There’s a picture floating around the Internet, as pictures often do, that shows Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucas Films, standing with three women. They’re all wearing t-shirts that say, “The Force is Female.”
What the photo means depends on who you ask. Some say it’s proof that Kathleen Kennedy is a militant feminist who wants to kill all men. That, or take away their child visitation rights and make them all pay more in child support. Others are saying it’s an indicator why Disney’s Star Wars movies have been the way they are, with more female characters, especially in positions of leadership. Others aren’t saying anything because they’re just t-shirts.
I’m in the latter group.
I was watching a YouTube video this morning where the host was bringing up the photo and trying to make a big deal about it. The video drove me to take six minutes and conduct a proper Internet search. My goal was to find the source of the t-shirts. This is what I was able to find.
“The Force is Female” is from Nike
The t-shirts were part of a marketing campaign by Nike. They had nothing to do with Star Wars. They were part of a campaign to get more women to wear Air Force One shoes, probably the greatest athletic sneaker ever made.
Of all the photos, the one shown above is the most offensive. Who in their right might wears Air Force Ones in bad weather? There’s snow on the ground. The ladies in the above photo don’t seem to care about their shoes. I’d go barefoot before I’d wear a pair of Air Force Ones in the snow.
This is what it says on the official “The Force is Female” page on Nike.com:
WE ARE A NEW GENERATION.
A GENERATION BORN WITH A REALNESS.
IT’S THAT RULE BREAKING, DECISION-MAKING, NAME TAKING, DON’T GIVE A DAMN IN ALL OF US.
IT’S WHO WE ARE. AS ONE, AS ALL.
IT’S THE FORCE.
THE FORCE IS FEMALE.
Nike’s campaign has nothing to do with Star Wars
Nike’s “The Force is Female” has nothing to do with Star Wars. If it did, they would have a photo of Aunt Beru wearing a pair of minty fresh Air Force Ones. They don’t. I’ve looked.
If memory serves, Adidas released Star Wars themed shoes when the awful prequels came out. I think Vans is making Star Wars shoes now. I don’t really know because I don’t really care.
Let not yourself be offended by the t-shirts of others
If you allow someone’s t-shirt to offend you, you’re doing something wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever been offended by the actions of a stranger, let alone by a t-shirt they were wearing, so it’s hard to put myself into the mindset of someone who has. The closest I get is when I see someone wearing Jimmy Buffett clothing or anything to do with the New York Yankees. Like most moral and rational people, I hate Jimmy Buffet and I hate the New York Yankees. When I see someone wearing that filth, I just turn my head and don’t look.
It works for me.
Also published on Medium.