Sunday, February 2, 2014

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us

In "Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us, Linda Christensen talks about how cartoons influence everyone as they grow up. Many story lines in TV shows and movies exclude different races or portray them in racist ways, show children a stereotypical ways to be male or female and introduce young girls to the wonderful world of fat-shaming. It's easy to take these as silly cartoons, but they teach young children certain things about the world at a time when they are most vulnerable and learning at every moment of the day.

I chose to give some links to videos and articles that relate back to our reading because this issue is talked about a lot by some pretty smart people :)

1. This video is a TED Talk about what movies teach young boys about manhood. As our article said, media is steeped in cultural stereotypes. We tend to talk a lot about how negatively girls are affected by movies, but sometimes we forget about boys. As a father of both a boy and girl, he feels that it's important to address what boys are being taught through movies. The way women are portrayed and the way male characters interact with them teach boys a lot about manhood.

TED Talk

2. Here is a little article about six Disney films that are racist or sexist. This obviously relates directly to our article and--you might have guesses--Peter Pan is in it just like Christensen said. It's pretty interesting and I like that it gives pictures and a little excerpt from one of the movies because I'm a visual learner--and we really do need the visuals to fully get the picture...literally! I think some people are often surprised that The Princess and the Frog made it to the list and I'm not sure if I agree with the point about Naveen. It's true that he isn't identifiable of a particular race but if you choose to look at it more positively, the two are an interracial couple, right?

3. I also wanted to add some pictures of how Native Americans have been represented in cartoons because it's a good example of the racism that doesn't always seem like racism to us. We just think it's a cartoon for kids, but it causes us to grow up thinking that Native Americans are something they are not.

4. To end my blog, I wanted to link this awesome video by feministfrequency. If you like her stuff, she's got lots of other videos about television, toys and video games. In this video, she talks about the "straw feminist" in television which portrays feminists as unnecessary and over the top. I think the one that struck me the most was The Power Puff Girls. I watched the show religiously as a child and remember the episode she talked about. It's crazy that shows that children watch are being set up with such a political agenda.

In class, I'd like to talk about how feminism is depicted in the media. I think it goes right along with this reading because it doesn't the same thing that sexist, racist, classist or fat-shaming cartoons do" it teaches kids a one-sided view of something that they don't yet understand.


  1. The links you provided obtained very interesting and valueble information which furhter proved Christensen's argument. Thank you for the interesting material :-)

  2. I loved the article that you attached about the six Disney films! It's amazing that we grew up watching these films without realizing the details that the article pointed out to us!

  3. What a wonderful post:) Content filled and fun to read!
    When you talked about men being negatively effected by movies, it connected to my post about reality television setting stereotypes for men. For example: the men being fought for in The Bachelor are described as the "perfect man": good job, attractive, and the "prince charming". Do you think this stereotype that reality television creates could've been supported by Disney movies?