Saturday, October 03, 2015

Girl Superheroes for Girls

DC Superhero Girls (or possibly Super Hero Girls) is a new web animation series, book series, and any other type of merchandising they can possibly squeeze out of it. The setting is a school for superheroes, which doesn't seem that fussy about the "hero" part, since they seem to have let in several villains too. Basically it's attempting to do Monster High, only for superhero comic characters, and judging by the costume designs, skewing a little younger.

I've seen some criticism that, since the school is co-ed, they should have made it more inclusive by calling it Superhero Kids or something else less gender-specific. But you know what? No. They shouldn't. On the one hand it's a superhero show for girls, which is a big thing in itself in an age where Black Widow is ignored in Avengers merchandising and female-led superhero movies are decidedly at the back of the queue.

But beyond that, if the series had a non-gender-specific title everyone would have assumed it was for boys, and that the majority of the characters would be male. Because that's what non-gender-specific means in our society. Men and boys have been pandered to for so long at the expense of women and girls that if you have a group that has an equal number of male and female characters it is considered female-biased, simply because the vast majority of "non-gender-specific" shows feature a primary cast that is four guys and one girl, or three guys and two girls. Even where the female character is nominally the protagonist, the supporting cast is predominantly male. So yes, the only way of having a show that isn't male dominated is by making it a specifically female show. And I am fine with that.

And, oh look. Who's that in the background...?

No comments: