Girl Bullied For Star Wars Fandom, Stormtroopers Come to The Rescue

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Girl Bullied For Star Wars Fandom, Stormtroopers Come to The Rescue

Eight-year-old Star Wars fan Layla Murphy received a bit of Stormtrooper assistance following a brush with some schoolyard bullies.

The world is full of stereotypes that, generally speaking, do little more than make it a worse place for everyone. Case in point, when it comes to children's entertainment, there are a lot of people (often kids themselves) who carry intensely outmoded assumptions about what's appropriate for boys and girls to enjoy. It's a problem that eight-year-old Layla Murphy is, sadly, all too familiar with.

A big fan of science fiction franchises like Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy, she's enjoyed science fiction ever since she uncovered some of her father's toys at their home in Virginia. After moving to a new school however, Murphy quickly found herself the subject of ridicule from her peers. "At this new school Layla started coming home more quiet and less of herself, and started asking not to wear her shirts or R2-D2 jacket," explained her mother, Nicolette Molina. According to Molina, the other girls at Murphy's school were picking on her for liking Star Wars on account of it (supposedly) being for boys. "She was asked if she was turning into a boy."

Prior to her schoolyard troubles, Murphy had taken photos with Jason Tuttle, a member of the Star Wars fan group the 501st Legion. Learning of her difficulties, Tuttle connected with other members of the 501st to drum up support for the young girl. Murphy wound up receiving messages from Legion members around the world and was gifted with a custom set of child-sized Stormtrooper armor that had previously belonged to Katie Goldman, another young girl bullied for her love of Star Wars. After "suiting up" Murphy was "whisked away" to a local concert where she was introduced to Weird Al Yankovic who's well known for his love of the franchise. These efforts reportedly had a positive effect on Murphy who "now proudly carries the trading cards of her 501st supporters in a Chewbacca backpack and can't wait for the next opportunity to troop in armor."

Just speaking personally, stories likes these are always heartening for me. I'm the father of a young Chewbacca-loving daughter and, while she hasn't noticed it yet, she's already been on the receiving end of some frowns and less than receptive comments. While there's no guarantee that she'll like Star Wars forever, it's nice to think that there are people willing to lend their support if anyone ever picks on her for sporting a Chewie shirt.

Source: CNN

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When we geeks do good, we really do good.

This should be a lesson for all of us. We have a hard enough life with others still mocking our Geekdom. We all love some fiction. We should all fight for our brothers and sisters of even different franchise's right to be who they are.

This is a really nice story. It sucks whole sale that she got bullied at all but when we geeks come together, we can do really great things.

I saw something like this like a year ago. Is this the same person or are people really such dicks that this cosplay group found another little girl being picked on...it's the latter isn't it?

erttheking:
I saw something like this like a year ago. Is this the same person or are people really such dicks that this cosplay group found another little girl being picked on...it's the latter isn't it?

Sadly it's the later

The cnn article has the facebook post linked from the 501st that says:

Layla became the next recipient of the custom Stormtrooper armor originally built for another girl (Katie Goldman) who was in a similar situation.

I had no idea that Star Wars was considered a boy fandom. Most of the best characters (3 of my top 5 favorites) are female. My wife is a huge fan, and my daughter loves lightsabers.

It's funny that Weird Al Yankovic is involved since he's also involved with another gender crossing fandom.

I love these guys and their story. Especially how Zahn was so in touch with the fandom that he officially brought them in to canon in Survivor's Quest.

Pft... this just shows once again that the ones keeping girls from entering these fandoms are not the boys... but other girls...

But remember: its the guys who want to keep the girls out of their clubhouses!

Anyways, good thing from those guys, thumbs up.

Sadly its only treating a symptom and not the cause, wich most often can be found with the parents of said children. And i dont mean that they teach their kids outdated stereotypes.. these are formed by the kids all on their own.

