BELOW IS A PRETTY THOUROUGH RESPONSE TO BATGIRL AND SPIDERWOMAN WHO WROTE TO US IN THE COMMENT SECTION OF THE BLOG POST ABOUT CARRIE THE CAREGIVER... IT'S BEST TO READ THESE TEEN CRITICS FIRST BEFORE READING OUR LENGTHY RESPONSE TO THEM! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Batgirl and Spiderwoman, Given you think we're old and clueless, help us to see why girls your age tend to think we're criticizing THEM rather than the marketers. If you love batman and spiderman, then why aren't you annoyed that marketers don't believe you do and don't see you as complex and interesting people? Why aren't you angry that they keep trying to put you in pink when you like a whole bunch of colors? If it truly doesn't matter, why are 75% of characters in G-Rated films male? WHY NOT 50-50, MALE AND FEMALE? WHERE ARE THE FEMALE SUPERHERO MOVIES LIKE BATGIRL AND SIDERWOMAN? DID THEY JUST FORGET TO MAKE THEM?
Now about us being negative -- YUP! But we weren't writing a book about our favorite things, and frankly, we don't believe you'd be interested in that book anyway given how old and out of touch you think we are. We're cultural critics and what critics do is criticize and people who don't want to hear criticism can shut their ears and eyes (well, we guess not if you've been assigned our book for school!) What we most love about your response is that you are budding cultural critics too,AND WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE THAT. You don't have to agree with us, but telling us to get a life or get over ourselves is not a fair argument. Professional critics debate on the merit of their arguments, AND WE'D LOVE TO HEAR THOSE FROM YOU. We're not criticizing the media that was present when we were growing up; our survey of girls told us what to examine and the survey pointed us to stuff in your world. So we can't really get over "ourselves" given we were looking at what's in YOUR world. You two may be lucky enough to be able to be your own persons in a world trying to change you into diva dolls -- but think about other people and think about the world at large and don't measure the world and everything in it based on your own experience. (Well, that's what teenagers do we guess, but try not to.) And keep your ears and eyes open about the effects of marketing and the media on other kids with less opportunities than perhaps you have, the ones who may fall prey more easily.
And do read more carefully. You said: You need to understand that even though most of this is marketed towards boys, they're not telling the consumers that only boys can be interested in the products. There is no law that a girl can't like Batman and Carrie at the same time. There was never a spot in our blog or in our book where we say that girls CAN'T be huge fans of batman and spiderman and even like Carrie the Caregiver at the same time. But yes we do believe that when marketers only market to boys --WHEN THE HERO MOVIES ARE ALL MALE AND THE CARING STUFF IS ALL FEMALE -- then they are giving a message to girls that they shouldn't like that stuff because it's boy-stuff. Of course they don't tell girls directly that they can't like Batman -- it would sound too prejudiced to do this. But they ignore girls and their complex interests and market these as boy things, boy media. In fact, we suspect that girls who are so proud of liking Batman and Spiderman are that proud of it because superheroes are associated with boys, and boy stuff is, well, valued more than girl stuff, in our culture. Think about that one!