Recently I bought Guardians of the Galaxy figures at my local drugstore. They where an instant hit with my Geeklings. I was a bit frustrated though, I had all the figures, except for Gamora. What was that about??
Totally ready to blame the drugstore I send an e-mail about the problem. But then I did some research.. Even though Gamora is cleary visible on the package, there is no figure of her in this set! Instead of the missing Guardian, they choose to feature badguy Ronan.. No kidding..
Where is Gamora??
I am a bit late at the game, but Marvel has a habit of doing this. When the first Guardians movie came out, Gamora was also missing from the action figure set that came out. I was quite shocked when I found out. How can you dismiss her? The Guardians are a team of five, not four! The internet thought so too and #whereisgamora was born.
Personally I don't consider myself much of a feminist, but even I couldn't help but question, does Marvel have an issue with its female superheroes?
Marvels issue with female heroes
Sadly, the answer is YES. Gamora is missing from my set of figures too, and also excluded on t-shirts. The same story is true for other female heroes Scarlet Witch and Black Widow. After Age of Ultron came out website The Mary Sue wrote: "Marvel and Disney announced all of their official Ultronmerch, and Black Widow is virtually nowhere to be found (though she’s better off than Scarlet Witch, who is literally nowhere to be found)."
Girls won't buy action figures?!
On the website Womenyoushouldknow, Contributor John Marcotte – feminist dad, web designer, writer, comics junkie, and “Award-Winning Author” – weighed in on the Gamora matter. “I bet their logic is that adding Gamora would not gain any sales to girls, but might cost them some sales to female-averse boys.” He added, “It’s a self perpetuating cycle: the toy companies say that girls won’t buy action figures so they only make them for boys. Girls who like action figures look and find absolutely nothing for girls, so they don’t buy anything. The toy companies say, ‘See? Told you. Girls won’t buy action figures.'”
DC does it better: Super Hero Girls
How it cán be done is shown by Marvels rival, DC. This company has created it's own universe for girls, the DC Super Hero Girls. Merchandise, books, figures.. It can be said that DC sees the hole in the market that Marvel leaves wide open.. I bought a Super Girl dress up set for my girls and they love to play superhero all the time, chasing each other, catching the bad guy (dad).
Still, this is not perfect. It still separates boys and girls and the heroes they are 'supposed' to like. Girls like superheroes too! We don't need a universe for female heroes. We just want them included with the male heroes we love too! Is that too much to ask?
Article Forbes: DC Super Hero Girls
Article The Mary Sue: Black Widow Ultron merch
Article Women You Should Know: Where is Gamora
Tamara, Geek, mother of two Geeklings, editor.