In Space, No One Can Hear the Gender Inequality


Lego has a problem, and that problem is a tiny, yellow, plastic Y chromosome. As I may have mentioned before, Lego has woefully under represented women in their sets, and have done so since the beginning. I think the first time I got a female minifig was with a Star Wars Episode I set. Granted, the past decade they've made real steps forward in correcting this issue, but it still persists. For example, they just launched a new line of sets called Ultra Agents. The first wave contains 6 new sets across the usual price ranges (from "minorly expensive" to "third mortgage") and complexities. Within these 6 sets are 19 minfigs, and of these only 4 are female, and those only come in the three highest priced sets.

The same is true of the Superhero sets, which feature Pepper Potts, Black Widow, Mary Jane, Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Batgirl, but only in the higher price range sets, traditionally those with the lowest sales. Only Catwoman came in a low-range set (Wonder Woman's set was mid-range, and was actually a Superman set). The City line has the same level of inequality, but manages to spread the figs out over a larger portion of their sets in various ranges, though I've noticed that a female minifig never comes with the cheapest sets (please correct me with an example if I'm wrong there). The only Lego line I can find with anything resembling parity are the blind-bag minifig sets, which are generally half-and-half, but because of distribution statistics, you're less likely to get a female figure than a male.

As a Lego collector, this irks me big time smiley. There is such a disparity in my collection of male to female figures that I've found myself consciously making the decision to only purchase sets that include female figures. Lego is expensive, so when I spend that much on a set, I want it to make my collection better. I championed the soon-to-be-available, and already-sold-out Research Institute from it's early days, though not just because it was an exclusively female set, but because it looked awesome. When it hits shelves later this month, it'll be priced at $19.99 US, and only features female figures, which are two things that, to my recollection, have never happened before.

There is a project up on Lego Ideas called Planetary Exploration right now that has been specifically designed for two reasons: first, to provide even more roles for female minfigs in a Lego set, and second to make a more "hard" science fiction set than Lego has ever done before. And it looks pretty solid. Personally, I'd remove the aliens entirely, and just leave it as a straight up planetary science set, with exclusively female figures, but that's just me. I encourage you all to jump over to Lego Ideas and give it your support, because I'd dearly like to own it, and that's not going to happen otherwise. And, if this set hits the 10,000 supporters that it needs to be considered, and so soon after Research Institute, then Lego as a company might start to reevaluate their current policies regarding female figures.

Hit the jump for more pictures from the proposed set.


Via The Mary Sue.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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