December 9, 2010

May the Force Be With Katie

By now, I’m guessing you’ve read about Katie, the Star Wars girl. The 1st grade girl was picked on at school because she carried a Star Wars water bottle. Boys told her that it wasn’t for girls. When her mother blogged about it, the geek community (especially geek girls) rallied with hundreds of comments in response. The comments range from encouraging words to “hey, I’m an adult female and I love Star Wars” to stories about similar experiences.  Catherine Taber, the voice of Padmé Amidala in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, even chimed in. You should go read a couple pages of comments if you haven’t already; it’s heartening.  I really sympathize with Katie because the real reason she got teased is because the boys said that Star Wars is not for girls.  It's far from true. Bonnie Burton wrote a great article over at the StarWars.com blog listing all kinds of female Star Wars fans and the strong female characters in the universe.

When we’re impressionable Younglings, mean words can make a big difference. I was the girl who always had her nose in a book. Usually a fantasy book. I was never popular and though I didn’t exactly get bullied, I wasn’t made to feel super awesome either. I really didn’t enjoy high school. I was made to feel that keeping my more “nerdy” interests to myself was the best way to go. I got over that sometime right after high school. But it would have meant the world to me to know about the existence of so many fabulous geeky women. When I was younger, I certainly felt like the only one. The outpouring of support for Katie reached a lot of girls and kids.  Actually, adults too.  It is her story, but also ours. So many of us can relate to Katie’s experience. I’ve read so many similar tales over at the Her Universe message boards (which is a great community for geeks all ages to talk with like minded people) The geek rallying was really for all of us. We’re all there for each other, and I don’t know many groups of people that would react the way we did.  I truly believe that geeks are the best (and from my experience, especially Star Wars fans). 


Even though I am older and work with adults, I still get looks for flaunting my geekdom. The difference is that now, I don’t care what people think. I know who I am. I work in an office where casual clothing is fine, and I do wear a Star Wars t-shirt once a month. One day while wearing my favorite one, I said something about how I wish our company would do a read-a-thon rather than the triathlon or pub crawl type events we normally do. My boss said, teasing, “I don’t know, Amy, you’re wearing a Star Wars tee and talking about read-a-thons. People might think you’re a geek.” To which I proudly responded, “Well, I am one.” It amazes me that adults who care about celebrity babies still make fun of me because I care about Han Solo and comic books. We all have our own things.  And that's okay.

To show support and solidarity, tomorrow is Wear Star Wars/Share Star Wars Day. It’s easy to participate! All you have to do is wear Star Wars attire. And since it is the holiday season, Katie’s parents also ask that you donate a Star Wars toy to needy children. Be sure to put a note on it that states it’s for a girl OR boy. Actually, mine is just going to state that it is for a girl. I know that a girl out there will adore Star Wars LEGOs as much as I do!

12 comments:

  1. I like this idea. I don't know that I still have my stormtrooper helmet "jolly roger" T-shirt but I certainly still have my BSG shirt. Will that do?

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  2. Right on Amy! Couldn't agree more. I'll be wearing one of my many Star Wars tees tomorrow! (at elecTRONica wink wink)

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  3. I hadn't heard about this, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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  4. This story absolutely amazes me. My daughter, who isn't even 2 yet, runs to the star wars aisle to find Yoda. My husband and I love this, and encourage it. We believe that she should have in interest in anything she wants, as long as it keeps her mind and imagination constantly growing. Start young! It is so nice to know that a community can still come together and stand behind something so strong, in a world like today!

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  5. yahoo just posted an article on the whole thing! AWESOME!

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  6. Um, if this doesn't say Star Wars is indeed for girls, I don't know what does!

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/casstasstrophe?section_id=7094462

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  7. Ehowton - Absolutely, geek pride in any fashion is highly encouraged!

    xocc - Yay! What a perfect place to wear a Star Wars tee too. :D

    SJ's Mommy - It's really heartening to see how everyone has responded. I think it is fabulous that your daughter is already a Star Wars fan.

    Cassasstrope - I LOVE your Etsy store. I desperately want the AT-AT Walker. You have fantastic designs. :)

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  8. Just had my 9 year old read the original post and your post. When she read the part about you in school, she said, "that sounds like me."

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  9. Thanks Amy! The AT-AT is my absolute favorite, too. I'm sure that I don't need to tell you, but I have tons of smart beautiful women who wear my Star Wars jewelry everyday.

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  10. Budd - Aww, one of the positive things about this whole situation was the opportunity to connect... I hope it makes some young girls and teenagers realize that it is cool to be geeky. :)

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  11. It's kinda funny, I was never teased for being a geek in high school or middle school and I never intentionally hid myself or any geeky tendencies. I actually wanted to be a geek, quite desperately in fact. I always read fantasy novels or manga at school, watched anime and I took computer science courses but I never considered myself a geek. My best friend from high school is a huge geek. She wore a sailor venus costume for halloween sophomore year of h.s. and was in the gaming club. She currrently attends larping conventions regularly. She has the most sunny disposition of anyone I know. In addition she is beautiful tall, blond, and has a most marvelous figure with a small waist and the biggest natural boobs I've ever seen on anyone. Needless to say I envied her in my short, flat chested, comfortably chubby asian body.

    TLDR => my female idol is one of the biggest geeks around.

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  12. Just realized I didn't say anything about Star Wars. When I was little I asked Santa for an ewok. That year I got "The Ewok Adventure" under the tree. ^_^

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