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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sexism and Superheroes

Back in the '80's, a gentleman (and I use the term loosely) wrote to Marvel. His letter was published in The Uncanny X-Men. (I can't tell you which issue number because my books are in storage right now.) The gist of his complaint was that he wasn't going to read that particular book anymore because the women of the team had stronger, cooler powers than the men. At the time, the team consisted of Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Shadowcat, and Rogue.

o_O Okkaaay. Yes, the guys of my generation could be insecure about their masculinity. At the time, I chalked it up to teen angst. I figured they'd grow out of it.

Jump ahead thirty years, and boy, was I wrong. These guys are still trying to exclude women from the hero world. This time, it's clothing for children.

The excuses are still the same. Boys won't wear girl characters. Girls won't wear superhero-related shirts. And they're both right up there with Warner Bros. excuse for not making a Wonder Woman movie.

Guys, you might want to take a look at my closet before you make that pronouncement. Girls like superheros. We like 'em even better if there are women superheroes in the mix.

And I won't just pick on Warner Brothers. Did Disney/Marvel think I wouldn't notice you didn't have one of the founding members of the Avengers in the movie? I'll give them a little credit. They did substitute Wasp with Black Widow instead of another male Avenger. And they are putting the Scarlet Witch in the next movie. Which still puts them a couple of steps above WB. But then drops them another step for not having Gamora with the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy on a t-shirt for little boys.

*sigh*

To the guys my age marketing shit to younger superhero fans: Kids today grew up with Buffy Summers and Katniss Everdeen and Hermione Granger. They'll wear shirts with Black Widow and Gamora. They'll even go see Wonder Woman if you make the movie right.

And by right, I mean having a team like Chris Nolan had for the Dark Knight trilogy. A team that passionately cares about the subject matter. Or is this all a plan to mess up the possibility of a movie because you don't want to see your sons wearing Wonder Woman t-shirts?

Guess what? Your sons are totally secure in their manhood. It's you that has the problem.

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