gender. Yes, some people can be that stupid, trust me - or better yet, check it out for yourselves.

    Anyway, on to the actual facts.

    "The Force is Female" has nothing to do with Star Wars. Like, nothing at all. That shirt was not printed by Lucasfilm/Disney/whatever for Kennedy to wear.

    "The Force is Female" is a campaign created and sponsored by Nike, aimed to promote the image of "women that aspire to shape the future and think outside of the box" [https://missbish.com/nikes-new-campaign-is-all-about-girlbosses-the-force-is-female/]. In case you are still doubtful, check the font - it is the same. So, "Force" as in "Strenght", not as in "Mystical energy field that binds all living beings together". No correlation, whatsoever, to the Force from Star Wars.
    "But then - some may wonder - why is Kennedy wearing this shirt? Did she "hijack" the campaign to make a statement for herself?" A legitimate question - had she herself taken the photo, in her own workplace, and posted it. However, none of the aforemented things happened. The photo was taken at the Archer Film Festival, an event aimed at young women interested in entering (and, most importantly, struggling to; because, putting aside any opinion you may have of feminism, many women do have to struggle more to affirm themselves as directors or producers) film industry on a high level. An event she did not organize but was invited to (by a man and with her husband, no less), for reasons related to her career as a high-profile producer and contribution to many women in the industry - not for reason tied to Star Wars - to act as one of the main speakers. [https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ho...-at-archer-film-festival-998045?source=images]. And even when she DID speak referencing Star Wars, she never mentioned anything about some secret man-hating agenda - in fact, she spoke of equality, hope and determination, all while quoting Yoda. Not even Leia, the poster woman for "strong and indipendent". She quoted our favorite "little, green friend".

    Look at the second pic, bottom of the article. A quite large number of people, all wearing the "Force is Female" shirt - are they all into some secret coven to plot againist male Star Wars fans, or could it be that they are all wearing that shirt for completely unrelated reasons to the Galaxy far far away?
    Even the other women in the original "incriminated" pic are completely unrelated to Star Wars - they are Archer seniors and fest co-chairs Billie Wakeham and Alex Sherman, together with Archer head of school Elizabeth English.

    So, to sum it up: the shirt was not created to make a statement about the Force from Star Wars and she is not wearing it to make a statement about the Force from Star Wars.

    Now, your opinion on her managment of the franchise is your opinion and that I won't discuss.
    But - hoping nobody here has done it already and broadening this beyond this specific photo and Star Wars in general - please don't use out-of context images to spread lies and incite negativity, and don't trust buzzword - spewing Youtubers or bloggers, always search for the factual truth first.
     
  2. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    It's nice of you to clarify things. Months ago I saw the picture and also ended up doing my own research on it's origin. In any case, I'll just say this: I despise any form of identity politics (no matter the good intentions that may or may not be behind them). Be it from Lucasfilm, Nike, some other company or group, the government or the guy next door.
     
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  3. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    @NihilusLordOfHunger : Thank you for posting this. I have seen “The Force is Female” and “The Future is Female” shirts at a Nike outlet where I buy my running shoes.

    Now for everyone posting in this thread:

    I’ll leave it open for right now but if people start complaining about “identity politics,” “agendas,” “SJWs,” “political correctness,” or any other such terms, vacations will be awarded. Consider yourselves warned. We don’t serve “Star Wars is a boys’ club” around here.
     
  4. firesaber

    firesaber Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2006
    I completely missed this "dust up" apparently but am glad to know the back story/history.
     
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  5. NihilusLordOfHunger

    NihilusLordOfHunger Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 2016
    It's not as much an "identity politics" driven event, as for the fact that the festival is organized by the Archer School for Girls, a private female college, and the event is student-driven, so...the festival "has" to be women-oriented for the simple fact that most of the attending audience is made up of female students.
     
  6. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Not sure if this was addressed at my comment, but my criticism about identity politics is not defending that Star Wars is or should be a boys' club. That's precisely what's so despising about identity politics. It's not a certain gender's club, it never was.
     
  7. NihilusLordOfHunger

    NihilusLordOfHunger Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 2016
    And it still is not today, that's the whole point of my post - nobody is trying to take Star Wars from anybody, the Force is still for everybody.
     
  8. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    @Alexrd : Your comment is fine; my warning is in reference to the direction these discussions have tried to go lately.
     
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  9. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Pretty sad we've all went off to our little corners of outrage at the slightest thing and no longer are interest in context or facts underlying images. Thanks for the post @NihilusLordOfHunger
     
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  10. Sith Iratus

    Sith Iratus Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Thanks for this,not that it bothered me the whole Female force blah blah,SW is and always will be for everyone.
     
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  11. JediDotNet

    JediDotNet Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Thanks for posting. This I can just see KK see the shirts and say this is cool lets get some. Then she and some other women take a picture and a bunch of weak people go "Oh my god do we need any more proof of Star Wars SJW agenda". I have a Chicago Blackhawks Star Wars shirt. Maybe Disney has a Star Wars Chicago Blackhawks agenda.
     
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  12. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I have a Carolina Panthers Star Wars koozie. I would love for Disney to have a Star Wars Carolina Panthers agenda.

    I also have an ANH Leia T-shirt that says “I don’t need rescuing.” It’s a shirt that Carrie Fisher or Marcia Lucas probably would have worn before the Disney purchase was even a blip on anyone’s radar.
     
