It’s one thing when you’re watching reruns of Tom and Jerry and you see some sexist trope. You roll your eyes, remember what the world was like when it was made, and move on. But when cartoons written, drawn, and filmed within the last couple of years rely on some outdated stereotype, you have to ask yourself, “What freaking world are these people living in?”
“They’re girls. Girls like to shop,” says the dad on the Safety Patrol short that played today on Disney Junior. From the people who brought you Doc McStuffins, Sheriff Callie, and the new crown princess Elena of Avalor–girls who straight up REPRESENT female empowerment as an accompaniment to pink clothes and sparkles rather than its antithesis–goes right ahead and uses some trash, “women be shopping” joke to appeal to the poor adult audience that has to watch cartoons with their kid.
Ha, ha, I’m an adult and I understand that reference. Women DO be shoppin’. Right? Am I right?! Oh Disney Junior, your adult humor is spot on… in 1986 during the height of the backlash against the feminist movement of the 70s. It’s funny because we’re post-feminist, right? Women are equal now and it’s ok, right?
No, sir. Not when an Olympic athlete’s husband gets the credit for her performance. Not when a presidential candidate can get away with calling women gross and fat pigs and laughing about it instead of apologizing. The modern world has yet to see any signs of post-feminism, thankyouverymuch, so this bullshit aimed at CHILDREN in 2016 is unacceptable.
And I’ll tell you what else, since I’m rant-happy anyway: I’m tired of eyelashes representing the female version of something. I’m tired of there being a “female version” rather than just including females to begin with. I’m tired of female cartoon characters making bedroom eyes at male cartoon characters. I’m tired of internet trolls claiming ruined childhoods over any attempt at diversity. And I am so very tired of children’s programming that feature teams of boy characters with one token female.
Aren’t we better than this yet? Can’t we try to be? Isn’t it our responsibility to fix the crap that screwed us up as children so the next generation doesn’t have to suffer the same neuroses?
Props to Louise for telling her dad, “I don’t like to shop.” And you don’t have to, little homegirl. Not ever, if you don’t want to. Don’t let men like your dad or the stupid dudes who write his dialogue tell you what you should like and who you have to be to make their understanding of the world easier. You and your brother keep calling your safety violations and party fouls, or whatever. Don’t let the man get you down.