“My name is Rowan and I am 11 years old. I love superheroes and have been reading comics and watching superhero cartoons and movies since I was very young. I’m a girl, and I’m upset because there aren’t very many girl superheroes or movies and comics from DC.”
This is the opening of a letter that comics-loving Rowan wrote to DC Comics, prompted, in part, by a birthday gift she received. She goes on to tell the comics giant, “I got some of your Justice League Chibis™. I noticed in the little pamphlet that there are only 2 girl Chibis, and 10 boys. Also, the background for the girl figures was all pink and purple.”
About a week ago, with the permission of Rowan and her parents, who are friends of his, David Perry, a freelance journalist and historian, published her full letter on his blog How Did We Get Into This Mess? and Tweeted a link to his post. You probably don’t have to guess what happened next… that’s right, it went viral.
We want to stress that Rowan wrote the letter ALL BY HERSELF. So David was sure to point out to critics of the tween’s letter (you know, the super special kind of knee-jerk, hyper analytical gadflies that only social media breeds) that, “Yes I know Wonder Woman is coming. Rowan will be 13 by the time she gets to see her first movie with a female lead.”
David’s initial Tweet has been ReTweeted over 1400 times, his post is the third-most read in the history of his blog, and Rowan’s letter got picked up by a number of major players in the geek culture/comics editorial world like The Mary Sue and Comic Book Resources.
But the REALLY big news is that DC responded to her, not once, but twice, on Twitter to their over one million followers:
Thanks Rowan. We agree, we’re working hard to create more superhero fun for girls!
— DC (@DCComics) January 30, 2015
Yes Rowan, girls read comics too! Wonder Woman movie & Supergirl TV both in the works, with more exciting girl power announcements soon!
— DC (@DCComics) January 30, 2015
We’ll be watching to see if DC makes good on their word, as there would be nothing LESS heroic than giving a courageous 11-year-old girl PR lip service just to save face on social media after being called out by a kid for something the comics powerhouse should already be doing.
So here’s our word of caution to the DC Comics decision makers… you should know that brave girls of today, like Rowan, will grow up to be the Women You Should Know of tomorrow, so never under estimate their pint-sized power.
PS – Those same droning critics on social media also felt the need to flex their mouthy muscles and try to shred Rowan’s heartfelt letter by pointing out how many female characters are already in the DC Universe. But Rowan’s mom Renée silenced them all, in a subsequent interview with The Daily Dot…
“The things is, it’s not that there are no female superheroes,” Renée said. “There are lots of them, as comics fans know. But in terms of what’s available for kids when you walk into Target or Toys-R-Us, the superhero world looks pretty exclusively male. That’s frustrating for girls who are fans; the boys can wear their favorite superhero all the time, but to this day we’ve never seen a Hawkgirl T-shirt for kids. It makes the girls feel like they’re not important in the comics world, and that’s hard when it’s something that they love so much. Frankly, Rowan doesn’t like not being taken seriously.”
Nicely done and well said Mom! Clearly the girl you should know doesn’t fall far from the woman you should know.
Transcript of Rowan’s Letter:
Dear DC comics,
My name is Rowan and I am 11 years old. I love superheroes and have been reading comics and watching superhero cartoons and movies since I was very young. I’m a girl, and I’m upset because there aren’t very many girl superheroes or movies and comics from DC.
For my birthday, I got some of your Justice League Chibis™. I noticed in the little pamphlet that there are only 2 girl Chibis, and 10 boys. Also, the background for the girl figures was all pink and purple.
I remember watching Justice League cartoons when I was really young with my dad. There are Superman and Batman movies, but not a Wonder Woman one. You have a Flash TV show, but not a Wonder Woman one. Marvel Comics made a movie about a talking tree and raccoon awesome, but you haven’t made a movie with Wonder Woman.
I would really like a Hawkgirl or Catwoman or the girls of the Young Justice TV show action figures please. I love your comics, but I would love them a whole lot more, if there were more girls.
I asked a lot of the people I know whether they watched movies or read books or comics where girls were the main characters, they all said yes.
Please do something about this. Girls read comics too and they care.