Its the refusal of aknowledging that their daughter/son could possibly be a bully and hurt other kids. Because THEIR child would NEVER do something like that. Because in turn that woul reflect badly on the parents of said kid... and who wants to look like their parenting is shite?

That or either not giving a shit what your kid does at school.

501st to the rescue again.

Crushing rebels and dissidents beneath their armourplas heels as well as bullies.

Love those guys.

Ukomba:
I had no idea that Star Wars was considered a boy fandom. Most of the best characters (3 of my top 5 favorites) are female. My wife is a huge fan, and my daughter loves lightsabers.

I think it's due to the cartoons marketed to boys.
To kids her age that is the only commercial exposure they have.

direkiller:

Ukomba:
I had no idea that Star Wars was considered a boy fandom. Most of the best characters (3 of my top 5 favorites) are female. My wife is a huge fan, and my daughter loves lightsabers.

I think it's due to the cartoons marketed to boys.
To kids her age that is the only commercial exposure they have.

Still not a reason to excuse bad parenting, the real root of the problem.

Even if star wars cartoons are aimed at boys, it no where says that girls arent allowed to watch it or enjoy star wars on those shows.

Its a parents job to make sure that their children dont grow up to be total douchebags, wich includes sitting down with your child and explaining to it that its not okay to bully no matter the reason.

Also theres responsibility with the school/teacher cause they often ignore bullying to "keep the peace" or "keep the image" of the school clean (theres no bullying at our school!) The class teacher should have had a talk with the kids in her class and if that didnt change the situation she should have contacted the bullies parents.

Why is it that in these cases the teacher/school never does the sensible thing? (assuming the parents of the girl actually sought out help from the school)

Nope it has to be a media worthy action to stop something so simple as preschool level of bullying.

God, bullies can be ignorant dicks can't they?

Honestly I would had loved to seen those legion escorted her to her school and classes with her wearing the armours to show those bullies a thing or two about what a girl can and cannot like.

None the less I liked how much the legion has cheer her up especially with Weird Al.

Karadalis:
Pft... this just shows once again that the ones keeping girls from entering these fandoms are not the boys... but other girls...

But remember: its the guys who want to keep the girls out of their clubhouses!

Two different problems coming together to create one shitty situation: girls looking down on girls with different interests, and boys not being welcoming to those geeky girls.

And that's just sad, because if gatekeepers used their fandom powers for good (like the 501st Legion) instead of enhanding their own ego, they could help break down barriers. Girls also being good at acting like shitty people is no excuse for boys not to set the right example, right? :)

Always a good way to end a Monday at work reading something like this. It'll be interesting to see if this armor keeps getting passed around. Would be a pretty neat tradition.

Only thing I could think of for the Bullies to be saying is just repeating "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" over and over again.

On the one hand, the outpouring of support for Layla is extremely heartwarming and made my day. On the other hand, the circumstances that brought it about are disappointing. It's amazing how many people still cling stubbornly to outdated gender expectations.

direkiller:

Ukomba:
I had no idea that Star Wars was considered a boy fandom. Most of the best characters (3 of my top 5 favorites) are female. My wife is a huge fan, and my daughter loves lightsabers.

I think it's due to the cartoons marketed to boys.
To kids her age that is the only commercial exposure they have.

Which is a real shame, since they boast strong, three-dimensional female characters. Hera is my favorite member of the Ghost's crew in Rebels, and Ahsoka was the best thing to come out of the prequel era since Republic Commando.

Sounds like it was just whatever they could find to pick on her about, she looks pretty normal so I guess that was the best they could do. Kids just bully as part of the social darwinism thing they go through. Man, kids are getting lazy these days.

WANTED: Star Wars hating bully

Will pay to be bullied, but not in excess of the cost of Stormtrooper armor

Yankovic not Yankovich.

Wow. School bullies just made the 501st into good guys. I mean these are officially Vader's men, so you know they have done some terrible things. Killed some young Jedi and such. But even they think bulling little girls is wrong. That's gotta sting.

