Me, in my newest Star Wars T-shirt, posing with my favorite “Wookiee,” Fonzi.
Two years ago, I read a post on one of my favorite blogs about a first grade girl named Katie. Katie was being bullied by her classmates for carrying a Star Wars water bottle in her lunchbox. The first grade boys teased her every day at lunch, telling her that her water bottle was for boys. How many times have you been told that girls couldn’t do something because it was “for boys”?
I was about three or four years old the first time it happened to me. My older brother had a lot (and I mean, a LOT) of Star Wars action figures. He had almost all the characters available at the time, including Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and even Chewbacca. Even though I had my own toys, I desperately wanted to play with those super-cool action figures – especially Han Solo. When I asked my brother if I could play, he said no, because I was a girl. Being so young, I’m sure I tattled, and an adult (my mom or grandma, probably) told him to let me join in. I asked if I could be Han Solo, and he turned me down. Since I’m a girl, I could only be Princess Leia. Later, he also let me play with Yoda … but I never did get to be Han Solo.
Thankfully, Katie was able to find a huge network of people (female and male) to support her and encourage her. Katie’s mom, Carrie, wrote a blog post that went viral and Katie began to hear from not only other female Star Wars fans but female geeks from many different fandoms. Katie even received comments and emails from some of the voice actors from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Peter Mayhew (the man who played Chewbacca), and even Katie Lucas (George Lucas’ daughter). This past October, the 501st Legion even gave Katie her own (exact replica) Storm Trooper costume – check out the pictures!
From there, Katie and her mom created Proud to be Me day at her school, along with Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars day. Friday, December 14, will mark the third annual Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars day. Show your support for Katie and geek girls everywhere – check out the event on Facebook, wear your favorite Star Wars or other science fiction/fantasy gear, and donate a Star Wars or science fiction toy to a child in need. Will you join us?