'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars - Bent Corner

‘The Force is Female’ is not about Star Wars

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. Either that or take away men’s 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 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.

'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars - Bent Corner
Nike Air Force One high-tops designed specifically for women.
'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars - Bent Corner
The Force is Female Air Force One low-tops.
'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars - Bent Corner
The exact t-shirts worn in the infamous photo, except Kathleen Kennedy’s t-shirt was black because she’s from the Dark Side.
Another version of a “The Force is Female” shirt. This model has probably never watched a Star Wars movie.
'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars - Bent Corner
This photo is from Nike.com.

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:

'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars

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.

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Rick Rottman

My name is Rick Rottman and I live in Maryland. This is my blog. If you'd like to know more about me, check out my About page.

29 thoughts on “‘The Force is Female’ is not about Star Wars”

  1. why would kathleen kennedy wear “the force is female” shirts if she’s not affiliated with nike in any way? air force ones were never referenced as “the force” before this point either. really jogs the noggin as to the reasoning behind wearing these shirts.

    1. Were they wearing Air Force Ones? I know I feel like a vampire bathing in holy water when I wear Addias shoes and a Nike shirt. I’ve never purchased a shirt that was tied to a specific shoes because then I could only wear it with those shoes.

    2. This is the dumbest argument I’ve read all month.

      You have a woman who si the [resident of Lucasfilm, best known for its work on the Star Wars franchise, whose most pivotal concept is The Force, and you tell me her “The Force is Female” T-Shirt Brigade isn’t Star Wars related?

      Get real.

      1. This is the dumbest argument I’ve read all month.

        You have a woman who si the [resident of Lucasfilm

        Maybe you need to start reading your own argument before hitting the “Post Comment” button.

        1. That was a pedantic response. I’m sure you know what they intended to say.

          Nike can use the terms they like, and Kathleen Kennedy can wear and support what she likes.

          However, as someone who has worked in movies for decades (Kennedy, not me), she should be aware of how something like that would be seen, especially in that situation and in her position. It’s hardly a massive logical leap.

          That would suggest that she’s either stupid or provocative – certainly unprofessional.

          People wouldn’t have bothered that much if the movies were good anyway.

          Was my spelling ok?

  2. the facts speak for themselves. there is a pattern in the new star wars movies to tell us that all guys are crazy lunatics with mental health problems and all women are flawless and make no mistakes and can do Jedi stuff without any training which took luke a lot of time to learn.

    i am not offended by that. i just point to the fact that there is a radical feminist elite who wants to turn the table and put women on the top while throwing men into the dirt.

    when i see that (Ghostbusters for example) i don’t whine around. i do what you did about the football shirt. i go away and refuse to feed this feminists with my money.

  3. Yes, the president of Lucas Film wearing a shirt that says The Force is Female has NOTHING to do with Star Wars. When she picked out that shirt she didnt even think about the most influential and iconic franchise in the world, that she is the head of. Either this is true and she’s a moron, or it isnt and you’re the moron

    1. Show me where Nike claimed the campaign had anything to do with Star Wars. That’s what I was pointing out in the post you’re commenting on.

      I spoke nothing about Kathleen Kennedy‘s motivation for wearing the shirt. I don’t know what that is, but if it was to make girls of all ages feel more empowered, then good for her.

  4. If you have spent a bit more time than 6 minutes then you would have known that the bad robot logo in the back drop is a production house involved in star wars episode 7. Clearly she is there to promote something related to star wars wearing that shirt. Please be logical when making arguments. It may be simple to omit for you, but for those who spent their time and money making her a bilionaire, this is hurtful.

  5. We all KNOW darn well the statement Kathleen is trying to make with that shirt and photo.
    It’s not like it hasn’t been smeared all over the Disney Star Wars movies.

    1. How dare she try to make women and girls feel more empowered. Not only were we subjected to women with their icky lady parts in major starring roles, but we also have to deal with women wearing the t-shirts they want to wear without first obtaining the approval of a man first.

      This is what Admiral Ackbar warned us about when he said, “It’s a trap!”

  6. The makeup of the story group and the hiring of unqualified people to check boxes is not a Nike t-shirt. So, sure whatever you shill.

  7. You look at the bright side: Kathleen Kennedy wants to empower women. She’s in a position to do that, her public statement will have a large impact.
    This is good.
    Until you find out that contrary to you, Kathleen is not on the bright side. She wants men out of Star Wars. She wants some kind of revenge against society. Promoting women empowerment, why not. Aggressions, name calling against supposingly priviledged white men, no. Sorry, my friend, you are kind-hearted but she’s on the dark side.

  8. Also this was proven to be false haha! Nice try though but Kathleen even stated in her speech at the very event that “The force is female”. Plus it was about 20+ people wearing those shirts. Debunked.

    The fact that you needed to try and debunk this as ‘a coincidence’ proves how DISGUSTING and sexist the stunt from KK was.

    1. Where did I use the phrase ‘a coincidence’? You use the phrase in quotation marks as though you are quoting someone. You are not. I never said wearing of the shirts was a coincidence, nor did I imply it. I only pointed out the shirts were not created to be part of Star Wars, but a campaign to sell the Nike Air Force One to women.

      Consider yourself properly debunked. You’re welcome.

  9. Since when was the force gender exclusive? How dare she make a benevolent power of the universe into a politically charged and divisive slogan.

  10. “If you allow someone’s t-shirt to offend you, you’re doing something wrong.”

    I can’t totally agree with that statement. It’s not hard to put a blatantly offensive (actaully offensive not the Yankees or Jimmy Buffet) symbol or wording or both onto a clothing article and get very intense feelings because of it. The Force is Female is not one of them for me personally, but I can see how the traditional rabid fanbase and predominant consumer of the Star Wars saga for years could begin to feel a bit ostracized (not much, they’re still watching the films, just not multiple times in theaters).

    Let’s be real, the shirt is from a Nike campaign but that doesn’t mean she wore it with Nike in mind, she absolutely wore it as a symbol for the direction she wants Star Wars to head in. Ultimately all the fans want are good stories, some respect for their building of the franchise, and not to feel like their 40+ years of fandom are being trivialized.

    1. The way I look at Star Wars is like how I look at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. I take what I want and leave a lot of it for someone else. I loved the original Star Wars franchise as a kid/young adult. I cannot count how many times I’ve watched the original three movies. I don’t like how Lucas modified them later with CGI. I didn’t care for the prequels. I never got into the novels or comics. I loved Rogue One and The Force Awakens. I did not like The Last Jedi. I never got into the animated offerings.

      The things I disliked will never alter my opinion of the things I like. I do not have to consume and like everything. I enjoy what I want. I leave the rest for other people to enjoy.

      I’m sure there are people whose favorite Star Wars movie is The Last Jedi. There are even some people who don’t like the movies, but love the books. All that’s fine and good. It doesn’t affect me in the slightest.

      1. The way you comment and point out spelling mistakes is pretty bitchy, for someone who doesn’t get offended.

  11. Rick. Star Wars movies aren’t political campaign ads or some party’s manifesto. So I don’t understand why you say if Kathleen is doing all this to make young girls feel empowered “good for her”. How is good prioritizing Politics over Art, in Arts?

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