I can only laugh at these Avengers t-shirts from Marvel, the remarkable tone-deafness of which has me stymied. "Be a hero!", the boy shirt asserts. "I need a hero!", the girl shirt cries. Never mind the fact that The Avengers are a co-ed team. What braindead exec approved this shit?
It's not only infuriating because Black Widow, The Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Hellcat and Ms. Marvel certainly don't need a fucking hero. The issue here is the deep-seated sexism that allows products like this to hit shelves without anyone in the marketing or merchandise departments blinking an eye.
It's not enough that ads targeted to women are exclusively about making ourselves more beautiful or more efficient housekeepers. It's not enough that most movies targeted to women are inane fluff. It's not enough that we're supposed to have our own Legos, our own ballpoint pens, our own booze, our own steak. Now we have to have our own Avengers tees to remind us that it's not up to us to be heroes. We just need a hero to save us from our own pretty, delicate and probably adorably clumsy blunders.