As the mother of a daughter -- and a son -- of course I'm offended/disappointed in the company's line of "sexist Avengers t-shirts" for kids,including a boys' tee that says, "Be a Hero," and a girls' version with the slogan, "I Need a Hero."
So are a lot of other people, apparently, considering an online petition requesting that Disney stop selling the shirts has already received approximately 6,000 signatures. I mean, the boys' shirt is actually fine with me -- a kid could do worse than to dream of becoming a hero when he grows up. It's just that the girls' shirt should say the exact same thing. Seriously, I need a hero?! What year is this again?
The petition pretty much sums it up:
We believe that women can be heroes too, and as one of the most recognizable children's brands in the world, it's especially important that Disney takes responsibility for the messages they deliver to our youngest and most vulnerable.
Please sign and share this petition to let the Disney Store know: as long they use limiting gender stereotypes to sell their products, we're #NotBuyingIt!
On the one hand, it's just a t-shirt -- but it's true, Disney IS one of the most recognizable children's brands in the world, so you'd think they would at least focus group this stuff or something. Because in addition to being offensive/disappointing, the message Disney is sending is actually contrary to the message the Avengers movies try to send. Sort of. Scarlett Johansson, hello?! The Black Widow is just as badass as any of her male counterparts.
Anyway, I'm betting Disney will yank these off the shelves soon enough. But what they should REALLY do is replace them with "Be a Hero" shirts for girls! Make up for that big whopper of a mistake.
They aren't sexist in the slightest way.
Maybe the people against them have never read a comic book or watched any of the movies. Maybe they don't know that the Advengers have female members. Superheros rescue men, women, boys and girls yet no one would be offended if the boys shirt said I need a hero. Saying 'I need a hero' doesn't mean someone is weak, it's saying something like 'Iron Man would sure come in handy right now'.
Thinking that it means females can't be a hero is reading too much into it.
I do think they're sexist in a way. While no one is stopping anyone from buying the boys' shirt for the girls or vice versa, the fact that they're specifically marketing each shirt they way they are is problematic. It sends the message that girls need to be rescued, not do the rescuing.