In all honesty, this is awesome. Seeing a bunch of fans come to the defense of this one young fan is heartwarming. And Weird Al just proves how awesome he is yet again.

I just hate that she needed defending. But better her get defended when she needed it, than be bullied without anyone standing up for her.

direkiller:

Ukomba:
I had no idea that Star Wars was considered a boy fandom. Most of the best characters (3 of my top 5 favorites) are female. My wife is a huge fan, and my daughter loves lightsabers.

I think it's due to the cartoons marketed to boys.
To kids her age that is the only commercial exposure they have.

My little cousin, who is a girl, loves Star Wars: Rebels. Her favorite character is Sabine. A female Mandalorian who excels in pistols and explosives (and one of my favorite characters, as well). The series also has another badass female main character in Hera, the female Twi'lek captain/pilot of the Ghost.

So there are some great characters for girls to look to. If we're being honest, the female characters are probably better characters than the men overall. This could be more a problem of perception than reality.

I think she also likes Lego: Star Wars and Teen Titans Go.

The Empire is the more progressive side?

erttheking:
I saw something like this like a year ago. Is this the same person or are people really such dicks that this cosplay group found another little girl being picked on...it's the latter isn't it?

Search your feelings....

For reference I am in my 20s. I seriously hate the two generations before me. While this is obviously a generalization they have turned kids into little shits and they are constantly bitching about stuff that offends them. They are doing nothing for the new generations, and they are shoving their prejudices onto their children. They don't want to take responsibility for their actions and are constantly blaming others for their lack of action.

It is a really sad vicious cycle. We need to call these assholes out and straighten them up. Good for the girl to know what she enjoys.

ima420r:
Yankovic not Yankovich.

Thank you!

Years later, the Enclave is formed to police the United States... Bwa ha ha ha haaa!

I was entirely expecting the Storm Troopers to show up to her school and make her into the coolest kid on the block, and then she'd point out the bully and the Storm Troopers would lecture him in front of everyone, at least.

But this is good, too.

FillerDmon:
I was entirely expecting the Storm Troopers to show up to her school and make her into the coolest kid on the block, and then she'd point out the bully and the Storm Troopers would lecture him in front of everyone.

Did not think lecturing was were you were headed.
That would be lame anyway and kind of awkward for a bunch of cosplayers to lecture children. They should just drop her off or pick her up from school on their hoverbikes. They have hoverbikes, right?

Something Amyss:
The Empire is the more progressive side?

erttheking:
I saw something like this like a year ago. Is this the same person or are people really such dicks that this cosplay group found another little girl being picked on...it's the latter isn't it?

Search your feelings....

Sounds more like the Empire Remnant. The reason why the Empire had only men (And humans) in their military(Because Lucas feels the need to justify every little stupid decision he makes. In fact I think there was a guy who had the job of explaining how every little odd detail was canon) because Palpetine was pandering to xenophobic sexist old men who had a lot of power (Though he would secretly employ women and aliens if they proved to be talented)

When he fell, the Remnant was formed, and they started letting women and aliens into the military. Ironically, the Remanent was the most stable region of space after the war between the Empire and the Rebels, due to all of the high ranking Empire generals who turned warlord after, trying to carve out their own small kingdoms. Hell, it even adopted democratic policies after a decade or two.

erttheking:
The reason why the Empire had only men (And humans) in their military

Gotta stop you there. I've been reading the EU since the 80s and playing within the source material in RPGs almost as long. While I'm aware of the explanations (and comparison to both the Nazis and feudal Japanese xenophobia and hierarchy), the canonicity of any of this is dubious at best, as Lucas retconned his own vision numerous times. Star Wars is more loosely assembled than the rules of time travel in Doctor Who.

