Then we decided to have a snack, and while that was going on, we got a call from Gaston. He's attending a wedding this weekend, and our place happens to be on the way, so of course he will be stopping by a day early for a trip to Disneyland. We knew it was coming, but now we are in "get ready for interruptions!" mode. And for some reason, that mode makes it difficult to think.
We have been thinking, though, because there's an article going around Facebook about the Avengers: Age of Ultron toys, and how the different toy companies put different superheroes on Black Widow's motorcycle. We totally agree that this was an awful thing to do, but we think the blame doesn't rest solely on the toy companies. Of course, all our evidence is anecdotal, but we think it bears considering.
Case 1: Someone we know came into possession of some pretty cute Disney prints, and she was considering giving them to someone else we know, because that someone else we know was having a baby, and they might make good decorations for the baby's room. We know that Disney is generally associated with girls, but these prints were not princess prints. There was one of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, one of Bambi...and two more that we forgot about. When the first person offered the prints to the second person, the second person turned them down because "it'd be kind of weird if the baby is a boy" to have Disney prints of any nature on the walls. (With the exception, for some unknown reason, of Winnie the Pooh and his friends.)
Case 2: We were at Disneyland (as usual) with a family that had four children, all boys. As usual, we took them to see the play at the Royal Theatre (in this case, Frozen). As we sat waiting for the show to start, the father of the children expressed his discomfort at the idea that he was taking his boys to watch a princess show.
Of course we were pretty outraged at both of these cases, but the point is this: Disney did not indoctrinate these people that only girls were allowed to enjoy it. I'm pretty sure Disney would be pretty darn happy take money from whoever is willing to give it to them. So our theory is that the reason Disney is so keen on marketing Marvel toys to boys and so adamant about keeping it as estrogen-free as possible is not that they want to gender-type everyone. We suspect their marketing experts realize that parents (not children) are afraid of their children looking weird if they choose something that doesn't fit their gender. Disney realizes girls' parents are going to buy whatever the girls want from them, so they want to make sure boys' parents aren't afraid of buying Marvel toys, because they'll lose that whole market. And so, if our theory is correct, it's weird societal norms/perceptions and parents who buy into them, not marketers, who are causing the real trouble here.
In conclusion, people should definitely keep asking Disney and Marvel to make toys of superheroines, and they should also gently inform the parents they know that maybe it isn't all that weird if their boys like girl characters.
Today I'm thankful for getting our work done today, getting through another lovely volume of My Little Monster, a fun new chapter of UQ Holder!, remembering that we have Ghirardelli minis, and Kodansha using a bit that we translated for their preview of Heroic Legend of Arslan volume three.