Yesterday was my birthday and That Guy, being wonderful, tool me out to dinner at one of my favorite places.
Being near one of the fancy malls, they had a Disney Store, and I, as anyone knows, actually like Disney. That Guy had other business around the mall, so I ducked in.
Now, I know that the stores are distinctly sexist with boy sides (Star Wars, Cars, Toy Story) and girl sides (all the princess things and fairies), with semi-neutral ground for adults and plush things. Know that. I also know from purchasing clothing for nieces at the stores that they label clothes boy clothes and girl clothes along those lines. Star Wars clothing is boy shirts while girl clothes have princess things on them. I know this. I ignore this and buy Star Wars clothing for my nieces anyway.
Not being completely submerged in things, I am aware that Avengers: Age of Ultron has been released. I have not seen it yet (scheduling issues- this will be fixed on Saturday). I know the storyline, I know roughly how it plays out, and I know that there are not one but TWO, yes TWO major female action roles: Black Widow and Scarlet Witch.
I’ve been through big box stores, toy stores, and pop chains, and really haven’t seen any merchandise with the female action stars on them, so I thought that I’d see something in Disney.
Um, nope. Nothing on the lunch boxes, pencil boxes, or water bottles. No action figures or dress up clothes. Nothing on the shirts. A lot had just Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America, which as a comic reader I get– they were the original four while Hawkeye and Widow were SHIELD agents. And in the movie canon, we haven’t been introduced to others yet *cough* Black Panther *cough* like some of us think we should have. So I understand why the “big four” are everywhere.
However, explain to me how The Vision, who just appeared in this movie, is everywhere while Black Widow, who was in Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron is relegated to the background or gone entirely. For instance, he’s here on one of the few team shirts in the Disney store:
And then there’s this one:
Why? And there was nothing with Scarlet Witch anywhere. NOTHING.
I’m not alone, even Mark Ruffalo is asking. Maria Selke and others and I were talking about it on Twitter when merchandise started rolling into the stores ahead of the movie- Black Widow was only packaged with another character. Nothing with Scarlet Witch then, either. And then there was the Pop Funko release of the Age of Ultron figures, and the fact that Black Widow isn’t going to be released until JULY. Scarlet Witch fans, you get to wait until October. The rest of the main characters (save Quicksilver)? Already out and in huge demand.
The question is, why?
We all know what the answer is. The better question is this: how long will we continue to keep accepting it?