Geek Girl in Hollywood: On the sexist 'Star Wars' comment about Captain Phasma's armor
Recently someone thought the armor for "Star Wars" character Captain Phasma wasn't very "female." It's armor.
Let’s talk about boob armor. You know: the suits of armor that have clearly defined spaces for breasts. Why? This past week, the official “Star Wars” Facebook page posted a picture of some really cool Captain Phasma fan art, saying, "Feeling inspired by Phasma? Your ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’-inspired art could land you a spot in a professional art exhibit, among other prizes." As you know, Captain Phasma is the chrome Stormtrooper played by “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie.
One of the comments on the pic, which has since been deleted, said, “Not to be sexist, but it’s really hard to tell that’s female armor for me.” The official account replied, “It’s armor. On a woman. It doesn’t have to look feminine.” (I can almost hear thousands of women yelling “thank you” over the Internet.)
First of all, starting a sentence with, “Not to be sexist, but … “ pretty much guarantees someone is going to be pissed at whatever you’re about to say. Second, it’s not the job of armor to indicate sex. It’s there to protect you. Why does it matter that you can tell if Captain Phasma is a woman? Does not having an indication of breasts affect her character? Is she less female because some guy on Facebook can’t tell right away? Last time I checked I was female, whether I was wearing a parka or a bikini.
The other thing is, boob armor would likely injure you terribly or kill you. (It’s well described by this tor.com piece) In simple terms, you would likely not see a suggestion of breasts after all the padding was put on you. If you decided to use them for aesthetics, molded cups would be like a knife in the chest if you fell forward or were hit in the chest.
There are plenty of places a film, game or TV show can indicate gender. There are plenty of reasons and places for things like bikini tops, and none of them are fighting in a desert like Quiet in “Metal Gear Solid.” Princess Leia’s outfit in Jabba’s palace made sense in the story and the setting. Making sure some guy on the Internet was absolutely sure Captain Phasma is a woman because of curvy lines in a costume that is military and meant to protect is just ridiculous. Thank you, “Star Wars” social media person, for having had enough of this stuff as well.