In all this time of #metoo, women are asking what’s really changed? I say a lot. I’ve noticed the difference in my own lifetime. How?
Star Wars, of course.
“Little girls don’t like Star Wars.” – Everyone when I was 9.
And I was confused, because I was a little girl and I loved Star Wars. I had all the action figures (literally; I counted them.) I had Star Wars bed sheets. I mailed in cereal box tips for an exclusive Emperor Palpatine figure. But everywhere I heard the mantra, “Little girls don’t like Star Wars. ” I once begged for an AT-AT walker after the boy down the street wouldn’t let me play with his, because Star Wars is for boys.
Then they stopped making Star Wars toys after Return of the Jedi and it seemed the galaxy far, far away had faded away. I still loved Star Wars as I combed garage sales for other people’s discarded, dog – chewed figures. I soon became a woman, but the mantra remained.
And then a miracle happened: new Star Wars movies. Adventure; excitement; a girl Jedi does crave these things! And that’s when I first noticed it. It wasn’t much – a pink Star Wars tee shirt. Just the words in that iconic font printed on the front, but it was obviously meant for a girl. It wasn’t branded with the lone female character, either. This was just a plain Star Wars tee shirt. FOR A GIRL.
My friend’s daughters liked Star Wars.
Later, Disney bought Lucasfilm and there would be new movies again. Soon the stores were flooded with Star Wars toys. But this time, the stuff wasn’t limited to pink tee shirts and Leia dolls. Heck, it wasn’t limited to little girls! I could buy purses and shoes and womanly Star Wars things. The first time I saw a store full of Star Wars stuff for me, I cried in the aisle.
I know how far we’ve come because np one says “Little girls don’t like Star Wars” anymore. When I read an article about Millenials destroying something, I smile. Because all they are destroying is the preconceived notions of those people who told me little girls don’t like Star Wars. Now they buy her a lightsaber for Christmas.
Because little girls can like whatever they damned well please.