As the father of a young daughter, I am not used to social progress. I’ve come to expect that female politicians will be constantly asked about their appearance. I’ve come to expect that corporations will forget to make toys based on the female lead of their new blockbuster movie. I’ve come to expect that it will take Barbie over 50 years to acknowledge what real women look like. I’ve come to expect that, at every turn, society will find a way to let my daughter down, in big ways and small ways, entirely due to her gender. I am used to being disappointed on my daughter’s behalf.
So, imagine my surprise when I recently encountered some small, hopeful progress for girls in a completely unexpected place – children’s character underwear.
That’s right. There are Star Wars and Marvel underwear for girls right now and it’s kind of a big deal.
We should’ve seen it coming. After the #WheresNatasha and #WheresGamora campaigns – hashtags that called out the lack of female representation in the merchandise for Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy – WHY did anyone assume that Disney, toy manufacturers, or retailers would’ve learned their lesson for Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Were we that naïve? Did we just not want to admit what we all KNEW was going to happen? That, even though Daisy Ridley’s Rey was the LEAD CHARACTER in the whole damn film, she would be almost impossible to find on Force Awakens merchandise. Because that’s EXACTLY what happened. Hence the inevitable hashtag #WheresRey.
It’s said that little girls mature emotionally faster than boys. Buy why? Is it in their genes? Or is it how we talk to them?
Do mothers and fathers use different, more emotional language with their children? Does it change based on the child’s age and gender? Does mom use different language than dad? Spoiler alert: yes.
The British Journal of Developmental Psychology published a study this month that doles out the deets.
If you’ve got a daughter, you’ve no doubt thought about the representation of women in video games. Maybe some of your daughters have explicitly asked to play a game “as a girl.” Maybe you just want to teach your daughter that women aren’t relegated to the sidekick or the “princess in distress.” Maybe you just want more characters at your disposal.
Whatever the reason, you’ll be pleased with the Disney Infinity franchise. The Disney Infinity 2.0 launch has added a new handful of female characters, bringing the current tally of playable female characters to 14. It’s quite possibly the most female-inclusive video game ever.