After yesterday's MRA joke I got to thinking. Being the father to a daughter you start to look at the world a little differently. And some days you just find yourself thinking "Wow! How did I get here?"
There has been a lot of hoopla surrounding merchandising lately. Specifically around The Avengers toys which seem to ignore Black Widow1. There are plenty of examples, but here's another testimony to add to the indictment.
My daughter started school in September, as kids do, and that meant it was time for a new backpack. So there we were looking at backpacks, and among the pink fairy and princess and "girls" backpacks, there really wasn't much variety. Now, my daughter loves that crap, so I was pretty surprised when she picked out a Big Hero 6 bag.
We had recently seen the movie, so it must have been on her mind. Anyway, it was in the adjacent "boys" section of backpacks. I doubt she noticed, or cared about the separation of boys and girls bags. A few days later, I'm looking at this Big Hero 6 bag and I realize there are only 4 of the heroes on it. The male heroes. They cut the female heroes.
And that's where it starts. The girls aren't as important as the boys, but who cares since it's a boy's bag? What's the big deal? I care. For one thing my daughter owns it, and I am reasonably sure that she's a girl. The message is subtle, yet clear: Boys are more important.
Emblazoned upon something as seemingly innocuous as a backpack! This bias is pervasive and children pick up on these things. Don't kid yourself that they don't.
I just think it's odd from a company that makes so much money off of princesses2.
Now, I have always considered myself a feminist in as much as equality should be a given, and I am hopeful that we are living in a nascent post-feminist world. It's just things like this, the little things. These bug me, and I notice them now. More than I did before, certainly. Maybe, and I hope it's true, maybe it's because these represent the final crumbs. Aberrations that stand out all the more due to their anachronistic overtones. I hope.
After all, Captain America needs his buddy: Black Widow.
1 - I was in the comic shop today discussing Winter Soldier, and how it's a great buddy movie.
2 - Or maybe not if you consider the commodification of submissive stereotypes etc... I should probably go back and dig more at that idea.
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