Jeremy Whitley @jrome58 He/Him Eisner Nominated writer Princeless, Raven: Pirate Princess, Unstoppable Wasp, Rainbow Brite, Rep'd by @inthesestones. Fight for the things you love Dec. 02, 2018 3 min read

Hey comics twitter, can we talk a moment?
I do a lot of talking about how much the comics world has changed in the time I've been doing Princeless and how many excited girls I have come to my table.
But there is one deeply screwed up thing that hasn't changed: how you treat boys

I am much more likely to get a supportive parent (mother or father) that picks up Princeless and gets it for their daughter than I am a parent that gets one for their son. At one point, I thought this was not big deal, but then it started to become a patter with books I write

Princeless, Raven, Wasp, and oh my god does this happen with My Little Ponies. Rather than parents listening to what the son wants, they push their sons toward super hero stuff. Male led punching oriented superhero stuff. Not that this stuff is bad, Hulk vs Thor is on my table

But I frequently have boys come to my table, pick up a copy of Princeless or Wasp or Raven and flip through the thing, ask me questions, and then bring back a parent. Some parents go for it, but a surprising number of parents react negatively to the idea of a boy with a girl book

Best case, they gently nudge them toward the thing they think he "should" be reading. If it doesn't work, then they relent and buy what he wants. But I have regularly had parents take or push books out of kids hands, put them down and walk off because of the type of book

I understand that it's a con and you can't buy everything kids want, but I'm talking about parents who are on board until they see the girls in action on the front of these books. I regularly have parents point at pony stuff on the table and mock kids about whether they like it

And that shit is harmful in ways that are obvious and ways that aren't. You're pushing your sons into boxes that are just as closed as the ones that some of you recognize are bad for your daughters - that goes both ways, but the insidious thing is actually this:

When boys don't read stories with strong, smart, or otherwise incredibly women, it seeps into their brains that these women don't exist. When they are not taught that they can look up to women, they don't. This is poisonous to society.

Just like we want girls and children of color to see themselves and know that they can be anything the want, we need those boys to know that girls can be heroes too - so that they can recognize that potential in real women.

Not being able to see girls as equals starts at a really young age and when you don't make sure that your son has books with female protagonists and heroes, you are affecting how they see the gender of heroics.

White boys aren't born only seeing white boys as equals, that's a thing this racist society reinforces in them every day in subtle ways. So if your son wants to read a book about a black princess or girl scientist or a freaking purple unicorn, don't tell them its not for them.

Diverse stories are for everyone and everyone benefits when they're shared widely. So maybe buy your son a princess, it'll be good for them.

If you're reading this thread and you don't know what Princeless is, who I am, or you now need a comic with a black princess to buy your son: here's your next thing to check out: 

You can follow @jrome58.


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