There has been a lot of chatter about this article around the Internet, or at least the bit of it that I read. And yeah, I think with all the superboys out there, we could see a few more supergirls.
I grew up playing with a good mix of “girl” toys and “boy” toys. I had all kinds of My Little Ponies and I loved Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake. I even liked Barbies. But I loved Legos (which I think are unisex, anyway, but I loved the simple smiley faces they used to have because you could put on “girl” hair to anyone and look, you have a woman!) and I loved playing with my brother and his Justice League action figures during the ’80s (or whatever they were — the DC Comics characters). I think Wonder Woman was the only woman of the batch, but it didn’t matter to me. Hawkman was also cool.
I didn’t see why I couldn’t be a princess and also go on adventures. Maybe I didn’t quite think of it like that, but I while I was happy being a girl, I didn’t see that as a limitation.
I know it’s different growing up as a boy — because while girls can easily cross over to the other side and pick up “boy” toys, boys have a much harder time doing the same. But it seems that a lot of the discussion about superheroines on screen seems to revolve around “women should get to see movies with strong women” and “men don’t want to see movies with strong women.”
And yeah, I do think Hollywood has a problem presenting female-driven movies that aren’t, you know, Bride Wars, but I also know that there’s a good portion of women that want to see movies like that. (I also know there’s a bunch of us who don’t.) I think women deserve to see a better picture of themselves onscreen. But I also think men do, too.
I cannot speak for all men, but I know plenty of awesome men who like strong female characters. Maybe they don’t seek them out necessarily, but they’re happy to relate to a woman who’s strong and awesome. They like Wonder Woman and Batman (just as examples). Or at least, they like good stories, regardless of who they are about.
And isn’t that really the ultimate point — good stories can be told about superwomen, just as bad stories can be. (And there are also a lot of bad “superhero” movies out there — sure, it was just a made-for-TV deal, but I do need to point out Nick Fury: Agent of Shield starring David Hasselhoff.)
So I think we need good superheroine movies more than anything, even just to prove to the doubters it can be done. I don’t think there’s any better time for it.
Promotional image from the Birds of Prey TV series from 2002