Saturday, August 11, 2012

What's wrong with this picture?

Kitty starts Kindergarten this year.  This is the backpack she picked:

Notice anything/one missing?  I'll give you a hint, it's the only female member of the Avengers.  Black Widow....where is she?  Every single other Avenger is on there, even the other "minor" character of Hawkeye.

I wasn't surprised when every single store we went to had the super-hero merchandise in the "boy" section.  I *was* surprised that not a SINGLE Avengers backpack we saw (and we looked at at least 5) had Black Widow on it. The first time I thought it was an anomoly, the second time I got mad.  By the fifth backpack I had given up.  If she wanted an Avengers backpack, she was going to have to get one without Black Widow on it.  Even a Google image search for "Avengers Backpack" reveals only ONE pack  on a page of at least 10 different designs that includes her.

This baffles my mind.  I understand that the target market for these bags is boys.  I just don't understand the logic that it would somehow be less appealing to a boy if one of the movie's most kick-ass characters was included because she's female.  It's really  hard for me to continue to tell her that backpacks aren't "for boys" or "for girls"  when marketing departments try so hard to make that the case.


  1. I'm guessing that the reason for removing Black Widow from the little boys backpacks is that they may have been trying to avoid controversy for putting a picture of a catsuit-clad sex symbol (aka Scarlett Johansson) on a product marketed at and preferred by kindergarten boys.

    1. Which leads to the question of why does such a bad-ass woman superhero have to be portrayed in such a sexualized manner? It's pretty frustrating. My daughter admires her, but asks why her suit is like that. Not a fun question to have to answer.

    2. Her suit isn't any tighter than Hawkeye's or more revelaing than The Hulk's. If it's the "sexy" issue, it's a crazy double standard. And it's also implying that it's okay for the kids to see her like that in the movie, but heaven forbid we put it on the merch.

      My gut feeling is that it's more of a "Boys don't want her on there" issue. Which is A)contributing to sexism and exclusion; B)assuming that no boys like Black Widow, which I know is untrue; and C)assuming no little girls want an Avengers backpack.


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