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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Babe, is this Sexist?

There's been no voting this time around, mainly because there's one particular mass market/pop-culture object that we really want to address.  Namely, Disney's Marvel Heroes Shirts for Teen Girls.
Yes, it says "I NEED A HERO"

Sexist in it's own right, and sexist when compared to the Teen Boys shirt (which says "Be A Hero").
Really, this shirt is sexist in so many ways.
- There's the erasure of the female Avengers (Black Widow, the Wasp) and other female Super Heroes (like half of the X-Men, which is why they were my favorite superhero teams as a child). 
- Then there's the absolute horrible messaging.  Boys can be heroes, but girls can't.  We just have to sit around waiting to be saved.  Which just plays into all the standard patriarchy gender roles especially as they apply to stories/literature; girls are trophies for active males, they aren't active in their own right.

And women and girls are just supposed to pay money for these messages? 

Now we're hardly the first to call out this t-shirt, and Disney has already pulled it (which how it got created in the first place still boggles my mind).  

Of course they still have this other sexist shirt...

Too bad it's not a picture of Black Widow.  

And please leave suggestions for topics for future posts in the Babe, is this Sexist? Series.  
You can do so by leaving messages here or in the masterpost.
By tweeting us @FemArmRegime #babeisthissexist?
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  1. Omg, I think I had to post on this blog at some point. I've been searching around for awhile on this blog. I have never felt so insulted to be called a female, or to be called "Feminist". The thing's that are brought up to be called feminist, while some are correct. A lot just seem to be someone over reacting. Such as with these shirts, I'm a huge Marvel fan, and I can tell you straight up why this shirt was made, and also why it's not sexist. Firstly, Maybe if you cared to stop looking for a female you would noticed that while Black Widow is not on the shirt neither is Hawkeye. This is because while they are both wonderful characters, they do not draw as much attention as the other avengers. The company is not going to mass produce something if they believe it will not sell well, or enough to make up for production cost. This is why most times Character's such as Loki, Black Widow, & Hawkeye do not get the publication some might wish they did. They aren't as popular.

    1. So I see you're responding to only one point about the first shirt (and not the others about the language and the comparison to the shirt for boys).
      However, what becomes popular is absolutely based on marketing decisions from a company by people who can be/are directly or indirectly sexist. What becomes popular isn't some random thing completely free from our patriatchal/kyriarchal culture. (After all it's straight white men, two of them a prince/wealthy who are getting the shirt time).
      Before the Iron Man movies the Iron Man Marvel comics where not nearly as popular are they currently are, and were not Marvel's most popular title. Black Widow has been a prominent character in her own comics, ensemble works, and other character's titles for decades. We is one of the more popular Avengers characters, and that she doesn't have a movie, and people's discussion of ScarJo and Black Widow is def. routed in sexism. That's not getting into all the other female Avengers characters that aren't being introduced (though I am excited about Scarlet Witch).

      You can't claim it's all popular interest and therefore completely devoid of sexism. Firstly because popular interest is created by the marketing and titles that Marvel produces. Secondly because sexism is hella popular.


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