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  13. BoulderFaceplant

    BoulderFaceplant Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2017
    I knew from the status of this thread, locked or unlocked, what position the OP would take.
     
  14. crazyewok

    crazyewok Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 27, 2017
    I have no qualms about the T-shirt its self as it was non Star wars related.

    I think it was poor judgement on KK part however to wear it. She represents a franchise and one that should be inclusive to all not one specific gender. And with how divisive the fan base has been, deliberately stiring the pot is not a great idea.
     
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  15. G-FETT

    G-FETT Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Thanks for setting the record straight on this.

    I was aware of the hullabaloo at the time but couldn't really see what the problem was even when I thought it was a LFL campaign.

    Now I know it was actually nothing to do with LFL I'm even less sure what the problem was/is?

    I have major problems with the quality of the product KK is producing but all of this peripheral stuff is really secondary and largely a distraction to the central issue which is where Star Wars (the Saga and the movies) is actually going.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
  16. Master_Rebado

    Master_Rebado Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    May 31, 2004
    It'd be erroneous for a person to say that the Force of Star Wars was female (which is not as mentioned by OP the case with KK) and thus easy to dismiss out of hand.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
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  17. Torib

    Torib Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2016
    I agree that it's ridiculous how something as innocuous as KK wearing one of these shirts has been used as "evidence" for some sort of agenda against males. In general, I don't like how behind-the-scenes roles like producers and the like seem to be subjected to more and more public scrutiny these days. In the long term, I imagine this will only result in a tendency for producers to be hired as much for their skill in currying favor with the masses as for their ability to do their actual job well.

    The Nike shirt is clearly referencing Star Wars though, and wouldn't make any sense otherwise. The phrase "The Force" was not a thing until Star Wars came along. If you went back to 1976 and showed this shirt to someone, they would probably go "huh?". It only has meaning because of our built-in cultural awareness of the concept of the Force from Star Wars. In English, the article "the" is not normally used for abstract concepts like force or strength or love. Can you imagine Nike printing shirts that say "The Strength is Female"? It comes across like a bad translation.
     
  18. StartCenterEnd

    StartCenterEnd Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 2, 2006
    Aww too bad, I thought it was genuinely about the Force. To me it's as offensive as calling it "mother" nature.
     
  19. Bilbo Fett

    Bilbo Fett Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2017
    I don't think it's clearly referencing the force from SW. That language was chosen to directly tie the campaign into their Air Force 1 product line. At the end of the day these sorts of campaigns by companies are ultimately intended to generate business for them, even if indirectly. And some of the promotional materials surrounding it describe women collectively as a/the force.

    [​IMG]

    There's some language there that does evoke some of the concepts of the force from SW but they're very basic ideas usually associated with social movements and predate SW itself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  20. Torib

    Torib Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2016
    To clarify, I'm not suggesting that they were directly referring to "The Force" from Star Wars when they came up with the slogan. All I'm saying is that if Star Wars weren't a part of our collective cultural awareness, the phrase "The Force is Female" would not work as a catchphrase, for the same reason that "The Strength is Female" wouldn't work as a catchphrase in English, as it would come across like a bad translation from another language.
     
  21. Bilbo Fett

    Bilbo Fett Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2017
    I think that's a pretty narrow way of looking at it. You believe it works because of the familiarity of hearing "the force" referenced so frequently as a Star Wars fan. For me it works because hearing it immediately poses a question; the force of what is female? Because that's the predominate use of the word in our language (a force of nature, the force of will, the force of gravity, etc). And once a question is posed you now have the hook for exploring a deeper meaning, which is part of the purpose of a catchphrase.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  22. Tyrian

    Tyrian Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2000
    Not only do I disagree with the OP, but I think you're being naive.

    You're basically saying the tshirt is a double entendre - and people have zoned in on the wrong meaning - in efforts to further their agenda and narrative. Poor innocent Kathy was just wearing a tshirt... and people misinterpreted a Nike campaign!

    The problem, however, is that you'd have to be carelessly naive or downright negligent not to take one look at this tshirt - before consciously putting it onto your body to wear it - and think of the "star wars way" it could/would be (and ultimately - was) interpreted. KK is fully responsible here, even if your story about the Nike campaign is wholly true, because the 'alternate meaning' is so damn obvious as to how it pertains to Star Wars, yet she still chose to wear it. And thus, by doing so, she implicitly endorsed it.

    Neither of these points matter. The point that matters is it did make a statement, and its one that couldve been easily guessable before even putting it on, because of the literal writing on it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
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  23. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    It’s only a problem if people think it means male characters will now be excluded from being Force-sensitive, and with the exception of the bait-and-switch with Finn, that hasn’t happened and will not happen.

    Or, if one thinks that giving women a stronger/more primary role in future Star Wars films or media is somehow diminishing to men. And it is not.
     
  24. bweurk

    bweurk Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 11, 2018
    I was thinking about the so called "feminist/SJW agenda" of Lucasfilm in the ST... but when we think about it... i can't find anything really that much feminist/SJW...
    Ok, there are a few more female characters per movie... but except that... i don't really see any change between Lucas' trilogies and Disney's trilogy...
    What do you think about it?
     
  25. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I think that would be correct.
     
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