Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some Girls Like Superheroes, Some Like Princesses

This video was uploaded in May of this year but has recently been getting a lot more attention because of the holidays. This is Riley. She's maybe four years old, and she understands that there is a serious problem with gender stereotypes. Listen to her as she rants against toy makers and their desire to push princesses on girls and superheroes on boys.

Growing up, I liked Disney, Barbie, Jem, Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony, and Care Bears, but what I really loved was She-Ra, GI Joe, He-Man, Thundercats, Voltron, Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman, X-Men, and countless other action-filled shows and toys. I grew up feeling like a freak because I was constantly told it was wrong for girls to like this stuff. I remember my grandparents refusing to buy me a GI Joe, even though they were buying one for my brother, until I conned my way into getting a female GI Joe. I loved Scarlett but that's not the point. Why couldn't I play with the male Joes? What was so wrong about it?

It took a really long time before I was finally comfortable admitting just how much I really loved all of these things, but even today, I still feel a little awkward about it. I know there is nothing wrong with loving what I love, and I'm certainly not ashamed of it, but there are these residual feelings that I have which come from being told time and time again that there was something wrong with liking toys that were supposedly for boys only. It's stupid. We want to teach our kids to grow up to be true to themselves and not to be ashamed of what they like. We want them to grow up strong and confident and willing to take chances. We want them to break gender stereotypes so the best of the best, regardless of sex, can rise to the top and make this world a better place.

This type of stereotyping begins when we're very little, and if a little girl, who probably isn't able to read or write, can understand how wrong this is, then why can't toy marketers?


  1. Fortunately my Father was big on the Sci-Fi and when I'd see him I'd get a healthy dose of anything from Star Wars to Godzilla, Hot Wheels and Transformers AND My Little Pony. I now have a little girl of my own and she adores Pokemon and the X-Men, Spider-Man and the like.... but her dad has informed her that she needs to "get rid of her boy toys and start liking girl things"... He hated the fact I am a geek but I hoped he would be more accepting of our daughter... Another reason he is my ex. My daughter hates the fact there are "no girls that like Pokemon" and I wish I could show her that there are lots of girls out there that like the same things, they just need a voice.

  2. I love pokemon, spiderman, superman, batman, and X-men, star wars, and the like ( I am also female).

  3. I love Pokemon, X-Men, Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, etc. I grew up surrounded by boys and their toys. I still have fun with them.

    I am happily married to a man who loves the fact that I am a geek who loves these sorts of things. We are raising our daughter to know that she can play with whatever she wants. As a five-year old, she gets confused sometimes by the messages that are sent by the media.

    Hang in there, girls of the world. There is no reason why you can't play with whatever you want! Your life will be enriched by expanding your options. :D

  4. Is Misty suddenly a boy? There are other female Pokemon trainers too. I like Pokemon. And even though I'm a 27 year old female, I collect electric type Pokemon with Raichu being my favorite. :)

  5. I *love* pokemon! For the record, I also love space, dinosaurs, Star Wars, the x-men, and more. Tell your girls its okay to like the things THEY LIKE, and not what other people tell them to like.

  6. I love Pokemon. I remember playing it when the very first Yellow, Red, and Blue games came out for the Game Boy.
    Its not just Pokemon that I love either, its a mixture of video games, comic books, anime, Star Wars, fantasy, etc. Its also safe to say I had Barbies, in fact I still collect them to this day. Girls are geeks too!! Don't be afraid to express your geekyness.

  7. I love anything and everything I want to and don't really care if it's boy or girl related. If it's fun and enjoyable who really cares what gender people associate it with. My cousins used to play with me and my barbies and I used to play with them and their tonka trucks along with my batman, teenage mutant ninja turtles, and Bucky O'Hare. P.S. I don't care what anyone says either, you're never to old to play Pokemon Snap or Pokemon Stadium.. NEVER. Your console of choice which has it on there just might die first. <3