Over the weekend we received a tip from a concerned mother who had come across something very disconcerting while perusing the aisles of Toys R Us. Apparently the only available toy or figurine of the Star Wars character Princess Leia is of her in the "Slave Outfit" from Return of the Jedi. Bikini? Check. Loin cloth? Check. Chain around the neck? Check. And in case you were wondering if it was actually geared towards children, it's listed for kids ages 4+.
That's right little girls, if you want to play with a doll of one of the most iconic sci-fi heroines, you're going to have to play with most sexualized scantily-clad version of her. Throughout the Star Wars trilogy, Princess Leia wears at least 10 different outfits, ranging from regal to bounty hunter, but the new Hasbro Black Series toy line (launched in 2013 people) that is carried in a slew of toy retailers like Toys"R"Us could only bother to include a six-inch figurine of Leia in the "Slave Outfit."
No. No no no no. This is a perfect and heart-breaking example of how ingrained sexism is in geek culture. It's not like there's a Chewbacca toy in a banana hammock. I do not care if they gave Leia a couple weapons. It doesn't take away from the fact that she's defined by her sexuality in the "Slave Outfit." Toys like this aren't harmless—they teach both boys and girls very skewed and fucked up ideas of gender values and power. They teach kids that it's totally cool that even the most iconic heroines can simply be relegated to sexy victims. AND THAT'S NOT OKAY.
I mean, I can't believe I am even asking this, but is it so damn hard to at least make a fully clothed doll?
h/t Pissed off Mom