You know what? I am proud to be a Social Justice Warrior!
I have to start this with a confession. My four years old son said the other day:
But a girl can’t be a superhero…
Me and my wife kind of freaked out, and it was my seven years old who actually had the presence of spirit to say:
Of course she can…
I don’t really care about superheroes
I have never enjoyed superhero stories a lot. When I was growing up in Brazil the comic book I would read was Turma da Mônica (Monica’s Gang, in English), which is basically a sitcom comic.
So we never actually buy any superhero toys, the ones we have at home are the ones the boys were gifted in birthdays or came in goodie bags from someone else’s party.
You can never be vigilant enough
And that was our mistake, because we were not paying attention to the genre discrimination on those toys, we have let the unspoken message about gender stereotypes to be communicated to our son.
Let’s be clear, we work very hard to try and prevent us from inadvertedly reproducing gender stereotypes, and we have been mostly successful. My sons will play with dolls and cars, pretend kitchen and pretend fighting in pretty much equal amounts. They don’t actually see gender in any of those activities.
But because we were not paying attention to superhero toys, it took he saying that to realize that there were no female superhero toys in our house.
The part where it gets ugly
So we immediately go on the internet to enhance their toy repertoire with some female superheroes to balance it out. And this was when it got ugly…
Toys’r’us had no female superhero action figure.
Let me repeat that in bigger letters:
Toys’r’us had no female superhero action figure
My wife spend the next two hours scouring the internet for toys only to find out that, not only they were rare, but they were also unreasonably expensive. She found on Amazon, only 2 left in stock, with the price of 45 dollars.
45 bucks on an action figure
Yes, it could be cheaper, if you bought it as part of a bundle with other male action figures, but otherwise you would have to pay an absurd amount of money to be able to fight for gender stereotypes in the toy industry.
That’s why I’m proudly a SJW
Yes, because there is a fight to be taken against oppressive gender stereotypes, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in those stereotypes and if you don’t practice those stereotypes.
Eliminating stereotypes requires warriors that are always vigilant, and always calling out when the conservative patriarchy finds ways to promote its misogynistic message in ways that you were not quite expecting to affect your children.
So yes, I am a Social Justice Warrior, and proudly so, and I will annoy the crap out of you until oppressive messages are no longer making their way even on families that are trying to fight against it.