cereta: Ozma, Queen (Ozma)
[personal profile] cereta
Dear Disney,

I have given you a lot of credit for Frozen*. So let's be clear about something. I have given you a lot of credit for Frozen*. So let's be clear about something. You are not allowed to pull an Ozma of Oz on Elsa. Elsa is not a princess , at least not by the time she gets her historically inaccurate dress. She's a queen.

Watching you,
Lucy


*I'm really not up for debating the qualities of the movie itself.
**For those of you who have not read the Oz books, Ozma was a queen for the last three pages of The Marvelous Land of Oz, and the next book was made a princess. It pissed me off.
cereta: Barbara Gordon, facepalming (babsoy)
[personal profile] cereta
You know, not that I particularly WANT girls to play football, given all the information about the long-term effects of routine head injuries, but I still can't help find it amusing that 32 years after Helen Hunt was the Quarterback Princess, the idea of a (gasp!) girl playing football is still wacky and crazy enough to to be the premise of a whole tv show.

(Before you start listing all the physical reasons football would be a particularly tough nut to crack or why sports are sex-segregated, etc: I KNOW, really. The issue is not whether girls in general should play football. It the stereotypes that such a story relies on for its humor and drama.)
mara: (Zoe bitch please)
[personal profile] mara
I am reliably informed (by my husband) that my mother-in-law is incredibly upset that my son has both "boy's" underwear and "girl's" underwear. She's sure that his classmates are going to see his underwear and tease him for wearing girl's underwear.

In his words: "She's very upset about it and it's all your fault." (Said ironically, I should note.)

My response to my husband was "Yes. Yes, it is my fault. It's also the Dora underwear that got him to actually wear underwear, so she can kiss my ass."

Good grief. There are so many things wrong here, I'm not sure where to start!

As a friend of mine noted (re: her son wearing his sister's nail polish), if the kids are going to tease him about this, maybe we should tell them not to tease rather than criticizing his taste in underwear!!!

Seriously, we got to the underwear aisle and the boys' stuff was almost all superheroes he didn't know and movies he hadn't seen. I did find him some Thomas the Tank Engine and eventually Diego (who he loves), but when asked what he wanted on his underwear, he asked for Dora and Kai Lan. Obviously both of those only come in girl's styles, because no boys like Dora or Kai Lan.

And last, but not least, my son is four years old! When it comes to fit, it really doesn't matter if he wears boy's or girl's underwear, y'know!
vass: Buttercup shooting lasers, caption "fight like a girl" (Buttercup)
[personal profile] vass
I like A Mighty Girl. It's given me some good clues for what to give my niece for birthdays and Christmas. But their clothing and music recs are sometimes, um...

Here are three t-shirts to give the young girl in your life if you want to make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN she is a tease magnet at her school:

http://www.amightygirl.com/smart-girl-t-shirt
http://www.amightygirl.com/i-am-kind-infant-shirt
http://www.amightygirl.com/future-brain-surgeon-t-shirt

I can hear the taunts from here, and I'm 32 now and never wore shirts like those even when I was in primary school.

"Ha ha, $name is KIND and SMART and IMPORTANT!" (said in the snidest tone a seven-year-old can mange.)
"And she's going to be a brain surgeon. Yeah, right. Dream on."

And here's one track that REALLY should not have been listed under "ages: 13/up, themes: independence/individuality":

Tori Amos, 'Girl' (from Little Earthquakes.)
It's a great song from a great album, and a lot of teenagers will LOVE it - have done so since it first came out. But I'm imagining some poor parent or adult friend giving a thirteen-year-old this song in the believe that it's an optimistic song about Being Yourself, and then the song ends with the protagonist being involuntarily committed and then the chorus commenting that maybe one day she will be her own person.
mara: (Yael and Barak)
[personal profile] mara
My 3 1/2 year old son needed new sneakers, so we went to the store. As soon as he saw the Dora shoes, it was love at first sight, so obviously I bought them for him. (By which I mean, I took a deep breath, got ready, and then bought them for him.)

It's only been a day and I've already had three family members (including one I wasn't expecting, damn it) to make a funny face at seeing him in shiny pink and purple sneakers. And he hasn't even had a day of school yet. ::facepalm::

I'm 99% sure the preschool teachers will nod and admire his new shoes, especially because he clearly adores them and sits in the back of the car repeating "I love my Dora shoes, Mommy!" However, his class this year has a high percentage of what the preschool teachers politely refer to as "rough and tumble boys".

(To give you an example: I asked one young man who looked lonely if he wanted to ask one of his classmates to play, because she also looked lonely. He looked at me like I had two heads and said "I don't play with girls. Only boys." When I immediately asked "Why?" he was completely stunned, like nobody had ever asked him that simple question before.)

I'm sure the four girls in his class will adore the shoes, but what the other 10 boys might say...oy. However, even if the preschool teachers blink at the shoes the first time, I can console myself with the fact that they will absolutely positively not tolerate any kind of mean thing being said to my little guy.

I'm sure y'all can appreciate how mad I am that I even need to THINK about this. Ugh.
mara: (Teyla and Liz)
[personal profile] mara
I just watched a PSA from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and went to check out their website. Good research studies there for the next time someone scoffs and says there are plenty of girls in kids' media. Or (more typically) there are too many girls in cartoons.

