My girls absolutely love superheroes. Its like their favourite thing at the moment, they’re Spiderman obsessed, they love PJ masks, Batman and Iron Man and are obsessed with being super heroes.
Josh and I have always made a conscious effort not to push stereotypes on the girls. They are growing up in an age where girls are increasingly more able to like and do whatever they want. When they’ve warmed to certain tv shows we’ve never assumed they’d like the girl characters best, we’ve just let them like what they like.
It has frustrated us over the years that there are often only token girls in tv shows. One girl, six boys or something like that. There is never a majority of girls and any paraphernalia in the ‘girls section’ is always that one token girl (like always Sky from paw patrol pyjamas etc.) and girls are never expected to prefer a boy character. So often we have bought them stuff from the boy’s section and not thought twice about it.
But recently, the girls have been saying more and more that they want to be boys. Not as in they are having a gender identity crisis, but more that they wish they were boys. To them, boys are cooler, boys have the best superpowers, boys are everywhere.
It really got to me. I want the girls to be proud of who they are, proud to be strong, confident, passionate little girls. But they aren’t and they wish they were boys. Sure, they love Anna and Elsa like every kid but their favourites are superheroes and there just aren’t any super girls.
So, I tried to find female superheroes. I googled “top 10 female super heroes” and you know what came up? Hundreds and hundreds of articles with the title “top 10 sexiest female super heroes” or words to that effect. Great. So the only value that female super heroes have are how sexy they are to men. Exactly what I want to teach my daughters, not.
I loved the Wonder Woman movie a few years a go, she is a really awesome woman… but that’s a bit too grown up for the girls just yet. Same with Captain Marvel. I guess its good that there are a few new superheroes but its definitely not happening fast enough.
I never really thought about any of this stuff until I had daughters. But there was a moment in Avengers Endgame when all the female characters fought together and it gave me goosebumps. This is what our daughters need to see.
I don’t really know what to do moving forward, there aren’t really any female superheroes that exist in a form they would enjoy. But I guess being aware of it is the first step.