My daughter still likes to go into the Disney store if we’re at the mall, but rarely does she ever find anything she’d actually want to buy. The last few things I remember her getting were an Avengers towel and a stuffed toy of the dog from Frankenweenie.
When she was younger and spent long periods of time in the Disney princess section, I just sat in the corner with my phone and waited until she was done. I would buy her a nightdress of her favorite Disney princess. Now she prefers Pixar stuff like Toy Story, Monsters Inc (both on the boys side of Disney) and Finding Nemo (which is usually just in the back somewhere) and of course, Marvel.
The gender bias is something I usually just navigate around. My daughter feels comfortable going to the boy’s section in Target to find Marvel and Angry Birds merchandise. I’ve posted before about the lack of variety in comic book style t-shirts for women and the sad sexism found in some of the options available. So a few days ago I hear about the Disney Marvel shirts and their new options.
Disney came out with some Marvel based shirts. You can read the full article about the issue here, but here was the main issue:
Disney has since pulled the shirt on the left (but you can still buy it here). But just so no one thinks we’re overreacting or I’m pulling things out of context, let me drop Disney’s entire mens and womens Marvel line here:
Two out five womens shirts are about the men of Marvel. One is about being pretty, and then there’s two more that I guess are okay. The Spiderman one looks cute. It gets worse though, when we compare girls and boys options:
I get that little girls are probably not a big market for Marvel. Honestly, I’m against Disney’s entire gender divide. Why is Wreck it Ralph in the Boys side of the store when I walk in? Trust me that’s one movie that speaks to both genders equally. It’s a great movie. But since the store is divided the way it is, on the website and physically, it’s a boy thing for some reason. Why is Toy Story a Boys thing? Seriously? I’m not even joking:
So I went ahead and showed my daughter the two shirts from the original argument, and honestly it took me a few hours to come to that decision. I don’t want to influence her, but… well, I knew what her reaction was going to be anyway. And I was right. She was mad, “but Black Widow is a girl and she’s a superhero and in the Avengers.” She asked me for the “Be a Hero” shirt. Loath as I was to give Disney any of my money at the moment, a week later I went into Disney store and bought it for her while she was on a field trip.
The shirts are in boy sizes. So I went over to the princess t-shirt section and grabbed something in her size. Then I went over to the Boys section and found the Ironman shirt. There was an employee there fixing the display and she started talking to me about how great Ironman 3 was. Meanwhile, I held up the princess shirt over the Ironman shirts until I found one that was roughly the same size as the girls Ariel shirt I was holding. The employee didn’t question what I was doing, for which I give her points.
For the record, Boys M 7-8 is roughly the size of Girls L 10-12.