There are studies on what occupations characters have, how many girls there are in media, and industry leaders' perceptions of gender depictions. I haven't had a chance to do more than glance at them, but it looks like a lot of good stuff there.

I'm especially interested in the "Guess Who?" series, "which is a series of videos and curriculum designed to teach young children to challenge gender stereotypes."

Fascinating!
mara: (Sing a song)
[personal profile] mara
I figure folks here would probably be just as cheered as I was by the following video:

Sesame Street Shatters Little Girls' Princess Dreams, Replaces Them With Better Ones

This totally made my day!
cereta: Jane from Jane and Dragon, text, "Fights Like a Girl" (Jane)
[personal profile] cereta
I would like to recommend our latest discovery, which is not actually new, but six or so years old: Jane and the Dragon, and the short-lived but charming tv series based on it. Imagine if the Paperbag Princess had gone on to further adventures. It's a lot like that.

My four-and-a-half-year-old is utterly taken with both, and now wants to be a knight.
mara: (Girl Wonder)
[personal profile] mara
Wanna get mad? Wanna throw things at the walls? Great, have I got an article for you!

Over on SkeptiXX, Ben Radford (who I swear used to have a brain) takes on Riley, that cute little girl ranting about how all the girl toys are pink and Radford makes himself look like a complete idiot while doing it:

The problem is that Riley is wrong: Girls don’t have to buy princesses, and boys don’t have to buy superheroes. Girls don’t have to buy pink things, and boys don’t have to buy toys that are blue, or any other color. Stores are happy to sell items of whatever color to boy and girls; the only color they care about, especially during these lean economic times, is green. Furthermore, boys and girls don’t buy their own toys and clothes—their parents do. Parents, not kids or marketers, decide what toys to buy their kids.

And it just gets worse from there. I'm not kidding. Lots worse, in my opinion.

I don't really have anything coherent to say that Julia Lavarnaway (below Radford's piece at the link above) and Rebecca Watson don't say better. I'll be over here bashing my head repeatedly against the wall if you need me.
cereta: Talia from the cover of "The Stepsister Scheme" (Talia)
[personal profile] cereta
I can't quite believe I'm posting this, but...

We recently purchased a few Barbie DVDs for my daughter. And you know...I kind of like them. They're not perfect. There's a lot of pink (I have suddenly had an epiphany of just how much '80's fashion was based on what 4-6 year-olds like), and fashion creeps its way into the unlikeliest storylines. But!

1. Particularly in the most recent ones, Barbie, or rather the characters she plays (Corinne, Merliah, etc) is a mover and shaker and a go-getter. And she is always the central character.

2. You would be surprised how very, very seldom the central storyline involves romance. Of the three we own (A Fashion Fairytale, The Three Musketeers, A Mermaid Tale), romance is a comedic subplot in the first, barely hinted at in the second (and actually kind of rejected in favor of adventure), and completely absent in the third - there's not even a male character for romance to happen with.

3. Which brings me to - each and every one I've seen passes the Bechdel test handily. There are multiple women characters, and in several, men are the sort of tokens you usually see women being in kids movies.

4. The Three Musketeers has a overtly feminist message. And if the bit with the fans and ribbons as weapons was probably about marketing, I liked it in the same way I liked the plates as weapons in the Dark Tower series.

I don't want to overstate the case. They're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But in a world where movies for kids with female protagonists are thin on the ground, you could do worse.
lydiabell: (Default)
[personal profile] lydiabell
I thought this was cute, and relevant to the interests of some people here:

DC Superheroines in Sweaters
lydiabell: (I am aware of all Internet traditions)
[personal profile] lydiabell
The average child watches thousands of television commercials every year. Ads geared to kids don't just encourage purchases of mass-produced plastic toys and mass-produced junk food: they also enforce rigid gender stereotypes about who should be playing with which kind of toy. Girls want sparkly pink ponies that bake cupcakes and need to be fed bottles, and boys want loud, fast remote-controlled tanks that shoot lasers and green slime. But happens when you pair the audio to a "boy" ad with the video to a "girl" ad?

Meet the Gendered Advertising Remixer, a Flash application which lets you do exactly that. It offers a nice selection of toy commercials with clear gender messages, and lets you mix those messages up in a way that's amusing and enlightening.



The video from "Pinkalicious at Burger King" plus the audio from "Nerf Longstrike" is uncanny. Audio from "Baby Alive" plus video from "The Eye of Judgment" isn't bad either.
mara: (Default)
[personal profile] mara
A number of parents I know are not happy at all about the latest Happy Meal toys at McDonald's.

Let's start with the fact that, of course, the boy's toys are Young Justice 'toon figures and the girl's toys are Littlest Pet Shop (or whatever that thing is).

But of course that's not the worst of it. If you look at the picture of the toys you will notice (and y'all see this coming) it only includes the male characters, including a couple of villains. I'm told the male villains have only appeared in one or two episodes, but I don't know for sure.

::headdesk:: Seriously? Seriously? I'm sorry, what year is it again?

If you'd like to complain, the form I found is here. [personal profile] cereta has already received a completely useless reply to her letter, but I haven't gotten anything.

I'm so out of deal, people. What am I supposed to tell my Supergirl-loving daughter when she gets older.

I'm just glad that we don't eat at McDonald's, so this crisis is averted :)
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