Friday, February 18, 2011

VW Vader's gender debate- why using the stereotypes to identify only harms the cause

During the Super Bowl, Volkswagon aired a commercial showing a child in a Darth Vader costume trying to use the Force.

Everyone wants to know if the child is supposed to be a boy or a girl. Some argue that the pink room and doll indicates a girl. Others say it’s Star Wars and he’s trying to Force-choke the doll, so it’s a boy. Both sides use gender stereotypes to make their claims.

Using the gender stereotypes defeats any victory there would be if the VW Vader was a girl. It’s using the same type of argument people use when saying Star Wars is for boys.

The idea that girls like pink and dolls is one that those fighting for gender equality fight. Yes, some girls like pink and dolls. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with a boy playing with a doll or wearing pink. The concept of Star Wars being for boys is decades old, yet incorrect. Girls love it, too.

So who is correct?

The actor was a boy. Whether it was VW’s intention for the character to seem ambiguous, we don’t know. They did succeed in inspiring debates all over the internet.

Personally, I would love if the VW Vader were a girl. It would push the idea that women love Star Wars, too further into mainstream media. I do not support these arguments based on gender roles, though. Claiming that the character was a girl based on the pink room only harms the fight.


  1. Generally, though, boys prefer blue over pink and are more inclined to be into Star Wars than girls. I say this is much ado about nothing.

  2. Recent studies show that it is about a 50/50 split. There are more women out there that love Star Wars than you realize.