So today, Marvel entertainment is having a big sale on Amazon. Awesome, right? They’ve got toys and action figures and clothes for all.
Except when you click on women’s clothing, this is what you get.
Two suitcases, a pair of heels (for some reason I still don’t get) and five sexy superheros costumes. Five. And only one of them is for a female character (that’d be the last one: sexy lab girl, Gwen).
And the girls section? All costumes. For Black Widow, Spider Girl, and some of the male heroes (which are just boys’ costumes put in the girls’ category). Yeah, skin tight faux-leather catsuits for your five year old. Try sending her to school in that.
When sexism and misogyny in marketing and consumerism are discussed, this is exactly the kind of bullshit which exemplifies targeted anti-woman marketing. I don’t usually get on a gender podium, but this bothers the shit out of me. In an age where Marvel, a multi-billion dollar company who could hire whoever they want, market themselves however they want, who has fostered the development of amazing female characters in its films and comics, chooses to have the only available products on the number one online marketplace be tight-bodiced, short-skirted (likely poorly constructed) costumes of its male superheroes, it is literally screaming: WE DON’T WANT WOMEN IN OUR CLUB UNLESS THEY’RE SEX OBJECTS.
It may seem petty on a surface level, but what companies make commercially available to consumers has a direct effect on how that demographic is perceived. If you don’t make it, if you won’t sell it, we can’t buy it. So you use the excuse that girls don’t buy superhero merchandise unless its this incredibly sexist bullshit. That, in itself, is incredibly sexist bullshit.
Don’t tell me a Gamora or Nebula tee won’t sell when you won’t make one to test that theory.
Don’t tell people a Black Widow movie won’t make money when you won’t try making any female-led superhero film (since Elektra *weeps*), and when your Black Widow actress had a hit film this summer that basically involved her running around and being badass to a terrible hole-filled plot. People still came and it was pretty bad. Imagine if it were really good.
Don’t hide behind suits and corporate hullabaloo when it comes to shilling out merchandise. You want to know what consumers want? Try ASKING THEM. Try LISTENING TO THEM. Try NOT PURPOSELY ALIENATING AT LEAST 50% OF YOUR POTENTIAL BUYERS BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE PENISES.