What happened when I had a Wonder Woman symbol shaved into my hair
Tuesday, April 4th, 2017
My daughters and I like to do a lot of things together. Some of these things are pretty common: we do science experiments together, we come up with our own bedtime stories, we paint our nails, we look at the stars, we watch Star Wars together. As fun as it is, this is pretty standard stuff.
Sometimes we like to push the envelope on things dads do with their daughters. These things are not extraordinary, they are just things we don’t see a lot of people doing. So we try them.
Things like getting drawings as tattoos and like shaving Wonder Woman symbols into our hair together.
To us, this is fun. My daughter likes Wonder Woman, I like Wonder Woman, we both like haircuts. Never in the process of doing this did my daughter worry about what other people would think of her haircut. But I did.
I would wake up in the morning and then remember I had a Wonder Woman symbol shaved into the back of my head. What would happen to me because of this? What would people think of me?
Would they tease me and tell me I am a fool. Would something happen to my anatomy because I had sided with a woman superhero?
So, what happened when I got a Wonder Woman symbol shaved into my head?
Kind of mostly nothing.
I’ve got to be honest, there wasn’t as much negative stuff as I believed there would be if I, a man, chose Wonder Woman, a woman, as someone I found cool and awesome.
Some of the things that did not happen: I did not explode, my sleeves did not grow frilly lace things, I still did not know how to fix a car. Basically I still felt much like the man I was before I had a Wonder Woman symbol shaved in the back of my head.
Some of the things that did happen: My daughter gave me a high five, we rubbed the back of our heads a lot, many people asked us to turn around so they could look, other men said they should do the same thing.
The only thing I can think of that perplexed me was that most people assume I would do this just to make my daughter happy. That it was, at best, a partnership thing where she wanted to get this symbol but wanted a partner to do it with. I may have done it to bond with her but I didn’t do it without benefit to myself.
Selfishly, I don’t want to be getting Wonder Woman symbols in my hair for my daughters. I want to do it because I want to be able to express who I am as a man as openly and as freely as I want. And that includes not boxing myself into some strange space where I ridiculously exclude more than half the people in the world from my list of role models simply because of gender. It was a chance for me, as a man, to do something that made me, as a man, happy.
Many men are still under the strange impression that women can only be role models for women. This tends to make them think silly, misguided things like denim jackets with a Wonder Woman symbol are only for women.
Men shudder at the thought of losing to a woman in any sporting event. They feminize men who do not perform well in sports. They make ridiculous statements like “but if she was playing the best man in the world she would get her ass kicked,” about the best tennis player in history, Serena Williams.
Stop doing this and start recognizing how amazing these people are.
There is, however, a problem with women superhero clothes for men and boys
It barely frigging exists. A lot of the reason men don’t think they can proudly display their affinity for women heroes is a complete lack of representation. Weird, but true.
As an example, I went to the Target site (international because we don’t have any in Canada any more, wah) and selected men’s graphic t-shirts. I then asked it to display all the Star Wars, DC Comics, Marvel, and Harry Potter shirts (I didn’t even bother with Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk etc) currently in stock. It gave me 87 results. Of those 87, 61 of them featured a man (or the symbol affiliated with a group with a man). Of those 61, 46 featured only men (and one majestic shirt featured 48 men and 0 women).
Now, of the 87, 15 featured a woman (or the symbol affiliated with a group with a woman). Of those 15, two of them featured only women (Harley Quinn and Princess Leia).
If you go to the Toddler Boy size and add all the Superheroes and Star Wars, you get 32 results. Aside from five PJ Masks shirts (thanks for representing Owlette), women and girls disappear from their clothing completely. This is so utterly and completely stupid. Boys don’t just need to know girls are awesome, they need to know that they are role models. Men need to know this too.
“They have to do that because nobody would buy girls clothes for a boy!” is what I expect many people will say. “Brands don’t want to lose money on an audience that won’t buy things.”
Well then we continue to fuck up if we aren’t purchasing Wonder Woman clothes for our boys because they won’t wear them. We can either continue to fail and continue to pollute the minds of our boys by letting them believe this, or we can smarten up and let them know they have access to everyone in the world as a person to look up to.
Simply put: put more women on shirts targeted at men and boys. The sooner the better.
It has thankfully been pointed out to me that Teepublic carries a whole bunch of women superhero clothes for men. If you find the equivalent for boys, let me know and I will add.
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