I’m Just Not Impressed

Am I supposed to be?

Syllogism* for the day.

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1. Children are taught how to read media, including what characters to relate to and what they are supposed to enjoy.

2. Media perpetuates the notion that boys don’t want to/cannot relate to girl characters.

3. Therefore, boys are never taught to relate to girl characters.

Girls, otoh, are expected to learn how to relate to boys/men as the default – we are taught from early on that we can/should be able to relate to boy characters. Even in stories that are carefully structured to have both boys and girls (and therefore appeal across the board) and where the girls are “strong” characters (i.e., they are more than just a blank stereotype), the boys are still the leaders. In the Magic Treehouse books, the third person narration is focused on Jack’s POV and internal thoughts and how he relates to Annie. Harry Potter may need Hermione’s brains, but he’s still the lead. Diego needed to balance out Dora, because heavens forfend three and four year old boys like a “girls show”. Even such basic toys as blocks and legos default as “boy” toys. Again – heaven’s forfend something be gender neutral.

I could go on about this forever, but it stuck in my craw this morning. General purpose, “gender neutral” narration is almost always male directed. Even when it involves men harming killing women (or their children or themselves), men still get to determine the narrative.

*Perhaps not strictly speaking a syllogism (If A, then C. B is A. Therefore B is C), but work with me here.

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Written by emandink

April 9, 2009 at 9:14 am

Posted in Feminism, Law

Tagged with , ,

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