Why an All-Girl Superhero Team Pisses Me Off

In case you haven’t been paying attention, people are upset that Marvel seems to be dropping the ball on the merchandising when it comes to their female characters. Just to name a few, Gamora gets left off shirts, Black Widow is missing from merchandise, and Gogo and Honey Lemon from Big Hero 6 are erased because eww, girls.

Super Hero Girls
DC Super Hero Girls

So you would think WB and DC’s announcement of an all-girls superhero show (and the associated merchandise) would come as a relief. And for some, that’s exactly what it was.

When I saw the announcement, though, I frowned. Something about it rubbed me the wrong way. Something about this really, really annoyed me.

So I spent a few days mulling it over. It simmered at the back of my brain while I went about my last week of classes. And I think — I *think* — I finally pinned down what bothered me about this.

It’s for girls. It’s *just* for girls. It even says so, right there in the release.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all about a team of ass-kicking females being awesome. But, at the same time, I feel like this is just a way to dismiss girls while making them feel like they’re getting exactly what they want. It’s kind of brilliant, actually. But my problem is this:

Why can girls only shine when there are no boys around?

Why are women only allowed to deal with their problems and grow when they’re with other women?

Why can’t we have a team of boys *and* girls, where there’s an equal amount of girls on the team instead of the (at best) 3:1 ratio we’ve been getting? Why can’t there be *more* girls on the team? Or maybe the team leader is a girl? Or maybe — just maybe — there are both boys and girls, they all go through problems, they help each other through them, and that help isn’t limited to members of the same sex. And everyone gets the same amount of screen time, and everyone is on all the shirts, and everyone gets an action figure.

Because making an all-girl show just tells us that girls are only allowed to grow and deal with their problems on their own time, and that the boys don’t care. And it tells the boys that they don’t *have* to care, because it’s not for them. It’s “just for girls.”

And that’s just not a message I can get behind.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Rojir Mc says:

    I would say that this could be a gateway drug to Justice League Unlimited, which does an excellent job of showcasing male and female characters together.

  2. Brian Jones says:

    It’s heavily disappointing because as of this summer Marvel will have pulled two all female teams without labeling the books “For Girls”.

    X-Men Vol 4 featured an all female team (Storm, Jubilee, Psylock, Rogue, Rachael Grey, Kitty Pride at the start). Unfortunately it’s first plot revolved a little heavily around protecting a baby, but they did have some fairly big villains show up and now that G Willow Wilson is writing on it, it’s turned out a lot better.

    Next they’re doing A-Force, an all female Avengers team as part of the Battleworlds event coming up. Again, not labelled as “For Girls” though if it can pull off they hype remains to be seen.

    Granted neither of these are TV shows, but we’ve seen X-Men adapted to cartoons multiple times, so I could easily see Storm’s team headlining their own TV spot without having to sink it into the pink ghetto.

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