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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Women of Western: #wheresrey?

By Alyssa Evans

For months, the newest Star Wars movie has been in the spotlight.

While excitement and praise for the movie has been overwhelming since being released in December, fans have recently taken to social media with the hashtag #WheresRey to discuss an issue relating to the film: the lack of Rey merchandise being sold.

Rey, the main protagonist in the film, is a character that both boys and girls can look up to. With determination to do what is right, Rey quickly evolves throughout the movie to embrace her strength and stand up for what she believes in.

Monopoly is one example of Rey being underrepresented in Star Wars toys. Hasbro has claimed that Rey was not included within the Star Wars Monopoly game so the plot wouldn’t be revealed to fans, yet is that explanation enough?

Some fans believe Hasbro’s explanation is more than enough and that the debate isn’t worth the attention it has received:

While some were frustrated that the #WheresRey issue existed in the first place and were unsatisfied with Hasbro’s explanation:

 

Young fans quickly got involved with the #WheresRey debate, urging toy companies to change. One girl spoke up on Youtube:

While another girl wrote a letter to Hasbro demanding more representation of female characters, which led to Hasbro making a change in response.

Dylan Cisneros, a junior at Western majoring in music education with a focus on choral conducting, believes the lack of Rey toys is a result of toy companies only marketing to males and hopes to see change in the future.

“They’re marketed toward a young male demographic, so I think because of that they’re not being inclusive of demographics that don’t match their sales target, which ideally they will remedy,” Cisneros said.

Arguably one of the biggest issues with the #WheresRey situation is that this is a story that has been told over time. What about Black Widow from The Avengers or Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy? Both are central characters within their movies, yet they are both underrepresented in comparison to their male counterparts.

Disney has now announced that a second wave of Star Wars toys will be released and will include Rey. Is that enough or is it too little, too late? What do you think about the #WheresRey debate? What about #WheresBlackWidow or #WheresGamora? Let The Western Front know by using the hashtag #WWUWheresRey.

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