So here’s the thing: we need more girl superheroes.
My son has hit that magical age when his fancy turns to Spiderman. The influence was entirely wholesome: he saw the highlights from the Spiderman musical during the Macy’s parade and was hooked. Later, he stumbled upon a selection of super-hero books aimed at young kids in a bookstore and was entranced by the escapades of Iron Man, Batman, Superman, the Flash and others. I’ve been indulging him by buying a bunch of the books because they’re cute, non-violent, and emphasize teamwork. And my one hard and fast parenting philosophy is that the best way to foster a love of reading is to let kids have books with content that appeals to them.
Within limits, of course. I mean, I’m not going to hand my son Playboy when he’s 12 and into girls. But I’ll let him have Sports Illustrated. What’s that? The Swimsuit Issue? Um, yeah, we were talking about superheros, here, not the glaring imperfections in my parenting philosophy, ok?
Anyway, I’ve been immersed in the super world of superheroes for a few weeks now and something has really struck me: there are not enough female superheroes. As I read about Aquaman and Iron Man and Batman and so on I keep thinking “Girls can be super too! And you know what? I bet they can be super and wear pants at the same time. Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you Wonder Woman.”
I know that superheroes are generally considered the province of boys and therefore most of them are male so as to be relatable. (Also many of them were created in days gone by when women were not as allowed to be overtly super as they are in this day and age. Wonder Woman was a striking aberration but maybe they needed someone unexpected to fight Nazis, as was her original mission.) And I’m not saying the boy superheroes need to be relegated to the annals of history and replaced with an army of the kind of feminist heroes that would make Rush Limbaugh wet his pants.