Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Must we inadvertently belittle women in trying to "fix" princesses?

2 yo was watching movies with Daddy this evening, and they watched a great movie where the princess rejected everyone's advice to stay home and sew and she reframed the problem using a more female approach to life and solved it without resorting to having to do things the vast majority women really can't do (physical fighting with greater strength than men, for example).

But then three details killed the story for me: 1. the dragon ended up being a baby who just needed a hug (because women can't face -real- danger and come out on top using women's innate skills and approaches to things?!).

2. The princess actually says, "Girls are as good as boys!" Just no. That reinforces the idea that boys are inherently superior and girls have to run to keep up. It's establishing more firmly the measuring stick being men. That drives me nuts! One of the biggest flaws of most media-reported feminism is that they've bought into the lie that for women to be successful, they have to out-men men. That's just wrong. We don't need to teach women to lean in or to raise their hands and speak up--we need to teach society to listen to them as they are.

and 3. All the men were idiots. if the only way for women to be wonderful is if men are all idiots, then we lose. We lose as women because men are not all idiots, so this is just reinforcing the idea that women are inferior to all but stupid men. We lose as society because we teach that men are all idiots. This is not real life and it's not a healthy way to look at humans.

We need more stories where competent women and competent men work together, and more stories where women face real danger and save the world using methods and approaches that are realistic for women and highlight valuable things about them (instead of just trying to make them stronger and braver and more violent than men).

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