Something Amyss:

erttheking:
The reason why the Empire had only men (And humans) in their military

Gotta stop you there. I've been reading the EU since the 80s and playing within the source material in RPGs almost as long. While I'm aware of the explanations (and comparison to both the Nazis and feudal Japanese xenophobia and hierarchy), the canonicity of any of this is dubious at best, as Lucas retconned his own vision numerous times. Star Wars is more loosely assembled than the rules of time travel in Doctor Who.

Aheh. Well shows what I know

(Also shows what happens when you swing the retcon hammer every few years. Take notes Games Workshop)

And what did the rebel scum do for her? NOTHING!!! XD

Seriously, that's damn cool. It's a cryin shame it had to happen and it can't happen for everyone who needs it. Nerd on girl, nerd on.

No, what are they doing? They still could've saved her! Aw damn, she's lost for good isn't she. Well, a new recruit for the Empire.

StewShearer:
According to Molina, the other girls at Murphy's school were picking on her for liking Star Wars on account of it (supposedly) being for boys.

I want an R2-D2 Jacket... anyway. its amazing how things come around full circle. Girls are picking on a little girls aren't supposed like Star Wars. Seems suspiciously similar to when I was a kid where kids picked on me because girls weren't supposed to like boys who like Star Wars.

I hope this girl had a rockin time. And who knows maybe she'll get a part in the next movie.

Karadalis:

direkiller:

Ukomba:
I had no idea that Star Wars was considered a boy fandom. Most of the best characters (3 of my top 5 favorites) are female. My wife is a huge fan, and my daughter loves lightsabers.

I think it's due to the cartoons marketed to boys.
To kids her age that is the only commercial exposure they have.

Still not a reason to excuse bad parenting, the real root of the problem.

Even if star wars cartoons are aimed at boys, it no where says that girls arent allowed to watch it or enjoy star wars on those shows.

Its a parents job to make sure that their children dont grow up to be total douchebags, wich includes sitting down with your child and explaining to it that its not okay to bully no matter the reason.

Also theres responsibility with the school/teacher cause they often ignore bullying to "keep the peace" or "keep the image" of the school clean (theres no bullying at our school!) The class teacher should have had a talk with the kids in her class and if that didnt change the situation she should have contacted the bullies parents.

Why is it that in these cases the teacher/school never does the sensible thing? (assuming the parents of the girl actually sought out help from the school)

Nope it has to be a media worthy action to stop something so simple as preschool level of bullying.

Horrifying that interfering with bullying is newsworthy, but there you go.

As for school faculty, I had more teachers punish me for complaining about bullying than I had help from them. Don't send your kids to school assuming that they're safe, school is only as safe as the faculty aren't indifferent. Contacting teachers/parents/principals only works if anyone cares, addressing the school board directly can become necessary. If that doesn't work, one can consider legal action (depending on the country).

Karadalis:
Pft... this just shows once again that the ones keeping girls from entering these fandoms are not the boys... but other girls...

But remember: its the guys who want to keep the girls out of their clubhouses!

Oh great, guess I'll go tell that to every guy given me shit because clearly you can only have people from one group pissing on you at once.

One of the guys I work with is in a local chapter of the 501st, top bloke. All glory to Vader's Fist.

And since this is a a bit of a sad story, here's a duck in a hat:

image

Sadly I was unable to find one wearing a Stormtrooper helmet.

Really... this made CNN? Slow news day or something? Was Trump not around? I mean seriously... good on 501 for stepping up, but give me a break. Little kids at school are bullies to anyone who doesn't conform to them... this is what makes national news now days? Where are the articles about the little girl who was bullied for liking TMNT, or the little boy for liking MLP:FIM? Or hell, the kid who is mocked for being too skinny/fat/tall/short/ginger/white/black/asian/etc ...

Yes, little kids are assholes, especially now days since many parents don't actually instill any values on their kids about right and wrong. It is hardly something that is surprising let alone news worthy... more click-bait from the Escapist I guess, is Archon still away or something, is that why all these are coming out now?

Also Stormtrooper Duck:
image

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