Sometimes I get a reader E-mail that gets me so excited because not only do I love you readers, I also love how you guys look at the world and think about things and bring things to our attention. This one comes courtesy of our amazing reader Rachel Sea, who you are all familiar with from her hilarious and amazingly smart insights in our very own Mommyish community. Rach sent me an Email late yesterday and here is what she had to say:
That Lego article this morning got me thinking about something that pissed me off last night.
I saw Captain America: Winter Soldier last night, and while the movie was awesome, it made me really angry about another Disney product. I had been shopping for Avenger’s stuff for a friend’s kid’s birthday, and came across this:
Initially I didn’t ascribe anything to it, but notably absent from that set is Black Widow, the only female Avenger. In Winter Soldier, the only character with more screen time than her was Captain America himself, which makes her a much more significant character in the franchise than either Hulk or Hawkeye. If there is one thing that Disney does more and better than anyone else, it’s product tie-ins. There is no way the developers responsible for this set didn’t know that Black Widow was important in the movies.
Sexism when it comes to comics is nothing new, but Disney/Marvel has been doing a pretty good job of breaking that tradition, with Joss Whedon, champion of strong female roles, having set the tone in the first Avengers movie. Apparently there is no such champion of diversity when it comes to toy design.
Goodness knows, it’s not unusual to create a character, or a line of toys with gendered appeal, but to cut a major character, seemingly just because she’s female, is an insult to the girls they are pushing away, and the boys for whom they think female hero is unnecessary.
If a bunch of superheroes charged with repeatedly saving the world agree that Black Widow is an invaluable asset (she’s so smart she tricks Loki, the trickster god – who wouldn’t want her on their side?), who is Disney to disagree?
I have not seen the movie yet but I’m with Rachel here, and I’ll be doing what I normally do on a Friday, trolling the Disney corporation using the hashtag #Wheresblackwidow?
According to IGN, there is talk of a Black Widow movie in the works, but is that what happens before we get to see her in playsets along with the boys? Doing a quick web-search, I was only able to find one Avengers set where she was included, and I agree with Rachel, there’s no reason for a major Avenger to be missing when our kids deserve a chance to engage in imaginary play with a strong female character who is just as tough as the boys.
Thank you Rachel for the head’s up on this one.
(Image: Disney Store)