PRINCESS LEIA AND THE WOMEN’S MARCH: A FITTING TRIBUTE TO CARRIE FISHER

A fitting tribute to Carrie Fisher.

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A little less than a month ago, on December 27, 2016, actress Carrie Fisher died after suffering a heart attack on a plane. Her death was followed the next day by that of her mother, Debbie Reynolds. The world, especially that part of it which (like me) was brought up on Star Wars as a staple of our pop culture, deeply mourned the loss of the classy lady who not only played Princess Leia in the movies but epitomized her. This article is not an obituary for Carrie Fisher. If you want one of those, I highly recommend the touching piece by the Burning Blogger of Bedlam giving tribute to “the people’s princess.” I loved Princess Leia. You loved Princess Leia. We all admired her courage, determination and grit. Carrie Fisher, who went through a lot of hard knocks in her life, will be greatly missed.

Yesterday (January 21, 2017), the day after the inauguration as President of the United States of a fascistic know-nothing who detests women and just about everybody else, millions of people in the United States and around the world–including even Antarctica!–took to the streets to support women’s rights, feminism, empowerment, diversity and to express in no uncertain terms their opposition to the viewpoints of President Trump. I took part in one of these marches, in Eugene, Oregon. Like everywhere else, the crowds that turned out vastly exceeded what authorities expected. There were (reportedly) 750,000 in Los Angeles and over 1 million in Washington, D.C., dwarfing the tepid and pathetic “crowd” that turned out for Trump’s lackluster inauguration. In Eugene I’m told police expected 1,000 marchers. The number who showed up? Over 10,000.

I was struck, during yesterday’s march, by one recurrent image: the face of Princess Leia as an icon of resistance.

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Carrie Fisher, as she appeared in 2015. Her outspoken views are part of the reason why Princess Leia resonates as a symbol.

I saw Carrie Fisher’s face in a lot of places. Many people, men as well as women, were carrying signs with her picture (one of them is shown at the top of this article). I saw a woman with the symbol of the Rebellion from Star Wars tattooed on her arm, and I saw a man with a patch of the same symbol on the back of his denim jacket. In one of the most touching tweets I saw about the march, Fisher’s Star Wars co-star and friend Mark Hamill referenced Leia as a symbol of women’s empowerment, linking it to Fisher’s own strongly-professed beliefs during her lifetime. His tweet included an image of a woman, evidently from the Los Angeles march, dressed as Princess Leia.

When women’s rights are under attack in real-life America, can a science fiction princess help us defend them?


Complete original post at: Princess Leia and the Women’s March: a fitting tribute to Carrie Fisher.

13 thoughts on “PRINCESS LEIA AND THE WOMEN’S MARCH: A FITTING TRIBUTE TO CARRIE FISHER

  1. I also marched in Eugene. Small world! Such a great experience and morale booster after a depressing inauguration day. The crowd was huge. I was standing near the bridge and watched half of the crowd peel off to march down 7th Street parallel to the planned route. We may yet have a chance.

    Viva la resistance!

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  2. I never liked Star Wars much so, after the first two, I haven’t seen any of them. Maybe I’ll change that (the winter stretches out long ahead of me…) This has been a huge education for me about the importance of pop culture and where my own choices and experiences through my life have landed me. There are many things common to the people in my culture that I do not understand, including this march, but just as watching DJT and HRC “debate” showed me the essence of feminism, the march has shown me that my own personal experiences are no longer experiences to endure, live with and move on from, but something to which people are suddenly objecting because DJT made them so disgustingly public.

    Princess Leia is a very important symbol, and symbols are most effective and universal from art — tragedy, according to Aristotle. It’s really cool, IMO, that this is one aspect of the evolution.

    Some guy attempted a rebuttal of my post yesterday, the one about the NEH, NEA and PBS funding. His rebuttals were patronizing showing-off and very icky. I felt my skin crawl as I read them and I immediately wanted to run away. I thought of how much I mistrust — even categorically dislike — men. It’s all Napoleonic code for me where they are concerned. They have to prove to me that they’re decent people because I’ve been kicked around so much. (Garry, you’re more than a decent person; you’re a really good person) So… I guess I’m just going to keep learning.

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    • We are all learning as long as we are breathing. I’m also not a big Star Wars fan. I like the first movie, but it was the only one I have seen. To me, they were what I think of as “space opera,” westerns with space ships instead of horses. I like real westerns better because I prefer horses to people. But as you say, symbols have power. I hear about this stuff from other people, so I sort of know what’s going on, even if it isn’t “my thing.”

      There has been a strong movement to de-fund the arts for a long time, really, from the very beginning. It has always been highly controversial. People don’t understand that art is not a postscript to civilization, but its essence. It is a battle we will always be fighting. You either get it, or you don’t.

      Our culture and society doesn’t get it, though individuals within the culture and society do. What will actually happen is yet unwritten. We will have to wait and see on this. People will march for health care and equal rights (etc.) but are less energetic about art because they do not see it as essential. I do. You do. Garry does. Other creative people and lovers of art see it … but in this, we are not the majority. Not even close.

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      • My experience here has shown me that people are actually frightened by “art”. This place is another aspect of my learning… In so many ways I no longer even live here. I tried, but it’s not my thing at all. It’s OK with me. I did that to myself and I was warned long ago. Every free person is a snail.

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  3. Pingback: SPEAKING OF SPEAKING OUT … | SERENDIPITY

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