As you know (how could you not notice?) today is Alien Day, and that means the world is filled with all sorts of Alien and Aliens related products. One of the more exciting releases was the Reebok Alien stomper, the 'futuristic' sneakers Ripley wears in Aliens. The run of these sneakers was going to be limited... but nobody knew that it was going to be limited to men's sizes only. A sneaker made famous by a woman, available only in men's sizes.
Our friend Suki-Rose Simakis, a creative development executive at SpectreVision films, tells us about her experience of learning that the gear of one of the great women in scifi wasn't available for women:
Today is the much anticipated Alien Day and at 12pm Eastern Standard Time I sat on the Reebok website with my finger hovering over the refresh button, determined to get myself a pair of the most requested movie sneakers in history: Ripley's Alien stomper high tops. My bliss at getting through to a purchase page was quickly dashed as my eyes fell across the words "men's classics" and I see that the available sizes start at a men's size 9. "Maybe I can wear like 5pairs of socks and stuff the ends and they will fit!" I think. I was desperate to make it work for me so much so that it took a solid minute before I said to myself
"Wait, what the actual fuck."
There are a million op-ed pieces swimming the Internet about what it means to be a film fan while simultaneously having a vagina. You know the story, in a number a small ways we are pushed aside, not included and not invited. I'm exhausted with talking about it, thinking about it, and living it. However today I can't but help feel the anger and frustration anew.
Ripley is one of the most badass action heroes of all time. Seeing her kick ass while also being a lady (gasp!) was ground breaking, inspiring, and gave us all kinds of "fuck yeah!" Feelings. The fact that Reebok released her shoes today in honor of the 35th anniversary of Alien in men's sizes only is more than baffling: it's insulting. Just another passive way female film fans are subtly told to move aside, this isn't for you.
Chatting with Katie Rife over at AV club she pointed out that Sigourney Weaver wears a women's size 10, and Ripley herself wouldn't have even been able to snag a pair she could wear.
I should note that there is some discrepancy as to what sizes were actually released this afternoon, some people reporting that a men's size 6 (which roughly translates to a women's 8) was even available at one point. Regardless, seeing Ripley's shoes displayed under the MEN'S CLASSICS headline with even the smallest men's size reported out sizing most women the message is coming in loud and clear.
Don't worry Reebok, women are used to fighting for our place at the table. In fact we learned a lot of that fight from Ripley herself.