Even 11-year-old girls can become superheroes.
Rowan Hansen, of Champaign, Illinois, is an avid comic book reader. But reading so many comic books opened her eyes to an unfortunate fact: There aren’t nearly as many women in those pages as there are men. Rowan knew she had to take a stand.
According to People, Rowan went straight for the source: DC Comics. She penned a letter to the comic book company, asking outright why there were so few women in her favorite stories, and why the female characters they do have, like Wonder Woman, don’t have as many roles in the movies and TV shows based on the comics.
“I love your comics, but I would love them a lot more if there were more girls,” Rowan wrote in her letter. “I asked a lot of 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 and they care.”
According to People, Rowan’s parents, both of whom are English professors at the University of Illinois, hadn’t really considered gender inequality in their daughter’s reading material — that is, until Rowan brought it up to them.
“[She’d ask], ‘Why does Wonder Woman always have to be caught by Superman? Why doesn’t Wonder Woman ever catch Superman?'” Rowan’s dad, Jim Hansen, told the Today show. “I was like, ‘These are good questions.'”
It was Jim who posted Rowan’s letter to DC online, where it quickly went viral. DC responded with a tweet…
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
…as well as a special gift for Rowan: They made her into a custom superhero.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 20, 2015