Trickle down sexism: Wonder Woman with no pants, LEGO with no pants

(Sorry to the subscribers for the repitition, took me 3x to get this post right.)

Hey, kids, meet Wonder Woman, one of the few female superheroes.
Which one of these LEGO minifigs is not like the other? Why do you think the most powerful and famous female superhero is shown in her underwear?
(Read more about about sexism marketed to kids through LEGO sets here.)
The first time I showed Wonder Woman to my daughter (the Lynda Carter TV series) she was five years old. She asked me: “Why is she in her underwear?” This was pre-Reel Girl, and I hadn’t even noticed. Women shown in their underwear in the media was so normal to me. How long before my daughter stops noticing as well? Don’t we owe our kids more than programming yet another generation to accept these ridiculous gender roles as normal?
“If I don’t get pants, nobody gets pants” Wonder Woman by Theamat (Cynthia Sousa)

2 thoughts on “Trickle down sexism: Wonder Woman with no pants, LEGO with no pants

  1. I can’t help but think that if wonder woman was wearing trousers, it would get in her way. Perhaps some thick leggings or something to keep herself decent might be a better costume, if you think about what she gets up to in it! I don’t know about you, but when I’m in my jeans and I’m trying to do some ninja skills, or ballet, or general world saving, it tends to impede me in my action! They don’t have enough give in them, and if they got caught on something then that would suck cause I’d not look dignified runnning around in a pair of scruffed up jeans with one leg sawn off cause I caught the leg of my trousers in a piece of deadly machinery….
    For the sake of health and safety, really, they all ought to be wearing pants! And helmets…..

  2. RE the cartoon. Two big problems. One, it is a poor statement of the problem, since if there’s any one message to be taken from it, it’s that men look much less dignified in this kind of outfit than women do; naturally, if there’s any one solution to be posed to that particular problem, it’s to keep WW wearing what she’s wearing and keep the guys wearing what they’re wearing. Which is, it’s clear to me, opposite from the change for which the artist is pushing.

    The other problem — arguably even bigger — is that, for it to work, WW has to have more influence in what the other JL members are wearing, compared to what they can decide about it. And, come to think of it, they must be having an impact on what she’s wearing, which she herself is unable to decide. So I guess in SuperFriends, everyone gets to decide what everyone else’s costume is going to be? Then, the cartoon works. Otherwise no.

    Regarding the Lego set, I guess my background is clouding my judgment, since Wonder Woman was wearing hot pants on TV, as well as in comic books, in the seventies. Gloria Steinem insisted on it, remember? Launch of Ms. Magazine in 1972, look at the cover. But also, I’m a Dad, so the first thing that pops in my head is “Yes, one of those is different — Harlequinn, it’s a Lego piece with some actual points on it, for me to step on in my bare feet when I’m trying to make coffee.” You surely must realize parents will go there: Does the damn Lego piece have points on it.

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