Ok so there I was hunkering down for a good ole fashioned DVD watching session. You know, movie night and all that. Well there was this one preview for one of those Alvin & the Chipmunks movies. Cute lil things aren’t they? And they SING too!
I remember seeing somewhere that there was this girl band of chipmunks out there, and from the voice over while the boy chips were walking into their new school, I kind of figured the two groups would meet and wow how cool: battle of the bands or something.
But no. Instead, when the two groups meet each other in the hallway, that particular kind of music kicks in (lotsa saxophone or a love song) and they all get googoo eyed and twitterpated at the sight of each other. That’s all fine and good and everything (no, not really), but it bothers me to no end. Why? Because this is just
a cute animated an example of what happens far too often in our TV shows and movies.
Here’s how my chipmunk preview would have gone. Boy chips walking through the school hallways, they hear some serious jamming coming from the music rooms. They peek in and see the girl chips rocking it out and are in awe and appreciation. Turns out the boy chips now have some major competition for the talent show coming up! They can get all twitterpated later on in the movie if they want to, but what that did, is make the girl chips be their own complicated selves – just like the boy chips have been from the jump – and not just 1) Only there to be a love interest 2) Worse still, having those same mad skills but the most important part of their roles being relegated to a trigger for the googoo eyes in the boy chips.
That is the weird thing that happens. You should be concerned that it is VERY present in the entertainment for your kids. What lessons are they learning when they see that sort of thing? Not raising kids? Don’t worry, this weird thing is EVERYWHERE. So much so, that you probably didn’t even notice it for what it was, or even thought it was anything but weird – however, it’s time to WAKE UP and see it for what it is:
Women and girls – FEMALES – are not people. We are catalysts, we are props, we are objects, we are foils for the male characters. Stuff is all normal and
males people go around doing their everyday thing and stuff doesn’t get all weird until a female shows up. Cue saxophone. Sometimes its not as literal as the chipmunk movie preview, but I think you know what I’m talking about.
Like when you have male characters sputtering and trying to cover when they realize the FBI Agent they were supposed to meet up with is (GASP) female. Choosing to have characters “act differently” (all weird) because of a female presence. If that piece of entertainment isn’t set in the 1800’s or summat then dayum? WTF!
Stop using “the female entity” as a trope and a foil. We actually ARE people. You know, human beings. And what with there being 4.8 million MORE females than males in the USA – you might think to stop doing that. Do we all need to rise up and give you guys a collective wedgie wake up call before you’ll stop doing and being in support of That Weird Thing?
Our culture is all about you. Everything comes from and is seen from the male point of view, with very few exceptions. That is and has been changing, but that chipmunk example came from a movie aimed at your kids in 2009. What lovely examples of That Weird Thing have happened in your movies and television in more recent years? Be Awake. Be Aware. Start watching your entertainment with your Eyes Wide Open. Cranking open your MIND might not be too bad of an idea either.
Its a wonder we’ve made it this far, honestly. I mean how can you take female doctors, lawyers, police officers, senators, presidents, CEOs, teachers, authors, news anchors, bloggers etc seriously when omg boobs lol sexyy ooh a GIRL lol what no really lady cop teehee lawyerette omg.
The Glass Ceiling is the least of our worries. This is an embedded cultural thing and I’d thank you to become aware of it, un-support it, be active against it, don’t be a part of creating it, and call out those that are a part of the problem and not the solution.
It is heart breaking to see misogyny perpetuated like this. It is heart breaking when you have to search far and wide for entertainment that doesn’t demean, erase, objectify or caricature women and girls. It is heart breaking to see your second class citizen status being reflected back at you not only in your every day LIFE just going about your business, but it creeps into your HOME via media and entertainment and what your daughter says happened to her at school that day.
Your first step is awareness.
You Awake now?
The House ABW bids you to go forth and kick some butt!