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Target's Star Wars Merchandise is Apparently Only for Boys 

Target's Star Wars Merchandise is Apparently Only for Boys

Target's Star Wars Merchandise is Apparently Only for Boys

Retailers aren't carrying feminine Star Wars shirts, and Target even edited out Leia from an iconic scene. So much for their gender neutral feel-good moment.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been geeking out for what feels like forever over the new Star Wars movie coming out. So many people logged on to Fandango to buy their tickets last night that they crashed the website. The fervor has merchandisers in a tizzy as well, creating new designs and also falling back on old favorite images from the iconic trilogy.

At least, it seems they're using old favorite images. What's actually happened for one Target shirt, however, is that they've edited an iconic freeze frame. You know in the opening scene in A New Hope where Vader is standing there pointing at Leia, who’s just been taken prisoner? Target’s designers took that image, photoshopped Luke in Leia’s place, stuck it on a t-shirt, and put it in the boys’ section. They actually edited out the only woman with a speaking role in the whole movie. As The Mary Sue put it:

"I guess we have to conclude that the marketing and design team behind this shirt thought that since the product is “for boys,” it can’t have a female character appear on it, even though she’s not even in the center of the picture. So the designers unnecessarily created extra photoshop work for themselves, for no reason other than to remove Leia’s existence from a scene that only Leia could logically appear in. Why erase the history of one of the most popular movies ever? It’s not only sexist, it’s also just silly, and it sets a depressing precedent for the young boys wearing this shirt."

It has also been ridiculously hard to find Star Wars clothing in the feminine section. About two months ago, a good friend of mine went to Old Navy and discovered the discrepancy. She complained to them, and got a generic, deflective response that made a vague "we'll look into it" promise.

I just checked the Old Navy website again today, and while the boys’ section has some really kickass Star Wars shirts, those designs are still noticeably absent from the girls’ section. This same friend also recently went to Disney World and couldn’t find any feminine Star Wars clothing, although there was an abundance of it for men and boys.

The makers of Star Wars Episode VII have been been doing a lot better, at least. The official poster features a female character, Rey, quite prominently. Additionally, when someone made a sexist comment on Facebook about Captain Phasma’s armor not being feminine enough, the official Star Wars page replied, “It’s armor. On a woman. It doesn’t have to look feminine.”

Let’s have more of that and less of the “no one wants a Star Wars shirt with a female character on it” attitude, please.

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Ellen Wall