The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dear Marvel, Black Widow Might Pay You a Visit...

Thanks, Marvel, but I’d rather be my own hero.

Recently, Marvel–the comic book publisher–released new t-shirts based on The Avengers series. The problem is that the t-shirts are so stereotypical that it’s hard to understand how Marvel could include a strong female character in The Avengers (Black Widow) and yet release a t-shirt that equates girls to nothing more than damsels in distress.

The t-shirts include one for boys and one for girls. The boys' shirt is your traditional blue tee, featuring Iron Man and the saying "Be a Hero." Fair enough. Who wouldn't want to put on a metal suit and fly around, saving the world on a daily basis?  

But the shirt for girls made me cringe: form-fitting, bright red, emblazoned with "I Need a Hero" and the pantheon of male characters–and, sadly, not a single female in sight. So not only am I supposed to wear something that shows off the aspects that make me a girl, now I have to publicly display myself as a damsel in distress?

Thanks, Marvel, but I'd rather be my own hero.  

So, instead, I’m opting for this: Fruit of the Loom recently released superhero underwear for girls.  Granted, no one will see it, but I’d rather wear Superman (or Superwoman) underwear and feel like a hero than advertise being a damsel in distress.  

Why? Because girls can be their own heroes, and heroes to others, too. This includes Hannah and Haylee Smith, who heard their father screaming for help after getting trapped under his tractor near Lebanon, Oregon, on April 1. They ran to his aid and together lifted the heavy tractor–weighing a whopping 3,000 pounds–enough for him to slide out.  Rather than screaming for Iron Man (and waiting for him to put on that suit), they jumped into action. Now there are two heroes for you, Marvel.

-Tiffany Rhoades
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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