There are endless articles about being a geek girl and the state of women in comics. I’m glad there’s almost always an active discussion, but it is easy to only see the negative. In a world where a first grade girl gets mocked for liking Star Wars, it’s heartening to see a story from the other side of the table.
Matt Logelin’s three year old daughter, Maddie, is fond of Star Wars and comic book superheroes. Matt’s a single father (Maddie’s mom died shortly after she was born), and though he certainly hoped his little girl would have some tomboy tendencies, he had no idea what to do with this superhero business. After Maddie got a Batman mask in a box of cereal, she started asking questions.
A few weeks back her mind was completely blown when she found a Batman mask ready to be cut from the box of her favorite breakfast cereal, and no matter where on Earth you live, you probably heard her squeal when i pulled a Batman comic book from inside the package. (“Squeeeeeeeeeee! Dad! This is soooooo cooooool!”). A few days later Brooke [Logelin’s new partner] bought her a t-shirt with a bunch of superheroes on it, and when Madeline chose it as her shirt for the day, she spent the entire drive to school asking me questions about the superheroes and their personalities and super powers… questions I couldn’t answer for her other than to say that the Hulk turns green when he’s angry.
Logelin took the only reasonable course of action; he took Maddie to a local comic book shop for answers. The folks at Secret Headquarters in Silver Lake, CA were happy to help. A friendly employee (also a girl) answered all Maddie’s superhero questions and loaded her up with age appropriate books. Maddie and her father sat together in the store for 35 minutes and read comics together. Logelin has decided to take the time to learn about comics because of his daughter’s interest.
I love seeing the normal gender issues flipped. As Logelin said:
“So now I’m trying learn as much as I can about comic books and superheroes so I can be a better father. But just when I think i’ve figured things out, I’m reminded that gender identification is malleable and our assumptions are bullsh*t…”