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The PDX Broadsides Sing What We’re All Thinking: We Want Better Representation in Media

An exclusive music video premiere, just for you. Yes, you.

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The PDX Broadsides, a “trio of nerd enthusiasts who sing about science, piracy, superheroes, robots, and other geeky topics with great vigor and harmony” (nice) have just recently put together a brand new music video that addresses a maddeningly common issue within female fandom: a lack of representation in merchandise. The song is titled “We Want Rey,” after the hashtag that went viral ahead of The Force Awakens‘ 2015 release. Then, many people were wondering why there were little to no Star Wars toys featuring someone who is a significant part of the main cast.

Before Rey, many of the same frustrations were lobbed against Marvel in its apparent lack of support for Black Widow merchandise as well. The erasure of female characters from some of the biggest movies of recent memory was nothing short of egregiously insulting, and fans were tired of it.

Now, thanks to the PDX Broadsides, we’ve got an excellent anthem, one that we can sing along with in protest of the continued lack of representation in general. To be fair, though, Hasbro and a few other toy companies have stepped up and actually made moves to do better by their female fans. But for every Hasbro, there’s two or three more toy manufacturers who still stand by tired old gendered toy norms. Blech.

Jessica Hebert, who sings lead in this video, had this to say about what the song means to them: “‘We Want Rey’ is about representation. It means something significant to see yourself in the media. You feel like you belong. When SW:TFA came out, seeing a young woman in the lead, having that journey of discovery, we could relate, felt included … and then no Rey merchandise. Reygate. It was a real breaking point. ‘No one cares about female characters on merch’ was met with resounding opposition, from folks of all backgrounds and identities. We want more Gamora, Furiosa, Agent Carter, complex and powerful female representations in the media. We want to show our pride, and it’s frustrating to feel like we’ve gone, like Wonder Woman’s plane, invisible again.”

If you’re looking to listen to more of PDX Broadsides’ work, you’re in luck: they’re working on a Kickstarter campaign to fund “We Have Trust Issues,” their fourth album. You can also find them over on Bandcamp.

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.

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