"Woman is the nigger of the world" - Yoko Ono
Dammit Max Landis! Dammit! In your attempt to make a rationale (if somewhat neurotic) argument about the lack of character background for the newest badass character of the Star Wars universe, Rey, you actually empowered sexists with a new term to demean strong female characters.
So, here’s the thing. The new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, trailer dropped on 4-7-16.
And before anyone could say how awesome it is to get another movie, or go crazy about Forest (Ghost Dog) Whittaker being part of the cast, or get hyped over having a black AT-AT Walker (my fist was raised high, and I’m already crafting theories that’s it’s faster, stronger, bigger than other AT-ATs and that it runs on grape soda). Before we can say any of this, people are already claiming, that Rogue One's potential main character, Jyn Erso, is a Mary Sue and not in a Star Trek, fan girl, unbalanced character kind of way. They're calling her a Mary Sue as slur, as a way of saying, girls can't be action heroes. And that’s CRAP!!
When we encourage our daughters to only interact with the Barbies, Jems, and Disney Princesses instead of GI Joes and Super Heroes, we are limiting their identity by telling them who they have to be. We are essentially assigning them a gender role. Furthermore, by not having strong female heroes for young girls to identify with, we are not providing them role models for them to aspire to be. Ren and Jyn Erso are critically important for future generations of women. By seeing these kickass women; it gives weight to the idea that they can be whatever they want to be: especially intergalactic heroes.
Mary Sue used to be a term for an unrealistic, wish fulfilling character. Now, it’s used to disempower strong female’s characters, implying that it’s unrealistic for someone with an XX chromosome to kick butt and save the galaxy. By calling a female main character a Mary Sue, we’re saying that female characters can’t be strong, intelligent, self-reliant, leaders, etc. While Max Landis didn’t have the intention of creating a new sexist slur, the horde of sexist internet trolls have taken the term and turned it into a new way of insulting a new generation of interesting female protagonists. The term nigga, was meant to dehumanize African’s and aid in turning them to slaves, and the term Mary Sue is nowhere near as bad as that, especially since we’re talking about fictional character’s. But, like the song Woman is the Nigger of the World implies, woman is used by sexists as a derogatory term. The term Mary Sue, is now the open way to demean a fictional female character without saying what’s honestly on your mind and coming off as openly sexist. When you call a character a Mary Sue, you're really saying: “I don’t want girls in my club house.”