My sister and I exited the cinema, with me in tears and her pretending not to know the snivelling grown woman beside her. We just watched Wonder Woman, and I finally found my superhero from the DCEU to rival my love for Captain America. I knew what I had to do next: buy a shirt or two or six in my usual haunt, because the sole merch I had at that time – my WW Beep Card – would not be enough to express my love for her and all that she stood for.
Except there weren’t any when I got there. Nor were there any the weekend after, when I rewatched with the rest of the family.
Scratch that; there was one shirt with her logo on it. It’s nowhere near what you can get for Batman or Superman – hell, even The Flash or Green Lantern – on an ordinary day. As of writing, the shirts they’re heavily marketing are for Spider-Man: Homecoming – a movie that won’t come out for another month.
A bit tentatively, I asked the saleslady if they had any other Wonder Woman shirts. She directed me to the third floor and let me know that the Girls Teens Wear section is in charge of Wonder Woman. Hmm. I found it odd that she was being handled by another department, but a shirt is a shirt and I wanted a shirt. Except I couldn’t even get my damn shirt because she had a grand total of one shirt design in her own booth, bringing up her total shirts to two.
I completely lost hope with the country’s biggest retailer, so I went to another nearby mall with a superhero section. This is what I found instead.
This is sexist marketing, plain and simple.
In what world does the main character have less merchandise, less apparel than other not-woman superheroes during promotions for her own movie, and when her movie is doing so well too?
What riles me up is that any other time we cried sexist marketing in the past – with Black Widow, with Rey, with Gamora – we were told that we were overreacting. Black Widow’s just a secondary character! Rey and Gamora are part of an ensemble! (By the way, Gamora was shafted out of a GotG shirt. They kept the talking animal and the tree but took out the woman. BB8 got its own shirt, Finn and Poe and Kylo Ren got their own shirt, but Rey didn’t.) What’s your excuse now that Wonder Woman has her solo film and merchandise is still so damn limited?
“It’s just a shirt,” you may say. No. I could stroll in that very mall on an ordinary day and snag a Batman, Thor, or Spider-Man shirt for my brother. I can get my beloved Captain America shirts regardless if there’s a movie or not. Why can’t I do the same for Wonder Woman, a legendary comic book icon for over 75 years and a central character in the Justice League along with Bat and Supes?
This is not only an injustice to women and girls everywhere; it’s also an insult to male fans. Marketers work on the false assumption that because Wonder Woman is Totally Not A Man, men wouldn’t want to wear a shirt with her logo or face on it. They couldn’t be more wrong. Guys I know in the local geek circles are actively looking for Wonder Woman-themed merchandise to no avail. You have a whole demographic trying to throw their money at you and you don’t deliver. Do you not want their money to fuel your capitalist ventures? Or is estrogen-laced merchandise so dangerous, so deadly that you’d rather produce it in very limited quantities?
So what now? Is there even anything we can do about it?
There is, actually, and that’s to talk with your wallet. Ask the sales personnel time and again if they carry Wonder Woman shirts or other merchandise. Buy out the very beautiful, very practical Beep Cards (I know I’ll get the whole set). Find retailers who sell what you want – there aren’t a lot, and some are not too accessible, but we’ll take what we can get.
And to the country’s largest chain of malls, please fire whoever thought superhero woman shirts won’t sell.
If you want to throw your money at Wonder Woman, here’s a list to get you started:
Robinson’s Department Store – pretty diverse designs for girls’ apparel, very limited unisex/men sizes available.
Century City Mall – pop-up store on the top floor near the cinemas, sells unisex and girls/women’s sizes.
New Era Philippines – snapbacks and other caps
Silver Works – jewelry and other accessories (side note: they’ve always treated WW as part of the JLA trinity in their BvS marketing, and she’s being marketed more heavily in her solo film)
Beep Card – hella practical if you commute using the trains, Citylink, or P2P buses
Various hobby stores for figures and other collectibles
Lazada – they carry a lot of licensed merchandise, from apparel to mugs to bags.
Amazon and ThinkGeek – they carry various brands and ship internationally. Unisex sizes available.
Her Universe – Female and kid-centric apparel available
If we missed any places, let us know in the comments below!