Jurassic World toys describe Blue the lady raptor as a male
Scrubbing all things female from movie merchandising is nothing new. We saw it with Disney's Planes. We've seen it with Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars. But swapping the sex of the raptor squad from Jurassic World? That's taking things too far.
Chris Pratt's unlikely bond with a bunch of lady raptors is pretty much the only saving grace of Jurassic World. Who doesn't love a watered-down Indiana Jones careening through the jungle with a raptor biker gang?
In fact, the strongest female character in Jurassic World is Blue. She takes a brief raptor rumspringa with Indominus Rex and then goes her own way, deciding to join forces with the T. rex from the first movie. She doesn't eat Chris Pratt, for which we all are thankful. She also has to watch her sisters in raptor-hood die, and it's kind of traumatizing, actually. Blue is great.
Blue is a female.
She's referred to as a female about 400 times in the film. But as we've learned time and time again, the only way to market superhero and space and dinosaur toys to boys is to remove any hint that a vagina may or may not exist.
According to Hasbro, "His slashing claws and growling attack will destroy anything in his way." Playskool has a junior version of a raptor and human handler, and doesn't refer to the raptor as a girl or a boy. But they definitely identify young dinosaur fans as boys: "This monster stomper fits right in his little hands."
It really adds insult to injury to sex-swap the raptors for literally no reason. Yes, Jurassic World has been wildly popular, and it's also kind of a blast to watch. But it also features a main female character hauling ass around Costa Rica, running from dinosaurs in a pair of white pumps, as if any living, breathing woman on the planet would do something that stupid.
First they take our brains. Then they take our raptors.
It's funny, but it's also not funny at all.
There will always be people who say that pointing out sexism in toys is overreacting. Or being somehow unfair to boys. As long as we silence the voices of those who are affected by this kind of systematic sexism, we're not going to see change. Important change.
Little boys aren't inherently bothered by playing with female characters or female dinosaurs. We're teaching them that they shouldn't play with female toys or heroes. We're teaching them that every time Black Widow gets scrubbed from every Avengers T-shirt and every time Leia doesn't show up in a toy store. We're creating an unnatural rift between boys and girls from the moment we start handing them color-coded teething toys.
And we're teaching girls that they're worthless, one plastic microaggression at a time.