I’m EXTREMELY pleased that DC Comics are trying to get girls into reading their stuff (I’m hoping my little Magpie daughter will take an interest when she’s older), but I wish they’d market it a little differently…
“Just for girls?” So they’re basically saying: “our regular comics aren’t suited to you, you need special pink sparkle versions of things.”
This becomes a problem when boys at school will say, “that’s not real DC, that’s the stupid girl version.”
It also, once again, precludes young boys from liking or getting to know about girls and girl things, setting them up for a perpetuation of the current cave-man state of affairs…
Still, pretty cool that they’re bothering at all.
Here’s a better run-down from Chuck Wendig at his blog Terrible Minds.
What are your thoughts on gender divisions in the marketing of creative works? Is there a better way, or are these just a fact of life?
I can smell a lot of gender-based constraints DC Comics will impose on this line, and that’s going to give girls who don’t fit into these “Just For Girls” constraints a bad time. It’s also baffling how they created an entirely new division just to tackle gender perception. They should fix any gender-related issues in the existing universe instead of quarantining the problem like it’s separate from the main canon. That’s one way of making the problem less of a problem.
I agree, and I think that tackling gender issues in the main canon is slowly starting to happen… which is why this development kind of broadsided me. I mean look at Batgirl – the latest run of the Batgirl comics have been widely praised for their inclusivity and portrayal of all kinds of people. Why they felt like they needed to pidgeon hole young girls and what they like instead of simply making a “kids” line, I can only guess it comes back to the old guard making the marketing decisions…
I agree . . . this is a step, but not exactly a step forward. Maybe kind of a diagonal step. Shannon Hale wrote a great post on this problem of the “just for girls” mentality in her school presentations: http://shannonhale.tumblr.com/post/112152808785/no-boys-allowed-school-visits-as-a-woman-writer
Oh damn, that is a depressing story 😦 I’m not complaining, and I’m probably not explaining (mansplaining?) anything everyone doesn’t already know, but in my experience this kind of shaming among guys happens well into adulthood.
It’s not just about showing an interest in “girly” things either, it’s also common to hear homophobic stuff, racist stuff, bigoted islamophobic stuff, and guys just nod or laugh. You don’t want to be a “faggot” who “can’t take a joke.”
In my own case it’s often a matter of pride to disagree when these sentiments are voiced, or at least to let people know, in the middle of their humorous racist spree, that “yeah, so I’m really looking forward to my trip to South Korea next month. Great food over there. Their internet makes ours look like a tortoise.” Then again I kind of like conflict and awkwardness, so there’s that.
The insidious problem though is that sometimes you find yourself not bothering, or avoiding speaking out because you just don’t want the agro, or they’re your best mate. Usually the recrimination later on is worse than the conflict would have been.
Phew, what a nice rant, now I need a drink…
Isn’t it sad? And I totally agree, it all continues and even gets worse into adulthood. That’s why it’s so important to cut it off when it starts, before people have these ridiculous prejudices and blindnesses ingrained in their thought processes. I’m glad you make an effort to put a stop to it. We need more people speaking out.
If they were just doing a version that was intended for a younger audience in general — girls and boys both — that would make sense. But to make a “cute” version that’s intended specifically for girls… No. There should be more female characters in comics (and other creative works), but they shouldn’t be separated out.
SO MUCH YES TO THIS. A kids version would have been fine. Hell, even a lack of marketing spiel at all would have been fine, because young men could have wilfully misinterpreted the target audience and watched it anyway, a la My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. Which I totally haven’t watched any of by the way. Nuh uh. No brony here.