I think anyone who's watched tv ever can have something to say about how sexist it is. Music videos, reality tv, hell even the BBC---you don't have to look hard to see the patriarchal influences on your screen. How many of you think about if what your toddlers watch is sexist? I sure as hell didn't until I chose this theme.
All Blondie Boy watches in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He loves it. He points out Mickey and friends when we are out and about and you've never seen his little face light up so much when you give him something with Mickey's image on it. Don't even get me started on how ridiculously cute it is when he gets up to do the Hot Dog Dance. We love Mickey Mouse so please as you read this know I don't have an axe to grind with Disney--I'm just trying to look at what my son watches from a feminist vantage point.
I was thinking about all the various episodes I've seen over and over and I couldn't think of any overtly sexist storylines. I was tweeting to Ellen about it and she asked if Toodles was a woman--I could see where she was going with this since Toodles is at their beck and call--but NotBlondeHusband pointed out Toodles was created by the Professor and "he's here for meedles and youdles." As NotBlondeHusband and I drove down the M77 towards Ayrshire though we realized while the mouse might not be overtly sexist, he wasn't completely free of patriarchal control.
Take a look at the female characters on the show: Minnie, Daisy and Clarabelle. They all wear high heels and they all wear bows. Donald doesn't even wear pants let alone shoes, but Daisy is always in heels walking around "like Marilyn Monroe in dress that's too tight" as NotBlondeHusband described it. When the gang goes on a treasure hunt Goofy hopes it's stickers, but Minnie hopes it's handbags. So maybe Mickey Mouse Clubhous isn't overtly sexist it's certainly perpetuating gender stereotypes.
Maybe it's accidental, maybe it's a deliberate marketing decision to sell more pink branded items but whether direct or indirect, what kind of message is it sending? Am I going to stop Blondie Boy watching his favourite show? No, but it will make me question what he does watch in the future more closely.
What about the shows your children watch? How do they portray boys and girls? Men and women? Males and females?
Feminist Friday XIII: Television
Here's how it works. Write a blog about being a feminist mom, raising a feminist child, a rant or anything that falls under the realm of the theme for the week. Come back and link your post and post the button on your blog.
You don't even have to be a blogger to take part - just send me your post and I will publish it on my blog for you. You don't even have to include your name if you prefer.
When you've published it, come back on Friday and via a widget thing you can add a link to your post and share it with everyone. The link remains open for 4 days.
Visit others, comment if you like them or feel inspired by them. Just go out and encourage and support other feminist Moms.
The more support you give, the more you will get back! I can't wait to meet and interact with other feminist moms around the world!