Millennials Fight for Superwomen

Though the gender gap is ever narrowing, certain industries have yet to represent women in a significant way, and the comics industry is a repeat gender offender. We see scores of films and print publications distributed that put male writers and superheroes in the thick of the action, but fail to explain where the female heroes are. To Millennial women, who are happy to declare themselves fangirls, the absence is noticeable and often infuriating. At New York’s Comic Con this year, the co-founder of Alpha Girl Comics lamented that “Wall Street does a better job” towards closing the gender gap than her own industry. Those on the “Women in Comics” panel noted that almost half of the convention’s attendants were women, yet only 6% of the special guests were females. Adding insult to injury, 20% of digital comic readership is fueled by women, illustrating a great disparity between the ripe female comics market and the current strides towards representing them. Millennials are demanding that female superheroes be put in the spotlight, and taking it upon themselves to make it happen.

The lack of women in comics is not for lack of talent, but disregard for (or utter ambivalence to) the prospect of female superheroes within the industry, with industry execs claiming “We don’t know how to sell it.” With power players refusing to put superwomen on the screen, younger illustrators are the ones taking risks in order to bring something different to comic strips. The newest character introduced to Marvel’s lineup is Kamala Khan, a Muslim teen superheroine that breaks the traditional comic mold, introducing religious affiliation and racial diversity to the standard white-male superhero spectrum. Kamala deals with all of the tropes of being a teenage girl living in a conservative household,…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“There are alleys with street art that I've walked out of my way to take pictures of to share on Snapchat/Facebook.”
—Female, 32, IL

Mattel’s new toy franchise Enchantimals is inspired by Instagram and Snapchat filters. The new line of 14 dolls are all half-animal—think the bunny and deer filters—and each “shares a ritual trait with her animal friend.” Their origin and the YouTube series starring the girls are no doubt a part of Mattel’s “five-pillar strategic plan” to be a more digital brand. Appealing to Millennial parents and their kids has been a tough sell for Mattel, but they’re making moves like changing up Barbie’s body type and asking kids to pick the next big toy on TV to keep up with the next generation. (Kidscreen)

Harry Potter fans, raise your butterbeers up, because this franchise and its fandom will never die. Two more books from the Harry Potter universe are hitting shelves this fall—though they aren’t actually written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter: A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic are instead both written by the British Library, to coincide with an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first book. The two new works will include “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” to delight serious fans of the series. (USA Today, New York Times)

Restaurants are being designed with Instagrammability in mind. From unicorn foods to neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages, restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating Instagrammers, they’re intentionally acting as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. And it doesn’t end at Instagrammable design touches. Many restaurants stress having perfect lighting, and one even provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, consisting of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (The Verge, Grub Street)

Some student loan debt is getting “wiped away” in court because of missing paperwork. Students defaulting on their private loans are getting taken to court by aggressive creditors, but as it turns out, many don’t have the required documents to make them pay up. National Collegiate is at the center of many of these trials—one lawyer in Iowa represented 30 cases brought on by them, and 27 were dismissed because of “critical omissions or flaws” in the paperwork. Some Millennials prioritizing paying back debt might just catch a lucky break. (New York Times)

Millennials want older generations to know why they stand by political correctness. While some may despair the overly PC state of the world, many young consumers see political correctness as protection from prejudice, and a show of respect. What some may view as an over-sensitivity epidemic, many Millennials see as “being morally minded.” Ypulse’s PC Police trend tackled this topic, and found half of 13-33-year-olds would describe political correctness as treating others with respect, and 66% agree that political correctness is one way to make culture kinder and more inclusive. (Business Insider)

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

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