When ATLA was still a going concern, I was a moderator on a fan forum. One of the other moderators was a mother of three boys; she told us that when they played their ATLA games, they would argue over who got to be Toph.
And one of my co-workers has a five-year-old boy who loves Coraline
. Don't try to tell me
you can't get little boys to root for a female character...as long as she is a character who just happens to be female,
rather than a FEMALE!
character. Too many female characters are actually FEMALE!
characters, defined first and foremost by the fact that they are GIRLYGIRLYGIRLS (OMG)!!!
To take a well-known example, I always thought too much was made of Kim Possible
's femininity. I could deal with the cheerleading (a logical enough activity for a cute acrobat in high school), but seriously...why did her Grappling-Hook Gun
have to be a hair dryer
? How many of her gadgets were built into cosmetics-related items? That sort of thing. It was like being a girl was her superhero theme, and the constant attention drawn to it undercut the awesomeness.