sometime I just think about how easy it would be to market superheroes toward little girls and I am filled with rage
like do these people not realize how fucking easy this shit would be
there’s the dazzler she’s like a popstar and a superhero do you know how many 4-12 year old girls would dig that shit
there’s the wasp and her superpowers are seriously like zapping jerks, flying, and being cuter than everybody else. also she’s a famous fashion designer. and she’s better than you. (like she shrinks and stuff too but mainly her power is being better than you)
she-hulk is like this nerdy chick with the power to get bigger and greener and be spontaneously tougher than everybody in the vicinity like I don’t even know a little girl who wouldn’t slit someone’s throat for the ability to be stronger than all the boys when they pissed her off
little girl likes magic? scarlet witch
little girl likes science? invisible woman
little girl likes spies? black widow
little girl likes aliens? karolina dean
little girl likes bionic arms? misty knight
little girl likes flying horses? wow. guess who has one of those? valkyrie. valkyrie does.
My point is that’s it’s so fucking easy so chop-chop, Marvel, get on it. Seriously, I went ten years of my life thinking superheroes were boys. That’s ten years of you not profiting off of my inability to refrain from buying even the crappiest merchandise you offer if it has a character I love on it. Little girls are an enormous market; they will buy all your shit if you just suggest to them that maybe they’d like to.
or you could just keep on not profiting when you could be making money selling literally any object that has enough space to plaster a female superhero’s face on it. that’s cool too.
Part of what’s going on, I think, is that one of the things they are offering to their boy customers is assured masculinity. But under our system of “subtractive masculinity”, something is only *truly* masculine if it doesn’t overlap with girls (or women). So if they deliberately sell to girls, they are breaking their agreement with the boy customers, the agreement that these things will enhance their masculinity.
But I suspect the more important thing is that they, the men who make these decisions, have also bought into the Law of Subtractive Masculinity. Or what I call The Anxiety of the Shopkeeper: customers have power, customers command (with their money), sellers have to understand how customers think. So for a man to sell things to women automatically undermines the gender hierarchy, it makes him mockable. Better to sell fewer things but not get laughed at.