My nearly three year old daughter loves superheros. So much that she has already assigned everyone in our family and group of close friends superheros to be for Halloween, and insists that she will be Supergirl. So much that she sees the Batman logo in everything from actual Batman merchandise to toast that has bites taken out of it. So much that she would scream when she had to leave her superhero cape at school.
So when I see the lack of superhero merchandise featuring female superheros, it makes me angry. And when I see the lack of superhero merchandise and toys for toddler girls, it makes me furious.
There are, as always, some exceptions. One of her favorite books is DC’s My First Book of Girl Power, featuring an introduction to superheroines such as Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and Batgirl. They also have a Wonder Woman specific board book that I’m sure we’ll buy for her soon. And Melissa and Doug does have a superhero costume designed for girls, though the intentional separation between boys and girls costumes and toys is a whole other problem. Superhero toys available for girls are purely pink, or not available to them at all, unless they go to the boys section of the store.
So when I saw Marvel’s announcement that there would be more Black Widow merchandise tied in with Captain America: Civil War, I was relieved. That is, until I saw that the increase in merchandise mentioned was simply “a big focus on adult female apparel.” What about little girls? Is it still going to be pink and princesses or nothing?
Can’t we just have toys and clothes featuring both male and female superheros marketed to all kids, regardless of gender? Please?