As ever, I'm a little behind the times with a viral Internet campaign. Still, not too late, and I've done my bit by tweeting the story I found and adding my comment on the follow-up article. Seems little Katie Goldman is quite the Star Wars fan, and like any good geek girl in this day and age, she chose accessories to show her love of the series. Katie, who's only six, mind, has a Star Wars water bottle that she loves. Turns out - and who ever would have guessed? - that kids are little snotrags when they're in a group - kind of like the mob mentality of their parents when lynchin' time rolls round.
The boys in her class ganged up on her and made fun of her for her Star Wars water bottle. Now, in light of all the backlash against women for the Her Universe line of clothing for Star Wars geek girls, I have to say, I'm not really surprised. Most behaviour's learned, after all, and as one commenter [Ed - it was actually her mom] pointed out, it's likely that they're picking on her in a group because that way, no one's picking on them.
Still, it made Katie cry. That made her mom, Carrie, mad. So, after talking to Katie about the value of being different, and encouraging her daughter not to be intimidated, she took her concern to her blog. And that's where the Internet stepped up to the plate.
Katie's story has been blogged and tweeted by Jen at Epbot (who also runs CakeWrecks and is a HUGE Star Wars geek girl); the cool kids at Geeking Out About; the Star Wars blog, run by none other than uber-Star Wars geek @bonniegrrl; the amazing Action Flick Chick; and many more. Check out the Twitter tag #MayTheForceBeWithKatie to see how this has gone viral.
In fact, peeps? The 501st Legion is considering an honour guard to walk Katie into school. Do you even understand how frakking awesome that would be? I can't believe I'm getting so excited about a little girl whom I don't even know.
Actually, yes I do. I guess I was bullied at primary school; I must admit I don't really know because, to be honest, my first defence is always offence - as you should know by now if you've been reading me for a while. And bullies don't like being beaten up by a girl. I do know that I have always done my best to stand up for the bullied kids; but I also remember years of loneliness because I just couldn't be bothered to hang with "the cool kids". I'd rather be off reading. And MadCat was bullied for most of his life, until he met Iaculus.
So, yeah. I'm in this little geek girl's corner. And one day, when I get to adopt my Ripley, you can be damned sure I'm going to do my best to teach her that it's not only okay to be different - it's better, way better, to either stand out from the crowd, or to simply go one's own way and damn the consequences. As long as you stand up for the little guy. Don't let the sheeple bring you down, Katie. You rock just the way you are.
* Edited to fix a link
* Here are some more posts on the issue:
- The Wrath of Mom
- Suicide Bots
- ThinkGeek got in on the action too! (FB link)
- And get this, NASA retweeted Bonnie Burton's Star Wars blog post, too. Yes, space is NOT just for boys!
- One more: Forcenet, the Star Wars fan blog, has a comprehensive overview of both posts and the aftermath (like all the cool things that have come of this). Definitely worth checking out!